Articles

Festive season survival guide 

Dec 6, 2020

Don’t let the festive season temptations ruin all the hard work you’ve put in during the year. Follow these simple lifestyle tips to help keep yourself on track during the holidays.

Festive season survival guide

Eat slowly

Chew every bite properly and enjoy conversations with friends and family! Eating slowly is a simple way to consumer less calories. Also, setting down your fork or spoon between bites is an easy way to eat more slowly, giving you time to reach that full feeling on less food.

Manage your stress

It’s easy to feel stressed during the holidays. Focus on the positive and take some time to have fun and relax, meditate and simply rest. When you are around high stress relationships, this time out could really make a difference to your mental health.

Take the stairs 

Skip the elevator and escalator. Climbing stairs and walking as much as possible is a great way to burn extra calories while you’re out shopping. Plus, climbing stairs is an excellent functional exercise. And while you’re at it, get a few extra steps in by parking farther away from mall entrances. Go for walks with friends or family.

Beware liquid calories

Alcohol, cold drinks, smoothies and lattes taste great and go down easy, but they contain A LOT of calories – very often more than we realise. For example, a smoothie, on average, contains around 370 calories, 1.5 grams of fat and 90.1 grams of carbs. Again, moderation is key – opt for smaller sizes, select low fat options and limit how much you consume.

Drink water

Drinking water before your holiday feast will not only keep you hydrated but help keep you from overeating. It’s also a great way to curb snacking – people often confuse thirst for hunger pangs.

Use a healthier substitute

There are many easy recipe substitutions that can make your holiday recipes healthier without sacrificing flavour:

  • Use unsweetened applesauce instead of oil when baking
  • Use 1% or 2% milk instead of whole milk (or instead of cream when possible)
  • Use extra virgin olive oil instead of butter in savoury recipes
  • Use low-fat ground chicken instead of ground beef
  • Use low-fat plain yogurt in place of sour cream
  • Use a vinaigrette for your salad instead of mayonnaise
  • Cut the amount of salt in half and use herbs and spices for flavour

Do something for others

The holidays can be a tough time for people for a variety of reasons, but it’s also a great time to give a little back and do something to brighten someone else’s day. Plus, it can also be therapeutic for you. So, get in the spirit of the season and spread some holiday cheer.

Don’t forget to workout

Try your best to step away from the “I’m too busy to workout” mindset during the holidays and prioritise your exercise. If you are going away for the holidays, pack your running shoes, resistance band and your skipping rope. Book 30 minutes every day to exercise.

How many calories did you say?!

I found this very handy info graphic to help you decide if you REALLY want that Christmas treat or not. (If you really, really do, I won’t judge you, but you will at least be making an informed decision about it.)

Calorie dense Christmas food

Happy holidays!

Elsabe Hunter


Elsabe is a strength coach at Fit.STRONG Coaching. She is a fully qualified, REPSSA registered Personal Trainer who believes that age is irrelevant and fitness is for everyone. She specialises in sports specific training and conditioning, weight loss, rehabilitative exercise and functional fitness. Read more about Elsabe here

More articles