Kickstart your health and wellness goals with these simple strategies.
While the holiday season was full of delicious temptations, there is no need to turn into the Grinch post-festive season. In fact, according to a large review paper published in The Journal of Obesity, people tend to gain less weight during the holiday season than previously thought – between 0.4-0.9kg. Nevertheless, there are some foolproof ways to avoid a blowout this season.
1. Eat intuitively
Maintaining your weight does not mean you need to deprive yourself of your favourite foods. Choose the foods you want to eat and be comfortable that you’re nourishing your body as you see fit. Listening to your body’s hunger and fullness cues will allow you to dictate how much you need to consume. The aim here is to eat enough until you feel satisfied, not overly full.
2. Move your body in a positive way
Dust off the sneakers, active wear, bathers or yoga mat – whatever takes your fancy. Doing any amount of activity is better than nothing. Exercise not only helps with weight control, but also leads to enhanced insulin sensitivity, better sleep, improved mental health outcomes and increased life expectancy.
3. Be a Teetotaler – well almost
At 29kj/g, alcohol is second only to fat in the kilojoule per gram stakes. It certainly packs an energy punch. For example, one glass of wine contains 450kj; a stubby of beer has 560kj while a gin and tonic has up to 600kj – that’s about two pieces of bread. If you’re going to have a tipple, keep it to a minimum and include non-alcoholic drink spacers such as mineral water in between. And be wary of soft drink and juice mixers, which can add up to another 300kj per glass; mixing your alcoholic drink with a diet soft drink or soda water is a simple way to reduce its energy content. In summary, you don’t have to abstain, but do be mindful of those extra liquid kilojoules.
4. Let it go
If you indulged a little more than you would have liked at a social event or on New Year’s Eve/Day, don’t beat yourself up over it. Jimmy Cliff summed it up perfectly when he sang, “Goodbye yesterday, welcome today”. There are no hangover cures; big greasy feeds will not make that headache disappear. Eat wholesome and nutritious foods and drink plenty of water to restore some balance. Consider doing some exercise, too.
Enjoy yourself this summer. Be mindful, get active and nourish your body as you see fit. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2018.
Joel Feren is an Accredited Practising Dietitian who applies the art and science of nutrition to help you better understand the relationship between food and health. For more, follow him here.
Game of Thrones workout by Bodyism’s James Duigan.