JanOne with a Difference: Top 10 Tips to combat overindulgence

JanOne with a Difference: Top 10 Tips to combat overindulgence

Here is a guest blog from Andrea our chief JSB Naturopath!

Hands up if you think that bloated, groaning bellies, loosened belt buckles, headaches and lethargy are an inevitable outcome of Christmas and New Year’s festivities? I don’t blame you – I used to think that way too! 

You start off in October/November with the best intentions of pre-summer body care to get that trim, toned summer figure you’d always hoped for, constructing strict rules around what you can and can’t eat  and how much you are allowed to eat.  All is going well, and then suddenly the Christmas get-togethers begin: work parties, friends BBQs, family gatherings…Temptations are thrust at you from all directions, and it would be rude to say no. Once your rules have been broken it can often lead to a downward spiral where the voice in your head tells you that you have no self-control and so you might as well give up, stuff yourself silly and then deal with it in January.  Just like that, all your good work can be unravelled in just four little weeks, living you feeling bloated, tired and disappointed with yourself on January 1st.  Sound familiar?

Well the good news is that it doesn’t have to be like that! The festive season can be fun, indulgent and carefree without expanding your waistline or boosting up your cholesterol levels. Below are some tips to set you on track for JanOne with a Difference!


  1. BE FLEXIBILE. Firstly, accept that it’s good to be flexible and it’s ok to indulge yourself a little. If you allow yourself the odd treat, you’ll find you enjoy them so much more and you won’t tend to overdo it. It is often the feelings of guilt, and the negative voice in your head saying that you have no self-control that leads you to lose self-control and completely over-eat.  Aim to eat well 80-90% of the time and this will balance out your treats.
  2. ENJOY your treats. When you do have a treat, enjoy it and eat enough to satisfy you without overindulging.  If you have a slice of cake, cut a medium sized slice, present it beautifully on a plate and enjoy it with the attention it deserves, savouring every mouthful, rather than guilty shovelling it down and pretending that you haven’t eaten it.  
  3. CONSCIOUS EATING IS KEY. Try to sit down while you eat and enjoy every mouthful so that your digestive system processes the food properly and knows when you are full.
  4. DON’T SKIP BREAKFAST. You will just end up eating more and making poorer food choices later in the day.
  5. BOOST YOUR GREENS. Have a salad or a bowl of steamed greens or a green smoothie before going out to a function.  And during the meal, pile those wonderful vegetables onto your plate – make half your plate greens! Veges will help to fill you up without the extra calories, as well as provide you with essential micronutrients to metabolise your meal, and fibre to help move it out the other end! 
  6. INCLUDE QUALITY PROTEIN AND HEALTHY OILS. Most Christmas treats tend to be high in sugar and simple carbs such as cakes, pastries, chips, biscuits, and chocolate. These cause your blood sugar levels to fluctuate wildly, creating energy highs and lows, and leaving you craving for more. By including some good quality proteins and oils such as nuts and seeds, or vege sticks with hummus and guacamole dip, you will help toward off those sugar cravings and will feel fuller and more energised through the day.
  7. PREPARE HEALTHY OPTIONS. Take a couple of bowls of delicious salads, or fruit salad to your Christmas BBQs and pile your plate high with these.
  8. STAY HYDRATED. Drink lots of water through the day as we often eat more when we are thirsty.
  9. IT’S OK TO SAY NO. Remember it is ok to decline food – a simple “no thanks I’m OK” is enough.
  10. CUT BACK ON SECOND HELPINGS. If you go back for seconds, make it half the size as your original helping.

Follow these tips and you will not only have a deliciously fun festive season, but you will cruise into January looking HOT and feeling GREAT!  I know you can do it!

Posted: Sunday 8 December 2013