Maintaining a healthy diet when you're faced with tempting food at Christmas parties, office birthdays, holidays and family reunions can be hard.
In fact, 50% of our members said social events were the number one reason their diet derailed. Other culprits included disruption of routine, eating out and the inability to resist temptation.
So, is it possible to eat, drink and be merry this festive season and not derail your diet?
The answer is YES.
Here are 7 simple tips (including some delicious recipes) to enjoy a packed social season while maintaining a healthy diet.
1. Healthy Swaps
You don't have to avoid all festive food when you're out and about but you should consider making some healthy swaps. Instead of the cheese and processed meats platter, fill your plate with fresh fruit, unsalted nuts and veggie sticks. Order a side salad instead of fries and choose a brown whole grain dinner roll over a white one.
2. Plan your alcohol
One alcoholic drink won't derail your diet, but most people don't stop at just one when they're out. If you're going to be socialising a lot this holiday season, try to alternate each alcoholic drink with a glass of sparkling water and lime.
Learn more: Tips to drink less this Christmas
3. Do a morning workout session
Getting up early and doing a morning workout frees up the rest of your day to enjoy any social activities you have planned. Also, by starting your day well, chances are you’ll want to keep up your healthy efforts for the rest of the day!
4. Provide the food
If you're worried there will be nothing at the party to eat, why not offer to bring a plate of delicious, healthy treats. We have recipes like our Lemon Cheesecake Bliss Balls, Black Bean and Dark Chocolate Brownies and Summer Pudding that will not only delight the guests but also keep you on track.
5. Order small and order smart
You won't always have the option to bring food, so when out, order dishes that are high in protein to keep you fuller for longer. Choose meals like a grilled steak and vegetables, or an egg, lean meat or legume based meal with a side salad (dressing on the side). Alternatively, if you know you're going out after work or in the evening, fill up on nutritious food at home so you'll be less tempted to overeat!
6. Use your indulgences
Here at CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet, we believe treats - in moderation - are part of a healthy diet! If you know you've got a social event coming up, save up your treats throughout the week. That way you can enjoy your party and truly savour everything you eat.
Learn more: Healthy Indulgences
7. Don’t give up
If you have a few days where you go completely off track – don't stress. Enjoy your events, relish the time with your friends and family and remember that this isn't a regular occurrence. As long as your eating is on track the rest of the week, it really shouldn't put a dent in your diet.
Want to learn more about losing weight? Read our comprehensive guide on weight loss to understand where to begin, what happens when you lose weight, and what doesn't work when it comes to dieting.