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