Do’s and Don’ts this festive season


The holidays are here… Finally. It’s time to kick off those shoes, sit back and relax and enjoy this well deserved break. While a lot of us in this part of the globe head down to the coast and enjoy the outdoors, we’re inclined to eat and drink more over this period. The routines are broken and the bad habits sneak in. Others might be training for upcoming events like the 70.3 Half Ironman and the like. So I thought I’d chat to Futurelife dietician, Lara De Santana about her tips and tricks this festive season. Check out her responses below and be sure to try them out over this period:

1. Holidays are upon us and with that comes a lot of overindulgence. What tips do you have for those of us who might not have the discipline to avoid the festive bulge?

Portion control is key! Instead of completely avoiding those delicious treats and then devouring them in excess later, rather allow yourself a small slice.

Drink water!!!! It fills you up preventing you from overeating and it also slows down the drinking of other sugary and possibly alcohol containing drinks. You can also make them flavourful by adding some lemon, mint and even strawberries, homemade fruit lollies are also a great alternative here

Don’t overdo the starch: we don’t need potato salad, rolls, mealies and pasta salad on our plates (just because it says salad doesn’t mean it’s the most suitable thing)

Watch your snacks: chips and other fried, salty foods are unnecessary; put together some fresh fruit and veg platters with some homemade light dips

Eat breakfast: Yes, even in the holiday season it is still THE most important meal of the day! With late morning wake-ups we tend to wait until lunch, so rather squeeze in a low GI breakfast (such as FutureLife) and then delay lunch a bit

Try eat early, braai’s can really drag out late in the evening, so try braai first, socialize after;)

Watch for dressings, toppings and sauces: try make your own as far as possible so you can address what goes in there.

Yes, we all got our bonuses AND we are away or have guests over, but you don’t always have to eat out; rather try make as many meals as possible yourself

Try include some of your exercise routines in the festivities: touch rugby for the family outside, fun early runs on the beach in the morning and even an occasional dog walk

2. The midnight snack craze is another trend over this period. What should we be avoiding?

Anything you wouldn’t have for breakfast, sweets, juices and take aways

Stick to some fresh fruit, a glass of milk or even a yoghurt

3. We all have a guilty pleasure. What’s yours?

Lemon meringue and pancakes… not necessarily together;)

4. You’re given three things to take on holiday, what do you take with you?

A cute costume, tanning oil (sunscreen for those pale folk) and a good book


5. You’re hitting the road down to your favourite holiday destination. The Futurelife product you’re packing in your bags is? Why?

For me personally, FutureLife High Protein chocolate mixed with water. It’s a little bit lower in Energy and Carbohydrates, is low GI so keeps me fuller for longer especially for those long mornings on the beach and overall a little bit better for my waist size

5.1. How else can you consume this product?

I eat mine in porridge format but it makes for great smoothies and shakes, there are especially great refreshing summer smoothies on our website that satisfy most individuals’ preferences

6. A lot of people wont be exercising during this period, but I know I for one will be in the gym training hard. I find after a workout that I am ravenous and again the temptation to consume all things sweet and delicious is there. What should we be eating after a workout?

The temptation after your workout predominantly stems from what you have or haven’t eaten actually before your gym session, so make sure you’re consuming around 15g carbohydrates (per hour session) that are low GI around 1 ½ hours before (such as FutureLife SmartFood/Zero) and then after gym you still want some carbohydrates but a bit more protein for muscle repair and maintenance so something like a FutureLife High protein smoothie or even a glass of chocolate milk will suffice

7. There will also be a lot of people training for 70.3, Midmar Mile, 2Oceans Marathon and The Argus. What tips do you have for them this December?

Keep up your training (the last thing you want to do is completely stop), don’t be afraid to indulge a little and try eat clean where possible, take some time to rest and enjoy the festivities with your loved ones. Exercise is always best paired with good nutrition and rest so once again, everything in moderation

8. In closing, if there is one thing we should avoid and one thing we have to do this December, it would be?

One thing to avoid- sugary drinks with your meals; One thing to do- drink lots of water. Adding another thing to do: try take some time this holiday to explore your local areas and markets, it makes for great days out, isn’t too far from home, saves a bit of money and the latest artisan culture lends towards healthier, homemade foods and crafts

Author: Jason Von Berg

Digital content marketer. Mobile App Editor. Entertainment, travel and New York City lover. #Triathlete, #Ironman, health and wellness advocate, @Futurelifeza ambassador

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