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Healthy eating tips for the festive season

Mater’s dietitians offer their tips for the festive season to give you a head start on a healthy 2017:

  • The first bite is always the best—take time to eat slowly and savour what you are eating
  • Dining out—think ahead. If you know there is going to be more than one course of food, you don’t need to finish everything on your plate. Leaving the extra piece of garlic bread and after-dinner mint saves you approximately 1800 kJ and 22 g of fat
  • Alcohol—alternate alcoholic with non-alcoholic drinks. Alcohol contains empty calories and can loosen your inhibitions with eating and result in consumption of food you wouldn’t normally eat, such as chips or other deep fried snacks. Have a sparkling mineral water flavoured with fresh lemon or lime between drinks.
  • Shopping—carry a healthy snack in your handbag if you know you will be shopping for a few hours. A small packet of sultanas rather than a café-bought muffin will save you approximately 1800 kJ and 22 g fat
  • Plate size—use a smaller plate and take a little of everything rather than a lot of one item (this will ensure a balanced meal with a variety of nutrients)
  • Coffee breaks—choose a skim milk coffee and hold the extra syrups. Swapping a regular vanilla latte for a skim milk latte will save you approximately 800 kJ and 10 g fat
  • Christmas—remember Christmas is only one day. There is no need to overindulge for the two weeks prior and two weeks after Christmas. Allow yourself two or three days for this. A couple of days of overeating aren’t harmful, but consistently overindulging over a number of weeks can limit your ability to maintain a healthy weight

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