The last month of the old year and the first month of the new year can be a potential minefield for those who have been working hard throughout the year to eat healthily and exercise regularly.
Fear not! Follow these simple tips to ensure you still enjoy the silly season while at the same time don’t sabotage all your hard work!
- Remember to eat regularly:
Skipping meals may seem like a good idea to lose the extra weight, but it can lead to bloating and blood sugar levels dropping, which makes you reach for sugary foods and lead to “stress”eating. Skipping meals also means that when you do eat, you tend to indulge and over-eat so aim for the “little and often” mind-set.
- Wave good-bye to white wheats:
White wheat based foods, like bread, pizza and pasta, are high in calories and can lead to bloating – which is not what you want when you slip on your little black dress for the next party! Try to include whole wheats in your diet, which have more fibre and help with feeling fuller for longer. Good choices are rye bread, quinoa and whole wheat bread or wraps.
- Look for lean protein:
Lean protein helps you feel full, so it is perfect for the season of over-indulgence. Try to include 200-300 g of protein in your diet daily, in the form of Greek yoghurt, chicken, turkey and most importantly oily fish like salmon or sardines.
- Make good fats a favourite:
Essential fats are just that – essential for a healthy diet! Omega 3 and 6 are known for moisturising your skin from the inside out, which means that your skin will be glowing for the next celebration. These essential fats are also needed to burn off the bad fats when exercising, so aim for at least one serving of good fats a day, such as avocados, nuts and seeds (pumpkin or sunflower) and walnuts, and of course, a serving of oily fish.
- Go easy on the fruit:
Fruit is a natural source of antioxidants which makes it great for healthy skin and hair, but fruit is also full of sugar which means it can stall weight loss. You should eat fruit, but go for the low-sugar options such as the berry family; also only eat fruits as a snack or breakfast, as they can ferment in your stomach if eaten after other foods, causing gas and bloating. The best low-sugar fruits are apples, pears, grapefruits and berries – aim to eat at least two servings of these a day.