My top 3 advice for the festive season
December 10th 2020
Lately, almost all the patients I see at the clinics are worried about Christmas. They have made changes to their diet, lost weight and they are scared that the festive season will cancel out all their effort of the last week or months. So I thought I could share with you all my top 3 tips for the holidays, and the first one is by far the most important
1. Have fun, enjoy the company and savour the food
Are you surprised that this is my first and most important advice? I’m not the kind of dietitian who will tell you to have only one teaspoon of butter or not more than 3 mouthfuls of cake. Why? Because this is annoying / boring / frustrating / ineffective. Food is more than calories. It’s also a source of pleasure, it’s comforting, it’s sharing with loved ones. You don’t want to feel restricted for the end of the year celebrations, do you? So go to that party, don’t be anxious about eating too much of this or that and enjoy yourself! Christmas is not every day and I think we need to celebrate the end of this weird and hard year that was 2020. Now, if you have parties and gatherings for 2 weeks straight, read the following tips and put them in practice
2. Balance your party meal with the rest of your day
Your body is like a car, to function it needs fuel and this is the role of food. If you fill up your tank, it will take longer to empty it. If you only put $10 worth of fuel, you will be able to fill it up soon. Do you see where I am going with this analogy? We need to balance out the overall intake of food. If you know you will have a big lunch, have a small breakfast. This is only filling your tank enough to make it through till lunch. Then, because your tank will be full from that big lunch, you won’t be very hungry for dinner so time to have a small meal. What if you have a big dinner? It will probably take you longer to feel hungry the next morning, because your tank was fuller. The last piece of advice is for late events. If you know you won’t eat till later than usual (7, 8, 9 pm), have a little snack before you go or around your usual dinner time. This will save you from overeating at the party because you were starving (you know that feeling of “I can’t get enough” because you let it too long without food).
3. Follow your hunger and fullness cues
Aka your hunger and satiety signals. This means to stop when you had enough. Even if the food is delicious, you don’t need to get to the point of feeling sick or undoing your pants. Trust me, you will have a much better time if you stop before eating too much. And so what if you do? If it’s only a one-off then it means that your tank will be full for longer. It will probably take longer for you to be hungry for the next meal.
Et voila! Don’t stress and enjoy yourself!
Tracy L’Allier Ebacher
Accredited Practising Dietitian
I am am passionate about mindful eating, cooking, sustainability and minimalism. I can help you achieve your health goals without an over restrictive diet.
I am based on the Gold Coast and offer consultation in medical centres or at home.