Top 10 tips for silly season eating

When it comes to over-indulging I'm guilty more than most.

My excuse is that it's my job and expected of a food writer. But I do try to be good so I'm sharing some great tips from Sally-Anne Livock, APD, director of Sunshine Coast Dietetics  on how to be a responsible eater without being boring about it.

Sally-Anne says the trick is to stay conscious of nutrition and avoid overindulgence.(Heck, it's Christmas but I'll try.)

She says health should remain a priority although pretty evenly balanced with enjoyment of cuisine.

Here are her ten tips for responsible and healthy eating without compromising on the love of food:

1.              Do not panic. Remember, one meal of overindulgence does not ruin a whole healthy eating program.

2.              But lots will. If you go overboard, pay yourself back with lots of healthy eating afterward. Choose sensible, balanced meals with lots of fruit and veg and whole grains. After an especially rich meal or day or two of overindulgence, try a cleanse. A day of just fresh fruits and vegetables and salads, with lots of water or sparkling waters and herbal teas, is great for your body and gets you back on track

4.              Savour each bite. You will get fuller, faster - and enjoy the tastes, instead of shoveling food in simply because it's so delicious.The satiety signal take at least 10 minutes to reach the brain – so make your meal last at least this long, or you just won't  feel full.

5.              Dessert does not have to be a no-no at restaurants. Choose fresh fruit, or light sorbets, which are often crafted by hand. If you do choose to have dessert, share it with a friend - we know the first three bites are enough to satisfy the taste buds; we only eat the rest because it is there!

6.              Restaurants are a great occasion to eat unprocessed, fresh foods. Go for what's local or what's in season.  Choose your restaurants wisely - usually the better quality the restaurant, the better quality the food - think local RSL club vs local fine dining restaurant!

7.              Aim for half your plate to be salads or vegetables. If the dish does not come with these, ask for side dishes. By making half your meal vegetables or salads, you not only maximise health but also control the waistline.

8.             Walk, swim or work out the day of your special meal out - remember, it's all about balance, and energy in is balanced with energy out.

9.             Choose a colorful meal: go for baked and stir-fried over fried when you can. The more color on your plate, the more nutritious the meal. “Yellow” foods are ones to be wary of – they can be higher in calories. Think gooey cheese or breaded or deep fried foods.

10.           Enjoy your food with friends and great conversation. Good for digestion, good for the spirit…and talking meals you’ll eat more slowly!

Oh, and PS - I'm a foodie myself. Yes, it's possible!

Disclaimer:  This is not a paid post.  As a regular over indulger, I am simply sharing good eating ideas in the interest of better health for everyone.