How to enjoy the parties but not put on weight

Classes at the Rainbow Centre in Fareham

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With the party season well on its way here are a few helpful hints to help you prepare for all the food and drink and celebrating.

You really don’t have to overindulge. So have a read, follow the guidelines and know that you will be able to enjoy yourself without ruining all of your hard work.

1. Don’t even think about starting on the bread basket. One slice quickly leads to another and before you know it you’ve eaten the lot.

The same goes for any other snacks on offer

while you are looking at the menu.

You can eat them without thinking and have far more than you intended.

If you can’t deal with the temptation, ask the waiter to take it away.

2. If there’s a buffet, turn up late!

An untouched buffet table looks so tempting. But once everyone else has taken what they want, the food looks far less tasty.

This is never usually a problem for me as I am routinely late for almost everything.

3. Have soup as your first course.

Studies show that soup (broth based rather than cream, though) curbs your appetite, reducing your calorie intake during subsequent courses.

4. Double up on vegetables. Ask your waiter to leave out the potatoes, rice and pasta and give you twice as many vegetables.

Vegetables have a low energy density which means they fill you up on fewer calories.

5. Focus on protein. Choose a meal that contains a protein rich food, such as turkey, fish or meat, as protein

does a better job at filling you up than either carbohydrate or fat.

6. Have your sauce on the side. If a meal comes with a sauce or a dressing, ask for it on the side and simply dab your fork in the sauce.

This lets you enjoy the sauce but limits the amount. You will get some of the flavour with only a fraction of the calories.

7. Cut your meal in half. If you are into creamy pasta dishes then order it with a side order of vegetables.

Mix the vegetables into your meal and then just divide it in half, only eating half the portion.

Not only will you cut the calories almost in half, you will boost your intake of antioxidants and fibre.

8. You will also need to watch what you drink, especially when it comes to alcohol.

Alcohol contains empty calories and can stimulate your appetite as well as reduce any inhibitions

you might have about over-eating.

So you get hit twice – once from the calories in the

alcoholic drink and then again from the subsequent increase in appetite and calorie intake.

You don’t need to cut out alcohol completely. You should enjoy yourself after all.

But if you are trying to lose weight, cutting your intake

in half is a good place to start.

The simple way to do this is to alternate whatever you are drinking with water.

One alcoholic drink and then a glass of water after every one is a great way to enjoy yourself but limit your intake and not end up feeling terrible.

Also if you drink a glass or two of wine a night, try drinking every other night instead.

After this it shouldn’t be too difficult to cut down to once or twice a week.

So you can go and enjoy socialising over the coming weeks.

Let me know how you get on! E-mail nikki@challenge-fitness.com.