SET THE PLATE

Yes, you can en­joy your­self and still stay on track at a party or big event

Weight Watchers Magazine (Australia) - - Contents -

Of­ten,there’s no big­ger mo­ti­va­tion for weight loss or a life­style change than an up­com­ing event such as a wed­ding, a hol­i­day or a sig­nif­i­cant birthday – and some­times a few of th­ese Big Days seem to roll in at the same time – is it a spring thing? So how can you nav­i­gate th­ese oc­ca­sions while main­tain­ing your weight and avoid­ing the dreaded re­gain once the dust set­tles and you’re back into the daily grind? Re­lax. We’ve got you cov­ered.

BE PRE­PARED

On the morn­ing of any big day, start off by ex­er­cis­ing first thing – think a swift walk, swim­ming some laps or tak­ing part in a group ex­er­cise class. Drink plenty of water through the day, par­tic­u­larly if you in­tend to con­sume al­co­hol.

Eat some­thing fill­ing that con­tains both fi­bre and lean pro­tein be­fore go­ing out some­where you know may not have healthy food. A salad with tinned fish, a hand­ful of nuts and a piece of fruit, or an omelette will help to fill in the nu­tri­tional gaps and sus­tain your ap­petite so you don’t dive on the first deep-fried plat­ter you see. If you know din­ner is go­ing to be a big­ger meal, com­bine your break­fast and lunch into a fill­ing brunch, then have a light snack, such as a piece of fruit, be­fore you go.

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU’RE…

In­vited to a bar­be­cue or din­ner party. Of­fer to bring a plate so you know you’ll have some­thing healthy on hand. A fruit plat­ter, dips with veg­etable sticks, veg­etable-and-lean­meat skew­ers for the bar­be­cue, a colour­ful salad or some dark choco­late-dipped straw­ber­ries for a light dessert will do the trick. Hav­ing peo­ple over. Write up a menu that in­cludes lots of fresh ve­g­ies served with lean meat, fresh fish or seafood. Limit canapés in favour of a more bal­anced din­ner – think a slow-cooker curry, a baked potato sta­tion (with top­pings such as home­made coleslaw, slow-cooked shred­ded lean meats and fat-free plain yo­ghurt), or bar­be­cues with lean meats, sal­ads, grilled corn on the cob and vegie skew­ers. At a cock­tail party. If fin­ger foods are be­ing served at the event, put ev­ery­thing you in­tend to eat on one plate for vis­ual sati­ety. Or keep track of your in­take by tak­ing a nap­kin for ev­ery canapé you have, keep­ing an eye on your tally.

KEEP TABS AT THE BAR

Al­co­hol con­tains 29 kilo­joules per gram, and it’s of­ten served with added sug­ars such as soft drinks or mix­ers. But you don’t have to be a tee­to­taller. In be­tween your drinks, sip plenty of plain or sparkling water and opt for a lower-kilo­joule mixer with your drink, such as soda water and fresh lime.

If you’re hav­ing a wine or two with din­ner, con­sider say­ing no to an­other op­tional extra: de­cline the bread bas­ket, or­der your dish with extra salad or veg in­stead of chips or pota­toes, or skip dessert.

MAIN­TAIN HEALTHY HABITS

While it’s great to feel com­fort­able in your favourite dress at a wed­ding or birthday party, or happy in your bathers on your beach hol­i­day, your long-term health should al­ways be a pri­or­ity, with weight loss just a ben­e­fi­cial side ef­fect. Try to im­prove your eat­ing habits by think­ing about what you can do in the long term to keep your weight within the healthy range.

Plan reg­u­lar life­style check-ins with your­self to re­view your food in­take and ex­er­cise and set some new goals if you find your­self slip­ping back into any old un­healthy habits.

If, de­spite your good in­ten­tions, there have been a few days of overindul­gence, track what you eat and drink each day so you can get an over­view of your cur­rent eat­ing habits. It’ll help high­light when and where any extra foods may be creep­ing into your day.

And re­mem­ber to keep ac­tive, too. Do some reg­u­lar re­sis­tance ex­er­cise, such as a re­former Pi­lates class, a Pump class or some light hand-weight ex­er­cises, to help you main­tain longer-last­ing weight loss. In­creas­ing your mus­cle mass helps to in­crease the me­tab­o­lism, mean­ing you use up more kilo­joules through­out the day. #

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