10 healthy eating tips for kiwis interested in eating well during the holiday season

Blood Orange or Tangerine as plant based diet for breast tenderness

10 Tips For Eating Well Over The Holiday Season

Many of us are interested in healthy eating habits over the holiday season. With so many barbeques and entertaining opportunities, clients often worry about a summer blowout. Remember it is ok to eat food that brings you joy. However, if you are wanting to eat well here are some healthy eating habits to support you when you socialising.

1. Eat in moderation

Tune into your hunger cues and notice when you’re reaching your limit. Overeating in one sitting can cause you to feel bloated and tired.

Follow the Japanese practice of “Hara Hachi Bu” of “Eating till 80% full” to minimise the risk of overeating and allow you to enjoy participating in your Christmas activities this holiday season.

Keep an eye out for future articles on intuitive eating and mindful eating.

2. Space out your meals

To prevent a bottomless hunger, you can regulate your hunger levels with regularly spaced out meals and snacks. This is useful for preventing overeating.

3. Increase activity

Enjoy the warmer weather by engaging in fun outdoor activities this holiday season. Regular movement and activity can support sleep as well as help with bloating experienced after some meals.

Summer is a great time to get out and get some vitamin D while enjoying movement that brings you joy. Just don't forget the sunscreen!

4. Reach for a portion of your leafy veggies

Increasing your fibre intake can help you feel fuller for longer.

An overlooked advantage of green vegetables is their sodium-balancing effect. High-sodium (AKA salt) containing meals can cause dehydration. Potassium facilitates sodium digestion in the body; potassium can be found in green veggies such as spinach, broccoli, or brussel sprouts.

Tip: Reach for a bunch of leafy greens with the Christmas ham.

5. Be mindful of your drink choices

Don’t feel like you have to drink alcohol at social events. Occasionally, opt for non-alcoholic drinks when you can. If you like sugar-free drinks then it's OK to enjoy them in moderation. These choices can support consistent blood sugar levels and save space for your meals or dessert instead.

Alternatively, try water with ice and a spritz of lemon juice. Speaking of which.....

6. Stay Hydrated

Alcohol can cause dehydration. If you are consuming alcoholic drinks be sure to have water regularly to prevent this. Also, remember to hydrate after drinking and before bed.

Tip: challenge yourself to have a glass of water for every standard drink of alcohol

7. Seasonal fruit and vegetables

Take advantage of seasonal fruit and veggies this summer to enjoy them at their peak tastiness, freshness and value!

Save money on seasonal produce such as:
Fruit: strawberries, cherries, capsicums, peaches, and watermelon.
Veg: asparagus, courgettes (zucchini), sweetcorn, cucumber, and celery.

If you are not sure what is seasonal we have a list of 5 fruits and vegetables that are in season that goes out on our Facebook and Instagram accounts each month.

8. Prioritise sleep

Aim for 8 hours of sleep each night. Sleep deprivation can not only deplete energy levels, but also your food choices. Your hunger hormones can cause you to crave more processed foods with sleep deprivation.

Getting adequate sleep can help you sustain energy levels throughout the day to reduce the chance of the 3 pm slump.

9. Don’t restrict yourself

Don’t be too hard on yourself this holiday season. Allow this time to become familiar with the types of foods your body craves, in moderation. Restriction can cause the brain to want the foods you prevent yourself from having more.

10. Seek Help From A Dietitian For Expert Healthy Eating & Lifestyle Advice

Nutrition & Life Dietitians can help with healthy eating advice year round. If you need help with maintaining a balanced diet our Dietitians have helped many kiwis with evidence-based nutrition advice. Summer social events can be a joyful time when you can relax with friends and family without worrying about food.

Invest in yourself with customised advice about eating well. Book a complimentary 15 minute consultation online with one of our New Zealand Dietitians to see how we can help.

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Nutrition & Life NZ Dietitians have done the hard work for you and studied nutrition at a tertiary level. They're experts at better nutrition for long-term results. Stop struggling and book your 45minute consultation with a NZ Dietitian today.

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