Top of page
Dec 11, 2023

Stay fit and fabulous over the indulgence season

Tags: Ageing well, Staying Healthy

Christmas morning tea at Rosemount retirement village, in Brisbane

Image: Christmas high tea at Rosemount Retirement Village, in Brisbane South.

Christmas is a time to celebrate and indulge! While unrestrained indulgence can bring joy, it may lead to some unpleasant and regretful results in the new year. In this article, we'll share tips to help you enjoy the Christmas treats with no (or little) weight management regrets.

Bear in mind that there can be so many reasons for unexplained weight gain including medications, reduced activity, medical conditions such as fluid retention and bloating. Additionally, our food manufacturers like to keep us hungry and loving their product, so don't feel guilty.

- Lynette, WMQ Dietitian, Health and Wellbeing.

There are so many ways we can help you discover how to reach your health and fitness goals. Contact Wesley Mission Queensland Wellbeing team today.

 

  Embrace fresh and local produce

One of the advantages of celebrating Christmas in Queensland is the abundance of fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables, seafood and local produce. Instead of loading up on heavy, calorie-dense dishes, opt for lighter and healthier options. Incorporate plenty of fresh salads, tropical fruits, and vegetables into your holiday meals. This not only keeps your calorie intake in check but also ensures you receive essential nutrients and antioxidants to keep your body healthy.

For individuals over the age of 60, adequate calcium and vitamin D are especially important to maintain bone health.

As time goes by, we have the reduced ability to absorb nutrients such as calcium and Vitamin D.

– Lynette, WMQ Dietitian, Health and Wellbeing.

 

  Make water your best friend

When alcoholic beverages and sugary drinks are often flowing, staying hydrated is essential. Proper hydration can help control your appetite, making it easier to resist overindulging in high-calorie treats. Additionally staying well hydrated benefits: a healthy bowel, helps prevent falls, helps blood circulation and helps mind clarity.

Tip from Lynette, WMQ Dietitian, Health and Wellbeing:

Between alcoholic beverages try a ‘water chaser,’ soda water or mineral water. Alcoholic beverages are easy to consume and contain an extraordinary number of calories. Worth the thought. Half a bottle of wine has the same calories as a small meal!

– Lynette, WMQ Dietitian, Health and Wellbeing.

 

  Choose lean proteins

During your Christmas feasts, opt for lean protein sources like grilled fish, fresh local seafood, skinless poultry, and tofu. These options are not only delicious but also help to keep you feeling full and satisfied. Be mindful of portion sizes and avoid heavy, fatty meats that can lead to excessive calorie intake.

 

  Practice portion control

The temptation to overindulge during the holiday season is universal, so practising portion control is especially important. Smaller, more frequent meals can help prevent overeating and maintain your energy levels throughout the day. Consider using smaller plates to help with portion control and healthy grazing platters along the day to keep your hunger at bay.

 

  Limit sugary treats

Enjoy moderate amounts of Christmas sweets and desserts. Satisfy a sweet palate with small amounts and enjoy the fruits of the season. Opt for healthier dessert alternatives, such as fruit salads, yogurt parfaits, or small servings of your favourite traditional sweets. Reducing your sugar/carbohydrate intake will help prevent sudden energy spikes and crashes!

Tip: Less breads and bread rolls.

 

  Stay active with family and friends

Take advantage of the sunny weather and make sure to stay active during the holiday festivities. Whether it's a friendly game of beach volleyball, a morning swim, or a scenic hike, staying active will help burn off some of those extra calories consumed during festive gatherings. Plus, it's a fun way to create memorable holiday experiences with friends and family. Remember to keep hydrated and sun safe. Read more on ‘Keep cool this summer with tips from our ageing well experts’

 

  Choose wisely at social gatherings

Social gatherings are common during the holiday season, and they often involve tempting food and drinks. Make a plan before you attend parties and get-togethers. Decide in advance which foods you'll indulge in and which ones you'll enjoy in moderation. By being mindful of your choices, you can navigate social events without overindulging.

Tip from Lynette, WMQ Dietitian, Health and Wellbeing:

Bring along a plate. Tempting foods can be healthy especially if made at home.

– Lynette, WMQ Dietitian, Health and Wellbeing.

  Practice self-care

Listen to your body, and especially to that gut feeling! Family gatherings can be draining and even stressful. Make sure to take time for yourself and focus on doing simple things that recharge your batteries. This might be reading, enjoying nature, listening to music, playing with your pet, or watching TV. If you’re feeling too exhausted to go out or meet people, remember that you do have the power to say no. Setting up boundaries on your time and energy in order to care for yourself is perfectly OK.

 

  Don't forget about sleep

A good night's sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy weight, and it becomes even more critical as time goes by. with age. With all the festivities and late-night celebrations, it can be easy to disrupt your sleep schedule. Ensure you get enough rest, as sleep deprivation can lead to increased cravings for unhealthy foods.

 

Conclusion

While Christmas may bring a unique set of temptation challenges, it also offers fantastic opportunities to maintain a healthy diet. By embracing fresh, local produce, staying hydrated, and making mindful food choices, you can enjoy the festivities without the guilt of overindulgence. With a little planning and a focus on maintaining a balance between indulgence and health, you can have a joyful, active, and weight-conscious Christmas celebration in the sun.

Have a wonderful Christmas! 

 

Health and wellbeing at WMQ

Live longer and stronger

Our team of accredited exercise physiologists, allied health professionals and nurses are here to help you with tailored programs and therapies that support your health and social wellbeing needs. Explore our website or call us on 1800 448 448.