10 Tips for Navigating Your Year-End Functions


December is only a week away! There seems to be a frenzied rush to get everything done before the silly season sets in and everybody downs tools for a hard earned rest. In other words, it is business as usual for this time of year!

The festive season seems to be starting earlier every year and everyone from your boss to your vet is having a year-end function! And food is a big part of these functions, not to mention the drink. What we need to remember is that just because we are going to more functions than we normally do during the rest of the year, it does not mean that we can, or should completely let go. The event is just that, an event. It is a once off that doesn’t need to influence your daily routine for longer than the day it is on. We should still eat normally in between.

But, I hear you asking… what about the champagne? The festive season lends itself to greater indulgence in alcoholic beverages. It is after all a time to be merry! We need to remember, though, that if we are watching our weight, all alcoholic beverages give us empty calories and reduce our ability to say no to all of the tempting treats. It is also important to remember that binge drinking comes with its own set of health problems. See my previous article: Alcohol: Pros and Cons
So, what can you do to navigate your way through your year-end functions?

10 Tips for navigating your year-end functions
  1. Continue to eat regularly. Regular meals help to stabilise your blood sugar levels, making it easier to control how much you eat and to say no to too many tempting treats.
  2. Eat lighter meals throughout the day when you are going to a function in the evening. At the end of the day, it is the number of calories you consume that will have an influence on your weight, so if you happen to eat most of your calories at a function and less during the day, you still have a good energy balance for the day.
  3. Indulge in your favourite treat, but have a smaller portion. You don’t need to watch everyone eating all the “good stuff”. A little goes a long way. After the first few mouthfuls, the taste of the food is less intense.
  4. Load up on vegetables and salads. Make half of your plate vegetables or salad, a quarter starch and a quarter protein. If your plate is full of veggies, there is little space left for the more indulgent foods.
  5. Share! "Sharing is caring" (cringe!) An extremely overused phrase if you have small children, but it definitely applies to maintaining your dietary goals over the festive season. Don't be shy to share large portions of food with someone else who cares about their health and weight.
  6. An enormous number of calories come from our drinks, especially during the festive season. To reduce the number of calories, add sparkling water to your wine to make a spritzer.
  7. Drink a glass of water between each alcoholic drink. This will make it easier for you to stay under the blood alcohol limit, too.
  8. Stay hydrated! In our hot climate it is most important to ensure that you continue to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water everyday. If you are drinking more alcohol there is a good chance that you will be more dehydrated than usual. Drinking water will help to keep you feeling healthy.
  9. Avoid sugar-filled drinks.
  10. Choose sparkling water with lemon or mint or other fruit infusions - see my previous article: Rethink Your Drink: Drink Water
It is not only your weight that is effected by over indulging during the festive season, your general health takes a knock as well. Even if it is just increased heartburn, your body has to make adjustments in order to deal with it. Better to keep the indulgence to a minimum, but really enjoy your favourite treats!

I hope that you all make it comfortably to the end of the working year!

Wendy Signature
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