Yes, it’s that time of the year again. It’s holiday time for most of us, with lots of socialising, big meals and potentially a few extra kilograms by end of January. But it doesn’t have to come to that. If you follow these eating tips, you can keep your figure and your sanity and take on 2022 with a guilt-free attitude.

Control your portion sizes

Determine the right portion sizes for your meals and stick to them. If you overeat once in a while, that’s okay, but not all the time.

Spread your protein throughout the day

Quite simply, don’t eat the bulk of your protein at dinner. Make sure you spread it out by incorporating protein in all your daily meals.

Don’t eat just before bed

Your body needs time to digest the food you’ve consumed, and then you can rest. Give yourself two to three hours after your last meal and sleep time at night. And no snacking before bed either!

Make your own smoothies

When you make your own smoothies, you can incorporate an adequate amount of protein and fibre. Many store-bought smoothies don’t have enough in them, and you need both to help maintain your weight by feeling fuller for longer.

Eat when you are hungry

If you follow a balanced, nutritious diet, your body will let you know when it is hungry. Don’t feel forced to eat three big meals or six small meals per day. Sometimes you are not very active and you don’t need to eat a lot during the day. Also, stop eating when you are full. This is very important.

Be present when you eat

Remember to chew slowly and thoughtfully. Pay attention to your food. This means switching off the TV while you eat. When you are distracted, it can lead to overeating, as you don’t realise you’re full.

Avoid processed food

This is an obvious one, but always worth mentioning again. Chips, sugary cereals and fast food are loaded with extra kilojoules and unhealthy fats to improve their taste. Nothing beats a home-cooked meal that you can tastefully season with fresh herbs, spices, garlic and lemon.

Need help getting started?

Portion sizes, food budget challenges and expert eating tips: these are some of the things that dietitians can help you with, and much more! You can contact Tracy directly on 082 657 0700 or via email at tracydiet1@gmail.com. Tracy and her Associates are also available for one-on-one consultations. You can also learn more about the practice at www.tracyugarchund.co.za