Updated 17 December 2013

Festive season slimmer's guide

The festive season, with all its indulgences, is upon us. But what if you're trying to lose weight? Weigh-Less has a few useful tips on how to survive the next few weeks.


The festive season, with all its indulgences, is upon us. But what if you're trying to lose weight?

Weigh-Less has a few useful tips on how to survive the next few weeks:

  • On a hot summer's day, carry a bottle of water with you. Even better, keep some bottles of water in the freezer overnight. In the morning, you can take a bottle or two with you to ensure you have access to icy cold water during the day.
  • Make use of your commitment-free time to put in as much physical activity as possible.
  • When lounging around the pool, get in and do some aqua-aerobics.
  • Take fresh food, sandwiches and ice water with you to the beach. You are less likely to fall into the ice-cream trap and will leave the beach feeling vitalised and not light-headed.
  • If hosting a family lunch or dinner party, make salads a main feature on your menu.
  • Instead of the traditional red meat braai, try a fish braai – it is far healthier and a delicious alternative.
  • Add vegetables such as butternut, onions and pumpkin to your braai. They are delicious and will help you to cut back on the portions of protein and carbohydrates on your plate.
  • When visiting friends for a braai or dinner party, have a small snack beforehand. It is often a few hours before the main meal is served and a small snack will help curb your appetite for the crisps and dips that are often available.
  • Fresh crudités, crackers and cottage cheese and vegetable cocktails make a wonderful sun-downer alternative to high-fat crisps and cocktails.

Hints on including alcohol in your diet:

  • Always eat before drinking. Drinking on an empty stomach causes the alcohol to be absorbed much quicker, resulting in that light-headed feeling sooner.
  • When you arrive at a party or a restaurant, order a glass of water immediately to help quench your thirst rather than downing an alcoholic beverage.
  • Alternate alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. For example after a glass of wine, order a soda.
  • If you are drinking wine, dilute it with some water, sparkling mineral water or a soda to make it last longer. Also add a few cubes of ice to white wine to make the glass go further.
  • Ensure that the mixers you use are low in energy. Soda water or mineral water are ideal mixers.
  • Don’t order doubles in bars. Instead, always order the smallest possible measure. Be particularly aware of measures at home as the tots are usually far more generous.
  • Stay away from sweet wines and creamy liqueurs. These provide a load of extra energy in the form of cream and sugar.
  • Be aware of cocktails and party punches – they are usually very high in energy.

And remember - never drink and drive!

(Information supplied by Weigh-Less)

Read more:

Kilojoule bomb in your beverages
Planning healthy snacks
Survive the silly season


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