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10 ways to survive the fat season

10 ways to survive the fat season

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Indulge, celebrate - and be slim for the New Year with this practical guide to surviving the festive season.

In the shopping centres

Park and walk – Ease the stress of fighting for a parking space and burn more calories by parking further away. If carrying bags across to your car in the heat isn’t your idea of fun, then go ahead and snag a prime spot, but then walk around the mall to enter on the opposite side while you're still unburdened! Furthermore, don’t let the holiday nerves lead to diet disasters: plan a stress break and schedule an appointment for a pedicure and foot massage – your feet and figure will thank you for it.

Pack a snack – One sniff of the fresh samoosas from the café you're bound to pass can be irresistable when your tummy’s getting empty. So, plan your own home-made indulgences such as dried or fresh fruit, a muffin or a few crackers to keep your appetite at bay.

On the home front

Take 10 – Do sit-ups while the children are watching TV, or set the timer, crank the tunes and jog, climb the stairs or boogie while the dinner is in the oven. Working out for a mere 10 minutes three times a day has the same toning and calorie-burning benefits as a single half hour session – and it’s easier to fit into a hectic schedule.

Chew gum while baking – Keep your mouth busy and you'll be less likely to sample your creations. If you have to dip in, melt a chocolate chip in your mouth – it gives a blast of pure heaven with only a few calories.

Keep the lid on the sweets – When well-meaning guests present you with boxes of chocolates, don’t feel obliged to open them and dive in. Instead, thank them by saying that you need something fancy to put out on Christmas Day. Take any unopened boxes to work in the New Year.

At the party

Arrive satisfied – Snack on a cup of fat-free yoghurt beforehand. The protein it supplies is supersatisfying and can help you eat less.

Move away from the buffet – Serve yourself, then move to the opposite end of the room, so you won’t be tempted to keep eating. Here’s a sneaky but surprisingly effective trick: hold your drink in your right hand if you're a ‘rightie’ and vice versa. It will make grabbing food a bit more difficult, so you'll eat less.

Read your napkin – If hors d’oeuvres are circulating, use a fresh napkin for each one. Before you reach for seconds, check your napkin for grease spots. If the paper is soaked through, or the spot is huge, make a different selection next time.

At your feast

Forget the fruit cake – Instead serve fruit. There's a delicious variety of fruit at this time of the year, so there's no excuse. Try sliced mangoes with a yoghurt topping or grill peach halves and serve them with a light ice cream or sorbet.

Keep the fun coming – You may be able to skip dessert entirely by opting to play some board games or going for a stroll together. The break could also help to dampen your appetite.

For Christmas tips, recipes and other fab ideas, visit www.picknpay.co.za/christmas

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