If you’ve worked hard this year on your weightloss goals, you don’t want to undo your hard work by going crazy over the upcoming festive season. Any extra kilos you put on at this time of year can be very difficult to shift and could take months to lose. Scary thought, right? Taking some steps to make sure that you don’t put on weight in the first place off the back of your party plans is the best way to approach this time of year.
Here’s how to ring in the New Year and have fun, without overindulging.
Eat Simple and Eat Clean
The Basic principle of clean eating is consuming only whole, fresh, unprocessed foods. A clean diet can be a little bit different for everyone but there is one thing that all clean eaters would agree on: The white stuff must go! This includes all white sugar and white flour products. These foods provide absolutely no nutritional value.
Whole foods fill you up and fuel you, whereas the white stuff, like sugar, pasta, bread, crackers, high fructose corn syrup, flour and cereal, depletes your energy and makes it difficult to keep your blood sugar levels stable. When your blood sugar is too high or too low it will cause cravings and may also cause symptoms like irritability and fatigue. This will make staying on a clean eating plan more difficult.
TIP: Eat the rainbow daily. Eat a variety of foods that are not packaged or processed. Go to the market and have fun buying fresh produce. Don’t shop in the middle of the supermarket where the packaged foods are; instead buy the fresh vegetables, fruits and clean proteins on the exterior aisles.
Have an Action Plan
Before you even get to a holiday party, have a plan in your mind about what you’ll eat and drink at the party and keep this plan in mind as the party progresses. Sometimes I may even eat a full meal before the party and just drink mineral water or a hot drink during the party if I know that I cannot eat certain foods at this party.
TIP: Make sure that you don’t turn up to the party hungry. It’s a sure-fire way to blow your good intentions out of the water.
Be Savvy with Drinks
What you choose to drink at a New Year party can be super important for avoiding weight gain. A lot of drinks are loaded with sugar especially cocktails made with syrup based juices.
TIP 1: Choose a Vodka and Soda or a Gin and Soda instead of going for the more common Gin and Tonic option.
TIP 2: Don’t forget to drink plenty of water in between drinks to stay hydrated and pace yourself.
TIP 3: It can be helpful to have a glass of water or mineral water in your hand throughout the night. This way you’ll still be participating in the party spirit, but without alcohol which could end up clouding your judgement when it comes to food choices.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Party season can be a lot of fun and that can mean that you skimp on sleep. This can be a bad move as far as your weight is concerned as sleep and appetite are strongly linked.
According to research, limited sleep (typically about four hours a night) caused people to eat more than they did after a full night’s rest. They ate snacks with more carbohydrates as well as close to double the amount of fat and protein compared to when they were well rested. It’s all to do with an imbalance of hunger hormones – specifically Ghrelin and Leptin. When you don’t get enough sleep, Ghrelin levels go up and Leptin levels go down. The combined effect of this stimulates your appetite and makes you less able to inhibit your junk food consumption.
The bottom line? Get plenty of sleep over party season and you’re less likely to overindulge in unhealthy party food, especially if you don’t arrive hungry. It’s a lot easier to make healthy food choices when you’ve had a good night’s sleep.
Focus on the Party
Instead of keeping half an eye on the food and drinks that are on offer, put your focus on the party itself, especially the social side of things. Be present in the moment and focus your attention on the other guests. Get involved in conversations and really listen to what’s being said. You might be surprised how little you think of the buffet table or party food in general when your attention is elsewhere.
Following these steps should set you up for a healthy, safe and fun festive season so enjoy yourself and have a Happy New Year!
Medical Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. For medical advice always consult your physician. The information provided in this blog is based on the best knowledge of the author at the time of writing and we do not assume liability for the information within this blog, be it direct or indirect, consequential, special, exemplary or other damages.