If you want to outsmart the silly season, here are some festive season healthy eating hacks to help you stay on track with your health goals…

It’s easy to get caught up in the whirl of end-of-year celebrations, overindulge in rich foods and skip workouts.

However, if you want to avoid the holidays becoming an extended binge, here are some strategies from a team of registered dietitians – ADSA (Association for Dietetics in South Africa) – to help you enjoy the festive season without tipping the scales:

Move it, move it

Keep to your exercise routine as far as possible.

“If you are going away and can’t get to your regular gym or classes, find alternative physical activities.  Being on holiday with more free time means that you can actually increase the frequency and duration of your daily exercise,” says dietitian Mpho Tshukudu.

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Dietitian Julie Perks says that you should make the most of the summer and get outdoors to do fun exercise as a family. 

“Regular swimming, walking, running, cycling and family games and sports help to balance the season of extra indulgence.”

Quick fat-burning HIIT workout

Watch what you drink

All calories count – including those in your drinks.

“Alcohol can be very high in energy and added sugars, especially if you’re having festive cocktails or G&Ts. You can limit your alcohol intake or try the new zero alcohol options that are becoming a healthy lifestyle trend,” advises Perks.

Tshukudu suggests spritzing wine with sparkling water, and drinking water between glasses of alcohol.

“Be mindful too of your non-alcoholic drinks. Make your own home-brewed iced tea flavoured with herbs such as mint and lemongrass, as well as fresh fruit like watermelon, berries and peaches.

Weight loss reality check: Holiday diet dos and don’ts

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While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.