Once Melbourne Cup day has arrived, it is literally just a week or two until party season is upon us. This also tends to mean a whole lot of eating, drinking and being merry, the side effect of which is inevitable weight gain. So if your ultimate goal is to keep as lean and svelte as possible over the next few weeks, here are the best ways to strike a balance between indulging whilst keeping fit and healthy:
Never arrive at an event hungry
One of the biggest issues when we head out for a few drinks and canapés is that we skip our regular meals and as such are starving when we arrive. We tend to then go on to eat everything in sight, including high fat, high calorie fried snacks and appetizers. The simple step of eating a protein rich snack such as some cheese and crackers, Greek yoghurt and fruit or a Bounce ball an hour or so before you head out will do wonders in helping to control your hunger and make better food decisions when you are at an event.
There is a big difference between a grilled prawn or chicken skewer and fried pastries and risotto balls. When you are drinking alcohol, the food you consume is less likely to be burnt off. Try to look for lighter, leaner options when making food choices at events. Good options include grilled seafood, sushi, vegetable based canapés and plain cheese.
Have some light days
At this time of year it is inevitable that you will overeat at some point, the key to weight control is to compensate your heavier days with some lighter ones. So when you find you have a quiet night or few days, focus your diet on salads, vegetables and light proteins such as grilled chicken and seafood to help buffer the extra calories you will be consuming on other days.
Practice slowing down
Often when we are socialising and distracted, we eat mindlessly and eat a number of foods and extra calories we do not really want or need. Simply slowing down and taking time to ask yourself each time the canapés are on offer, ‘do I really feel like eating this?’ is often enough to help you control the types and volumes of food you are eating.
Holidays and longer days are an opportunity to do more exercise, not an excuse to do less. Take advantage of the longer days by walking to and from as many places as you can, and when you know you have a few events on, prioritise a gym visit to help balance out the extra alcohol and party food calories. The more you move the better your body will feel and the less likely you will be to gain weight this party season.