How to maintain a balanced diet during the festive season

x-mas tree Christmas is just around the corner!

It’s that time of the year again when we get together with our family and friends and celebrate the festivities with happiness, camaraderie and joy!

However we all know the ‘holiday spirit’ can sometimes lull us into a sense of carefree abandon, leading us to indulge in excessive amounts of food and drink that could prove unhealthy. More often than not, we are more likely to consume food served outside of our homes during the season - at parties or at restaurants – where the food and drink may be served in larger portions and include higher quantities of fat and salt than what would normally be prepared at home. The season is also a time for ‘merry-making’ where we tend to consume more alcohol than usual - this could also result in a significant increase in our daily calorie intake. So for many of us, maintaining a healthy diet during the festive season is a real challenge! However we have some useful tips to help you ensure that your health remains a priority this month:

Moderation
Consuming food and drink in moderation is key

  • Use a smaller plate - your mind will consider it a full plate regardless of its size.
  • Where there are choices, take a little of many things rather than lot of one item.
  • For every glass of alcohol or soft drink, have a glass of water. Make your own mixed drinks with real fruit juice instead of canned drinks.

Alternatives
Always look for the healthier alternative to prepare and consume

Vegetables

  • Keep vegetables as close to raw as possible. Don’t overcook them.
  • Consider a salad rather than baked-in-fat vegetables.
  • Use spices and herbs to flavour vegetables, not butter or creamy sauces.
  • Steam vegetables rather than boiling them, this makes it healthier and tastier.

Meat

  • Trim as much fat as possible from meat before cooking.
  • Season meats with lemon juice or mixed with garlic and herbs
  • Grill the meat instead of roasting or frying.
  • Make a choice of seafood than meat.

Desserts

  • Use a fruit platter or fresh fruit salad instead of a pudding, etc.
  • Make  cake with pureed fruit in place of some oil or butter (instead of one egg, try using two egg whites)
  • Fruit mixed with yoghurt is a better choice than ice cream.

So now you’re better equipped to enjoy the season's festivities with happiness and wellness. Have a Merry Christmas!