HEALTH COMES FIRST: Top tips from a Warwick dietician to help you feel and look your best this summer.
HEALTH COMES FIRST: Top tips from a Warwick dietician to help you feel and look your best this summer. Thinkstock

How your palm and a list can help you stay healthy in summer

A LITTLE treat here or there doesn't hurt, but with temptations at every holiday gathering and shop-front it can be difficult to keep our health in check over the summer holidays.

Whether it be the lure of ice-cream in hot weather or the box of chocolates your colleague brings in after Christmas, the opportunity to over-indulge is never far away.

Warwick dietician Elia Faa said there were a few ways to stay healthy while still enjoying the holidays.

1. Beware the buffet

OVEREATING is all too easy when it comes to smorgasbords and buffets according to Ms Faa.

"Try to eat to your appetite and beware of not to overfilling your plate or going back for seconds and thirds,” she said.

Ms Faa recommended using your hand as a guide for how much to eat.

"Have a palm-sized serve of meat, a fist-sized portion of starchy vegetables and carbohydrates and two cupped hands of veggies and salads,” she said.

"If you're tempted to get seconds, use a smaller plate and limit your portions.”

2. Make a list, check it twice

NOVELTY items dressed up in fancy packaging could be a trap that blows your budget and your kilojoule balance, Ms Faa said.

She recommended writing a shopping list and factoring a couple of small treats before heading off to the supermarket.

"Try to stick to your shopping list and keep in mind your trolley should still be mostly fruits and vegetables from the fresh food isles,” she said.

3. Keep up the good stuff

IF YOU gave up smoking or took up walking twice a week at the start of the year, don't undo all the good work.

As holiday season hits, it can be easier to drop the ball, but Ms Faa said it was harder to get back on track after breaking a good habit.

"Keep your routines as much as you can,” she said.

4. Something to 'beer' in mind

BOOZE is high supply during the festive season, but Ms Faa said it was good practice to have at least two alcohol-free days each week.

She said people should not consume more than four standard drinks at one occasion in order to practice safe drinking and reduce the risk of alcohol-related injury.

"You can cut back on alcohol by diluting wine with soda water or using smaller glasses,” she said.

"Always hydrate with water or other non-alcoholic drink before you start consuming alcohol so you are not drinking out of thirst.”

5. Joyful movement

BESIDES burning off those extra calories you might be consuming at this time, Ms Faa said getting 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day helps reduce stress and tensions that are often present around the start of the new year.

"It is a time when things get busy and people can drop off the exercise,” she said.

"Whether you're hungover or in holiday mode it can be hard to motivate yourself.”

She recommended factoring fun, enjoyable activity into your holidays plans like cricket in the park or a stroll on the beach with the family.

"Playing with the kids is a great way to get moving,” she said.

6. Stress and coping

PUTTING too much pressure on yourself or family conflicts that come to a head affect your health as well so it's important to keep things realistic, know your limits and find time to unwind, breathe and relax.

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