Avoid ex­cess this Xmas

KEEP those ki­los un­der con­trol this fes­tive sea­son.

People (South Africa) - - Contents -

IT’S the hol­i­days. You have par­ties and Christ­mas lunch to look for­ward to; New Year’s drinks and a trip away. It’s tempt­ing just to ac­cept that a few ex­tra kilo­grams will hit your hips.

“Re­search sug­gests peo­ple can put on up to four ki­los dur­ing the Christ­mas break,” says ac­cred­ited practising di­eti­tian Milena Katz.

The prob­lem with be­ing com­pla­cent about hol­i­day weight gain, even if it is only a kilo or two, is that it doesn’t magically drop off when the silly sea­son is over. “You might lose a lit­tle of it, but the rest can hang around and even ac­cu­mu­late through the year.” So if you want to keep the weight off th­ese hol­i­days, fol­low th­ese dos and don’ts.

DON’T Ar­rive Hun­gry

BE­ING fam­ished when you hit a Christ­mas event makes it harder not to overeat. “Eat a salad, a piece of fruit or a toasted sand­wich be­fore you go,” says Pro­fes­sor Clare Collins, spokesper­son for the Di­eti­tians As­so­ci­a­tion of Aus­tralia. Once there, don’t eat or drink to pla­cate an in­sis­tent host. “Take a small por­tion to be po­lite, but don’t feel you have to fin­ish it,” she says.

 The dif­fer­ence be­tween a large (125g) slice of cheese­cake and a small (75g) slice is 170 calo­ries.

DON’T Eat Just Any­thing

IT can be easy at par­ties to eat foods you’re not keen on just be­cause they’re of­fered to you. “Make it a rule to only eat foods you re­ally like,” says Katz. As long as you’re mind­ful of por­tions with your treats, you don’t need to feel de­prived or risk a kilo­joule blow-out...

 HERE’S the proof. Eat­ing a small amount of your favourite treats will sat­isfy your hunger, say ex­perts, but you’ll eat 77 per­cent more when of­fered larger por­tions.

DO Pack Light

IF you’re go­ing away for the Christ­mas pe­riod, make your suit­case re­flect your good in­ten­tions, says Collins. “Pack your sports clothes first then your tight­est shorts and party dress to help keep you on track. They’re as good as a set of scales when you’re away.”

 Go­ing up a dress size means that you’d carry an ex­tra 4cm around your bust, waist or thighs.

DO Avoid The Hol­i­day Buf­fet

YOU’RE more likely to overeat to get your money’s worth, says Collins. If a buf­fet break­fast is in­cluded in your hol­i­day pack­age, Katz sug­gests mak­ing it your main meal of the day. “Have a healthy cooked break­fast with lots of veg­eta­bles and a smaller lunch and din­ner,” she says.

 Think about what you have at break­fast: By not eat­ing three ba­con rash­ers and but­tered toast you’ll avoid 394 calo­ries and 20g of fat.

DON’T Do Sec­onds

TO con­trol how much you eat at so­cial gath­er­ings, fill your plate just once.

Also, reach for the small­est plate or bowl pos­si­ble. Re­search shows you’ll eat 22 per­cent fewer calo­ries just by switch­ing from a 30cm to a 25cm plate.

“Most of us will eat un­til our plate’s empty, re­gard­less of the size” says Collins.

 Eat­ing 22 per­cent less of a roast beef Christ­mas din­ner (three slices of meat, a baked potato, veg­eta­bles and gravy) will save you 136 calo­ries.

DON’T Drink Your Calo­ries

SOME cock­tails can have the same calo­ries as a meal. Al­co­hol can also af­fect what and how much you eat. Al­ways make your first drink a min­eral wa­ter be­cause that’s when you’re thirsti­est, ad­vises Collins. “If you drink a glass or two of cham­pagne fast, you’ll di­lute your willpower and end up in­hal­ing the ap­pe­tis­ers.”

 How many calo­ries are there in your favourite drink? Small (120ml) glass cham­pagne, 88 calo­ries. Large (160ml) glass red wine, 108 calo­ries. Mo­jito, 169 calo­ries. Pina co­lada, 289 calo­ries.

DON’T For­get Your Rou­tine

STICK­ING to your reg­u­lar ex­er­cise rou­tine over the Christ­mas break will help com­bat hol­i­day kilo creep. “Don’t let time pres­sures or school hol­i­days pre­vent you from go­ing to the gym or tak­ing your daily walk,” says Katz.

 A 60-minute brisk walk burns 293 calo­ries, which equals one small mince pie and a par­ty­size quiche.

DO Pay It Back

MIN­IMISE the dam­age of a big meal by eat­ing less and be­ing more ac­tive the next day.

“One big meal doesn’t make you over­weight,” says Collins. “The prob­lem is when one big meal be­comes the trig­ger for giv­ing up or con­tin­u­ing the blow-out for days or weeks.”

 One so­lu­tion? A 45-minute morn­ing work­out. It’ll de­crease your ap­petite and make you move more for the rest of the day, say ex­perts.

DO Keep Track

BE­ING aware of how much ex­er­cise you need to do to burn off the calo­ries in the foods you’re eat­ing can help you re­sist temp­ta­tion. “Some treats might be worth a one-hour work­out to you, but some won’t,” says Collins.

 You’ll need to jog for 18 min­utes at a mod­er­ate speed to burn off a medium slice of Christ­mas cake.

DO Dine Out Wisely

EAT­ING in restau­rants while on hol­i­day can make it hard to con­trol your calo­rie in­take.

Collins sug­gests in­creas­ing your greens. “Most res­tau­rant meals don’t come with any veg­eta­bles or salad. Or­der an en­trée and a side dish of fancy steamed greens in­stead of a main meal”

 Din­ing Tip: Choose a res­tau­rant with dim light­ing and soft mu­sic over a bright and noisy one and you’ll eat 18 per­cent less of the meal and en­joy it more, say ex­perts.

DO Be A Gen­er­ous Host

EN­SURE there’s plenty of low-calo­rie food and drink op­tions for peo­ple watch­ing their weight at your get-to­geth­ers.

“If you’re asked to bring a plate to a party, take some­thing healthy such as veg­etable cru­dites with a low-fat dip or a sum­mer fruit plat­ter,” says Collins.

 Swap one ta­ble­spoon of Three Olive dip (78 calo­ries) for the same amount of Lite & Fresh Hum­mus (34 calo­ries).

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