Waiting is key to weight loss

LCHS health promotion officer Laura Duff said there were many strategies to avoid gaining weight during the holidays. photograph hayley mills
LCHS health promotion officer Laura Duff said there were many strategies to avoid gaining weight during the holidays. photograph hayley mills

If you found yourself binging on sweets and meats during the holiday season don't stress. You still have one more year to learn from the past.

Latrobe Community Health Service public health nutritionist Laura Duff said Australians on average gain between 0.8 and 1.5 kilos during the holiday period with most of the extra baggage coming from unhealthy food choices or excessive portion size.

Ms Duff said it could be a real struggle to control one's appetite when confronted with heaps of food on display but the key was to wait.

"Wait for 20 minutes before you go for a second serving of buffet," she said, adding that it takes around that time for the brain to signal that the stomach is full.

Ms Duff said there were other strategies that people could do to avoid gaining extra kilos aside from eating low fat and low protein food and munching on fruits and vegetables.

"We should limit eating food like chocolates, chips and heavily processed items. Rather than serving up meat you can get creative and make a plate of salads and side dishes," she said.

She also advised when going to a party to take a fruit platter just in case there was none available to provide some healthy choices.

And if you feel like filling a plate you could choose to halve it with fruits and veggies alongside other dishes so that you're not missing out on the healthy options.

Ms Duff said people tended to have more soft drink and alcohol during the holiday season.

"A lot of people don't realise that alcohol is high in calories," she said.

She said it was more advisable to combine soda water with alcohol than soft drink to minimise calorie intake.

But if you've been naughty and not nice when it comes to food, Ms Duff advised people to maintain a healthy lifestyle all year round.

Thirty minutes of moderate activity a day can help get rid of those extra pounds.

"It's a busy time of the year so it's a bit tricky to fit into our schedule but it is important," she said.

Families can also decide to make their get-together creative by holding a backyard football or pool party to have some physical activities.

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