5 steps to survive party season without gaining weight

By on December 4, 2017


5 steps to survive party season without gaining weight

5 steps to survive party season without gaining weight

Manny Noakes bodyandsoul.com.au

A CSIRO professor shares her golden rules.

Photo: iStock

Summer time usually means party time which means unhealthy food choices and the potential for weight gain. Here Professor Manny Noakes, Research Director for CSIRO's Food and Nutrition Flagship and co-author of the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet, shares her top tips on how to survive the silly season without gaining extra baggage.

1.Don’t just count kilojoules

Restricting your kilojoule intake is a sure-fire way to lose weight, but cutting back indiscriminately can lead to an unbalanced, unhealthy diet. Noakes recommends a focus on food groups rather than kilojoules counting. Ensuring you include foods from each of the essential food groups each day, is a better way to get healthy.

“It is a much easier approach because you get optimal nutrients without having to learn the kilojoules of hundreds of different foods,” Noakes says.

The essential food groups include protein foods such as meat, fish, chicken and eggs; dairy foods; low GI grains and cereals; fruits and vegetables, and healthy oils such as spreads and nuts.

2. Limit indulgences

Thirty-five per cent of the average Australian’s diet comes from “discretionary” foods with little nutritional value, such as alcohol, chips, lollies and cakes. That adds up to a whopping 2500-3500 kilojoules a day.

“If you want to lose weight, limiting indulgences can have a dramatic impact over a period of time.”

Try limiting yourself to one small indulgence per day (see below), or seven in a week, to give yourself a small reward for eating well.

1 small indulgence equals:

  • 100ml Wine
  • 4 squares of chocolate
  • 1 fun size packet of potato chips
  • 1 scoop of ice cream
  • 1 chocolate biscuit

3. Stand every hour

It's important to increase your everyday activity to help prevent weight gain and a good place to start is limiting the amount of time you sit per day.

Noakes recommends looking for opportunities to get off the couch or office chair and move wherever possible. For example taking the stairs, having short stand-up meetings at work, standing up when you take a phone call, or standing at parties rather than sitting.

“Simply making an effort to spend less time sitting down and stand every hour can improve your health.

4. Manage your appetite

During the festive season it’s hard to say no to holiday nibbles and cocktails or that extra snag at the weekend BBQ. Proactively managing your appetite with a higher protein, low GI diet can help prevent poor choices.

“Protein controls appetite and low GI carbohydrates sustain energy, so having a light meal of 100g of lean protein food with a slice of grainy bread one hour before a party can help keep hunger in check,” says Noakes.

5. Sign up for a formal healthy eating plan

There is evidence showing that people who seek support in their weight loss efforts do better than those who go it alone.

“We know that people who take part in weight loss programs find it easier to reach their goals,” Noakes explains.

“The support that people receive and the regular weight checks contribute to some of that success. The type of eating plan can also make a difference and a higher protein low GI plan has the best evidence for sustained weight loss success."



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