The festive season can pose many challenges when it comes to progressing with your health and fitness goals. It is important to remember that this is a time to enjoy with your family and friends. While the change in routine may have derailed your progressed in the past, understanding a few key aspects of this time of year can help us be in a position to hit the ground running for your New Year’s goals.
When drinking alcohol, we just have to be mindful that this will still contain additional calories that will add to our daily total. Alcohol itself contains 7 calories per gram so can easily add up when being drunk by itself (vodka, gin etc.) or when made with a carbohydrate (beer/wine/RTDs) or consumed with another beverage (red bull, cocktails, soda etc.).
Simply try to make a few better choices when it comes to alcohol so we can keep overall calories in check. Start by limiting yourself to “X amount” drinks and try to keep this to…
- zero calorie soda (no sugar coke/sprite, sugar free red bull etc.)
- clear spirits mixed with soda water
- Low carb beer
Often when drinking, it’s not only the calories from alcohol we need to be aware of but also how this impacts our food choices and the social aspect of eating. Are you someone who grazes on a platter while enjoying a couple of drinks in the sun?
BBQ’s, restaurants, family get-togethers, picnics are all situations where we have less control over the food that is cooked and how it is prepared. While these environments can be stressful when it comes to food choice, by focusing on a few basic habits such as changing portion size and identifying what food is on our plate we can have better control over our daily intake.
Protein and vegetables are JCN staples. Regardless of the situation make sure that you start with these when building your plate. Where possible, include fruit. Following these basic principles will help to keep you feeling satiated. From here we can start to include moderation foods at your discretion such as pavlova, garlic bread, potato salad, etc.
From time to time we are always going to be thrown out of routine and what is important is our ability to adapt. Travelling is a great example of this, where food availability and eating frequency become obstacles that we need to navigate. Have you ever found yourself on a long distance journey snacking on convenience food because that is all you had available?
Our focus when travelling is to maintain some of the habits that we have created so far, some favourite JCN snacks which can be found at supermarkets, petrol stations and some dairy’s include:
- Low carb protein bars
- Nut snack packs
- No sugar drinks
- Snack pack of cheese and crackers
It is common to see people drinking less as their social calendar starts to fill up. Being well-hydrated improves sleep quality, appetite control, and mood so it is important to make this a priority. Carry a drink bottle, and if you are someone who struggles with keeping up their fluid intake try using cold brew tea bags to make iced drinks or ice blocks.
This time of year routine goes out the window so it is important to understand the tools that you have at your disposal. Enjoy yourself, but where possible plan ahead and focus on the factors that you have control over.