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Six simple steps for managing over-eating at Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner, invitations and party planning begins to take centre stage. It’s a wonderful time to come together with family and friends. And a large part of how we socialise and celebrate is with food and drink.

While definitely a time for fun and frivolity, Christmas can also be an anxious balancing act between wanting to relax and indulge while also being concerned about weight gain.

And it’s not all in your mind – a study from the New England Journal of Medicine showed that, while less than often thought, holiday weight gain is real.

But Christmas does not have to be the end of your healthy eating or weight loss efforts.

Following six simple steps over this festive season can help you stay on track into 2023.

1. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

In the lead-up to Christmas, take five minutes or so to sit down and devise a ‘plan of action’. Map out every party, function, gathering, or social activity that you know will involve food. Use this to set yourself some food and drink priorities. Ask yourself where you really want to spend your energy budget. This will help not only prevent overindulgence but also to ensure you have the opportunity to enjoy the food too!

2. Never go to a party hungry.

Don’t skip a meal or a snack and go to a party hungry. Have a light snack or meal instead. This will reduce the likelihood of being starving hungry if the food is late and then overeating or snacking too much on the dips, chips, cheese, and crackers before the main meal even begins.

3. If you’re drinking alcohol, swap in a glass of water for every other drink.

As well as cutting down on the alcohol, you’ll stay hydrated and feel better in the morning. Also, look for healthy alternatives like kombucha or soda water with a slice of lemon or lime.

4. Give yourself permission not to eat at every event.

Don’t feel pressured to indulge every day just because it’s the holidays. Keep in touch with your hunger-fullness signals. It’s important to continue to listen to your body and stop eating when you are satisfied. Listening to your hunger cues can help.

5. If you are hosting…

Create a healthy grazing table using a wide range of delicious summer fruits! Stone fruit, mangoes, cherries and grapes will all be in season. Add vegie sticks with flavoursome dips, too – crisp sticks of carrots, capsicum, cucumber and celery along with some sweet cherry tomatoes will be appreciated by many of your guests.

6. Keep moving.

Keeping active and fit over the festive season is a must. Take a dip, have a dance, or go for a walk or bike ride – just keep moving

Why don’t you ask for individual assessment and management by one of the experienced expert health professionals at Lifestyle Metabolic? At Lifestyle Metabolic we pride ourselves on keeping up-to-date with the latest research from a number of different disciplines and integrated for the assessment and management of individual patients, with a focus on their goals, needs, and quality of life.

If you would like to discuss your weight or metabolic health concerns, you can make an appointment to see Dr Terri-Lynne South.

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