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Battle of the festive bulge!

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By Catherine Burns

Just back in from the America's Cup celebrations and despite Belle heckling the speeches we had a lovely time.

When I say “lovely”, I mean I survived without an injury despite all Belle's efforts to the contrary.

I almost lost my eye to her flag but I suppose that was always a risk. Four year olds and flags are a dangerous combination. However the lentil chips in my hair were a surprise. She was on my shoulders having a snack and it's amazing how many crumbs missed her mouth. I thought the days of jammy handprints on my top and Cheerios crushed into my trousers were gone. Apparently not.

With the LH in the Bahamas “working”, I came close to a mummy meltdown. I was saved by my clever friend and wine in a sippy cup. Hooray!

By the time we went home I had a major case of the warm and fuzzies.

Having only drunk a few sips (gulps?!) it must have been the Front Street atmosphere at work. With Christmas lights, positivity and optimism in the air, it was a great start to the festive season and my favourite time of year. Despite the cold sweat I get every time I walk past a wall of Quality Street, I love Bermuda's Christmas in all its cassava pie-making, rum-drinking glory.

It doesn't have to be a nutrition nightmare if you follow these quick tips. Most people gain at least 5lbs over the holidays and struggle to lose it.

Here's how to avoid the battle of the bulge.

Make sure it's worth it

Ever demolished a dessert that you didn't even really enjoy? Make sure it's worth it! Stop and think about what you are doing. If you have to have something deep-fried and sugary then I hope every bite is delicious. If it's not, stop eating before you proceed on autopilot.

Pick your events wisely

If you have a lot of events coming up, pick and choose when to let your hair down. It would be a shame to overdo it at something you were obliged to go to and then feel guilty or depressed about dinner out with good friends. Plan ahead and try and spread out the madness.

Don't go to a party hungry or thirsty

Sounds pointless? Maybe. But it's a great tactic for the obliged-to-go events. If you are well hydrated and full of good food, you will be less likely to go crazy on the canapés. I have learned the hard way that arriving at a party thirsty is a fast-track to hangover hell so drink a bottle of water en route.

Contribute something healthy

It's tempting to break out your signature dish when you go to a potluck type party. But if you want to have a healthy option, make sure you take one! Guacamole and non-GMO corn chips, home-made hummus (go fancy with your flavours), a lean grass-fed beef chilli or a quinoa salad are all tasty options. If you are baking, try the Christmas Morning muffins from last week.

Designate yourself as the driver

You can't drink too much if you have to drive home. Many of us see party food as the worst offender but in reality the alcohol can be just as bad. Even if you don't drink alcohol, be careful, fruit punch, sodas and other non-alcoholic options can be super-sweet. Go easy and stick to sparkling water instead of mainstream soft drinks.

Have a plan for the New Year

If you prefer to go all-out at Christmas, or simply find it impossible to resist, at least make a plan for the New Year! Set a date for reigning it all in. When the day comes, clear out the leftovers and chocolates and start again. Sign up to a nutrition programme to give you fresh perspective. I have two Nutrifit classes in January, with both daytime and evening options. Roll with the tradition of New Year resolutions and check Facebook for details!

•The advice given in this article is not intended to replace medical advice, but to complement it. Always consult your GP if you have any health concerns. Catherine Burns BA Hons, Dip ION is the managing director of Natural Ltd and a fully qualified nutritional therapist trained by the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in the UK. Please note that she is not a registered dietitian. For details, please go to www.natural.bm or call 236-7511. Join Catherine on Facebook: www.facebook.com/nutrifitandnaturalnutritionbermuda

Healthy option: Quinoa salad will delight your taste buds
Tasty: Why not try Guacamole with non-GMO corn chips?

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Published December 05, 2014 at 7:00 pm (Updated December 05, 2014 at 7:00 pm)

Battle of the festive bulge!

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