Eat, drink and be HEALTHY this festive season!

It’s that time of year again, the silly season… a time to be merry and a time to overindulge. But with Rochez O’Grady’s festive season tips you won’t be packing on the pounds this December. 

Festive functions and parties provide us with a wide selection of delicious treats and alcoholic concoctions we all find hard to resist. This often leaves many of us with nothing but an increased waistline, leading to stern New Year’s resolutions. It is possible to enjoy these occasions without the unwanted extra kilos (not to mention the tortuous morning-after headaches).

Here are some top tips to stay in shape over the silly season:

  • Spoil your appetite – Never arrive at a function on an empty stomach. Eat regular meals and snacks throughout the day, and include a high protein snack before. This will help reduce your hunger and prevent you from diving into the snacks. A slice of multigrain toast with fat free cottage cheese, a Future Life Smoothie, a handful of lean biltong or nuts, and even a cup of veggie soup will do.
  • Drink lots – Of water that is! The summer heat, too many salty foods and too much alcohol can leave our bodies depleted of vital water stores.  Also, thirst can easily be confused for hunger causing us to eat unnecessarily.
  • Choose wisely – Party food is often fried and so high in fat and/or sugar, and when you combine these foods with alcohol you’re left with a recipe for weight gain disaster. Skip the sausage rolls, mini pies, pastries, chips and creamy dips and go for sandwiches with low fat fillings, fresh fruit, veggie sticks, pretzels, rice crackers, sushi, skinless chicken pieces, mini meat balls and salsa dip. And remember you are there for the people, not the food.
  • Step away from the food – Avoid standing too close to the buffet table and rather choose to chat to a colleague/friend standing away from the spread of food, this will make you less likely to pick mindlessly on high calorie foods.
  • Liquid calories – Alcohol is packed with calories and can quickly deposit itself on your waistline. Go for lower alcohol and/or calorie drink choices. Choose light beer/cider, wine/champagne spritzers (mixed with ice or soda water), single tots rather than doubles, spirits with fresh lime/lemon, lots of ice and soda water or mix them with sugar-free soft drinks and whenever possible avoid sugar-laden cocktails. Ensure you always have a glass of water next to your alcoholic drink, and alternate between the two.
  • Sleep well – Make sure that even with all the partying going on you are still getting 7-8 hours of sleep most nights. Poor sleep can equal weight gain due to a hormone (called leptin) not being adequately replenished in our blood. During periods of sleep deprivation low levels of this hormone cause us to eat more the following day.
  • Run, baby run! – Don’t let your exercise plan slip by the wayside. If you want to indulge in those few extra treats, exercise is a great way to maintain your weight by helping you burn off the extra calories. For instance if you have an extra glass of champagne, try go for a 20-30 minute ride the next day, take the dog for a walk or get involved in a backyard cricket game with your kids.
  • Enjoy yourself – Last but not least. Remember to bear in mind that it is a season of family reunions, fun and celebrations. If you go into the season trying to lose weight and only manage to maintain your weight through the festivities that is still a great achievement.

Beautiful Beetroot

I’ve always thought that Beetroots are good for us – they must be that colour for a reason. And guess what I was right, because according to ExeterUniversity, drinking beetroot juice a few hours before training can help you get more out of your workout.

Those who drank half a litre of beetroot juice were able to ride 20% longer than those who drank the blackcurrant placebo. Researchers think that more nitric oxide in your body, which is a by-product of nitrate from beetroot, helps your body use oxygen more efficiently.

On top of that, the antioxidant, beta cyanin, which gives beetroot its beautiful colour, speeds up detoxification in your liver. After a big night out it will help you get rid of the toxin quicker, helping you feel as beautiful as you thought you looked the previous night.

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