Be prepared for the Festive Season

December is here, bringing with it holidays, precious moments to spend with our families and delicious meals. If you have remained focused on your Goal Weight during the course of the year, don’t let the traditional, Christmas temptations thwart a year of consistently pursuing good health.

It’s easy to let your guard down when faced with delicious rich gravies, roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, sweet cranberry sauces and those delectable trifles.  This does not mean that there is no fun to be had as there are lots of alternatives that are just as tasty and in keeping with traditional fare.

“Simply apply sound nutritional principles,” advises Mary Holroyd, founder and Chairman of Weigh – Less. “Let them guide you through the pitfalls that face us during the season that is generally associated with excess and gluttony!”

Being on holiday generally means more time on your hands. Use this time effectively and take advantage of the fantastic summer climate by spending time outdoors, participate in healthy activities that will maintain your exercise levels and burn off any kilojoules that may have snuck past your best defences, advises Holroyd.

Planning menus in advance will ensure that you have all the necessary ingredients to produce options that fit into healthy Eating Plans. There is an abundance of healthy, Weigh-Less recipes on their website, and these are designed to help you glide through the festive season guilt free. Try this Leg of lamb:

Leg of lamb

  • 1 Serve = 2 Protein + ½ Fat
  • Serves 8 – Best Choice recipe
  • 1kg leg of lamb
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 20ml Weigh-Less Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 sprigs rosemary
  • Salt and pepper
  • Trim all visible fat from the lamb. Using a sharp knife, make slits in the lamb and stuff with sliced garlic cloves and rosemary sprigs. Rub in olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place in a flat-bottomed cast iron pot, replace lid and place in a 180C° oven. Roast for 1½ hours, until juices run clear. Check every 15 minutes to see if the meat is burning. If it begins to burn at base, turn and add 50ml of beef stock.
  • Prep 10 min
  • Cook 1 ½ hours

Moroccan Chicken, Beef Stew with Sweet Potato Mash and Almond and Dill Crusted Fish are entrée options that meet all the requirements of healthy eating. Dessert options include tasty treats like Low-fat Tiramisu, Berry Vanilla Bread and Butter Pudding and Rooibos Milk Tart. Recipes for all these dishes are available on the Weigh-Less website at www.weighless.co.za.

Heidi Lobel, Weigh-Less dietician has recommended the following tips to help you maintain your goals:

  • It’s all about choice! Prepare your meals with healthy ingredients and load up your fridge and pantry with low GI and low-fat options. This will ensure that you enjoy meals with the same great taste, but with fewer kilojoules.
  • Carefully manage your portion sizes. Don’t pick whilst cooking, or have second helpings at meal times.
  • Never attend a function or family gathering feeling ravenous. You may be tempted to overindulge in poor food choices. Snack on fruit, lean biltong or low-fat yoghurt before you arrive.
  • Combine low-fat proteins with your low GI carbohydrates. This will help you feel fuller, for longer, and it can go a long way towards maximising weight loss.
  • Don’t expect to be perfect. If you overindulge at a specific meal, get straight back to following your healthy Eating Plan. Don’t let one moment of weakness ruin all of your progress.

Following this simple advice will ensure that you stay on track and enjoy a healthy, holiday season, and the opportunity to start 2015 with an advantage!

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