With the year swiftly drawing to a close, we pause each December to reflect on and enjoy time with family and friends. The focus of celebrating the December festivities often centres around food, lots of food. Who can resist the urge to overeat? Pre-Christmas drinks, Christmas parties, work functions….Tables piled high with braai meat, cooler boxes with wine and beer, and calorie laden desserts even tempt those with strong will-power. We aren’t likely to leave the dinner table hungry, and most of us will be left feeling stuffed and uncomfortable.

Whatever your food choices, try to make them healthy with some of my top tips:

Choose white meat over red meat. Red meat contains more fat and calories – so try and limit it to twice a week. Think fish, chicken and turkey!
Exchange bread or starch servings for extra vegetables. Fill at least half your plate with veggies, and try skip the creamed ones (they’re loaded with calories!).
Use the one layer rule. I don’t like to pile foods on top of the original layer – squeeze them close together if you must, but not piled high!
• Enjoy the beautiful summer weather by spending the days outdoors. Go on leisurely walks, or enjoy a good family game of soccer or rugby in the garden.
Slow down! The food isn’t going anywhere. Put the fork down, and join in on some conversations while taking sips of water in between. This sets you up for better digestion and gives yourself time to recognize when you are feeling full.
• Take some time to consider your splurges. Scan the buffet or menu and make thoughtful choices.
WATER. Drink plenty of it. (Check out this article: Don’t Make Pour Decisions)

There is always a way to lighten the calorie load of any traditional recipe during the December holidays. Top your meal with a nice family walk, and you will be feeling ready to start 2020 on a healthy note!

Wherever you may be this December, have a good one!

Shani
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