Monday, November 8, 2010

5 ways to beat the silly season

Used to be that the Christmas festivities were restricted to the last two weeks of the year, but now they seem to start as early as October – advertising, greetings cards and the inevitable office ‘do’.
So, as we start only the second week in November, the silly season is well and truly upon us – too much eating and drinking, too many parties and not enough sleep! Here are a few suggestions to help you stay healthy and in control.

Moderate alcohol – this is obvious, isn't it? Alcohol provides calories with no nutritional benefit. Try alternating alcoholic drinks with diluted fruit juice or water. Why not offer to be the ‘duty driver’? Don’t drink and drive. And don’t let anyone who has been drinking drive you!

Eat before you go – especially if you are going to be drinking, have a protein snack or shake first. There will probably be snacks available at the function, but usually these will be very high in fats and salt. Even if you are going to a dinner function, eating first will stop you feeling shaky when the meal is later than the time you usually eat as well as help you make wiser choices and moderate portion sizes.

Walk away from the table – avoid standing near the buffet or snacks table. There is bound to be food that you find irresistible, and it’s so easy to snack without thinking – or even realising – that you’re doing it.

Arrive (fashionably) late, leave early – this is a simple and effective way to limit your exposure to alcohol and food. You still have to get up in the morning. A good night’s sleep (at least your usual number of hours) is essential for a healthy lifestyle.

Drink water – through the evening and before going to bed. Alcohol is dehydrating – a factor contributing to a hangover.

If you follow these suggestions, you will probably end the festive season feeling better than ever.

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