Beat the Bulge & Skip the Stress this festive season

December 16, 2015
Lyndall McAlpine
The majority of party calories we consume are not because we are hungry but emotional or social (or both), so a little preparation goes a long way. Here are a few tips to keep your health on track and make it a low-stress holiday season:


 Survival Tips for Party Time

  1. Have control of your menu!

    Don’t ask, “What can I bring?” Announce that you’re bringing a dish – bring a healthy dish you love and put that on your plate first.

  2. Decide in advance what you’re going to drink

    If you can’t bare a non alcohol night, try diluting the input. Make sure you have a bottle of water handy and “make” yourself drink a glass in between drinks. I find white wine spritzer is a great way to dilute alcohol consumption, especially in summer. I know it’s sacrilege to a good white but it’s for a good cause! Add lots of ice to start then keep toping off with soda water or more ice. If you are out, order a wine and a glass of soda water with ice.  You really don’t notice it being watered down after the first few sips and your head and body will thank you for it.

  3. Fill up with Vegetables

    If you are at a party with a lot of tempting food, try to start with healthy vegetables and salads, and good protein. These will fill you up and reduce the temptation to over-indulge on the junk. Just a taste of your holiday favourites should satisfy your taste buds. The worst thing you can do is start your meal or eating with the sugary snacks or junk food.

Dinner and Snack Tips

  • Make healthy snacks like dips with vegetable crudités. Here’s a few recipes for healthier partying here in my  TGIF post
  • Be careful with the cheese and cracker platter, kilojoules add up fast.
  • Seafood is healthy, low kj indulgence for an Australian Christmas
  • Go for baked potato – Even with a dob of butter it has fewer calories and less fat than a cup of cheesy scalloped or buttery mashed spuds.
  • Stay clear of the gravy – homemade gravy from pan drippings is high in kilojoules.
  • Popcorn is a great snack choice. Don’t use the microwave version as dangerous perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in bags can deposit on corn. Just a little oil in bottom of large saucepan does the trick. Add a little salt and serve or store for a healthier munchy option. You’ll get whole-grain fibre at just 267 Kj per cup.


  1. Plan ahead

    Stock up your fridge and pantry with healthy food, like ingredients for healthy dips nuts, vegies for crudités.  Here are a few Quick Recipes for healthier partying at my TGIF post 

  1. Keep moving
    Keep up with your regular exercise routine or better still increase your activity level as you indulge in a few festive treats. Walk as much as you can – take a walk with a family member or friend rather than catching up for a cuppa. Organise a family game of cricket, beach volley ball or walk on Christmas Day, a great way to work off that Christmas lunch chomotosis!
  2. Get a good sleep

    One of the simplest things to do to help you survive the holidays is go to bed and get your seven hours plus. This will help you make better food choices the next day. Lack of sleep affects our will power and hormone levels including the hormones that control appetite so your body may start craving the sugary foods that you just can’t control as well. Avoid heavy foods, sugary sweets and alcohol before bedtime as these can disturb your sleep. Give yourself a night off, or every other night off, to unwind and hit the sack early so you are truly refreshed for the next day instead of running on empty for the entire month.

  3. Don’t be super man/woman 

The month of December can still be a challenging one for most people. Too much to do in too little time is a recipe for high stress levels. Don’t Over-Commit, give yourself a chance to really enjoy the season and don’t try to please everyone. Decrease your load and enjoy the fewer commitments you make.Have a good excuse prepared and rehearsed so you’re not caught off guard by last-minute invitations. Do the best that you can without sacrificing yourself and don’t be ashamed to say no.Caveman doing yoga

  1. Chill Out and Breathe!

    Be aware of your breathing. If it becomes short and shallow, you know you are getting anxious and it’s time to take advantage of nature’s chill pill. Stop what you are doing and take a quick breathing break. Try deep tummy breathing for 5 minutes in the morning, as soon as you get out of bed. This will help soothe a stressed mind and body, and set a calmer tone for the day, even better if you continue this habit throughout the day.

  2. Start your day with a low GI, high protein breaky

    If you haven’t got time to sit down, make a quick “on the go” smoothie with good protein, fat and phytonutrients that will give a boost of vitamins and minerals, and you will have less temptation for the junk food throughout the day.

  3. Keep up with your vitamins

    They will help detox and support your immune system. Your liver may need a little extra love if you’re indulging in food and alcohol, so make sure to take a liver support supplement. I up the Hepasil before I get into bed after a big night.

  4. Be Thankful

    It is always good to put things in perspective and realise how lucky we are to have our health, family, friends, loved ones and the fact that we can celebrate.


Let’s face it we can try our best but the Festive Season is a tough time to survive fully in tact…
If you feel you would like to bless your body with a fresh start to 2019 come join my 10 Day FreshStart starting January 7th.


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Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!