Festive Alternatives

Festive Alternatives

Tis the season to get in shape, fa la la la la la la la laaaa. More seriously though, this festive season is all about celebration, family and rest but it doesn't have to mean that you pick up 10kg in the process. Being merry, drinking a bit more, eating more ice-cream is what the holiday season is all about, we won’t take that away from you. However, you can enjoy all these things with healthier, less fattening options.


Let’s look at December's most common food and drinks and see how we can replace them with something that will allow you to still fit in your favourite jeans.


Hot dogs

Easy, affordable and delicious, we can’t blame our fellow South Africans for this one. Especially if you are a family of 4 or more, hotdogs are a great go-to lunch option. And while we commend your resourcefulness, we would also like to remind you that hotdogs are high in calories. Whether you are kicking it old school with a vienna or going for the traditional boerewors roll, both of these meats are high in energy and if you have a few of them it adds up quickly. Not to mention the sugar-loaded condiments and the footlong white buns. 


The alternative

If you love hotdogs then you will probably love kebabs/skewers. This healthy alternative is just as easy to make and can be very versatile. You can have different options between meat, pork or chicken skewers. It keeps you fuller for longer and you can even go the extra mile and slip on some roasted veggies as well. If skewers seem like.


Ice cream

If you are not going to have an ice-cream this December then you are doing it wrong. Nothing cools you off like an ice-cold Magnum after a Sunday lunch. Since ice cream is so delicious and it is the perfect “summer” snack, people tend to overindulge. Having ice-cream every single day is not uncommon especially if you are spending this festive season at the coast.


The alternative

This is an easy one. Just swap your creamy, chocolate ice-creams for an ice lollies. There are 79 calories in one Tornado ice cream and a shocking 250 calories in a classic Magnum.Another great alternative to sugar filled creamy ice cream is frozen yogurt, and the best part is, you can even make them yourself! So substitute those milky ice-creams with guilt-free lollies this festive season for one less jog around the block in 2021. 


Sugary alcohol

If your drink of choice is Brandy and Coke or Brutal fruit then this one's for you. We see this every year. You see that one lady complaining about her weight gain that she believes to be the result of the massive Christmas feast and we are trying to resist the urge to respond with a “No Karen, that one Christmas spread didn’t make you fat, it’s the 8 daily red squares you had that made you fat”. We need to not only be extremely mindful of what we eat, but what we drink too. 


The alternative

A great alternative is water. Just kidding. While you definitely should drink a glass of water for every alcoholic drink you have to ensure that you don’t dehydrate, we won’t deny you a drink or two. You should be mindful of the sugar content of certain drinks. If you love sugary alcoholic drinks we suggest you replace your Brandy and Coke with Brandy and Coke zero. If you enjoy a brutal fruit, carribean twist or red squares we suggest that you replace those with a DIY, sugar free cocktail. Simply enjoy your pure form of alcohol such as Vodka, Gin and Whiskey with sugar-free sodas like having Gin and a sugar-free tonic.


Pizza

Pizza is a delicious dinner for the whole family, it is easy to make and let’s face it, it is much easier to order. Takeaway pizza places are often busiest during these festive times due to its convenience. No-one has to cook, no one has to wash plates and cutlery and everyone is happy. Pizza is one of the most fattening foods in South Africa. According to an article in the Business tech, a Debonairs meaty cram decker has 19000 kj’s. Can we just take a moment to think about that for a second? If you were to eat one meaty cram decker pizza it would be the equivalent of eating 9 Big Macs. No wonder we gain weight during the holiday.

 

 The alternative

What makes a pizza great is it’s toppings, so we suggest substituting the thick crust with a low-kilojoule thin base or even replace it with a cauliflower base (you won’t even taste the difference). If you plan on making pizzas at home, try opting for low calorie sauces as well. There are many hidden sugars in sauces like mayonnaise, so be mindful of what you drench your pizza base in.


So whether you are at home, on the beach or in the bush, make sure that you have the discipline to maintain a somewhat healthy diet in order to step into 2021 feeling like you don’t need to do “damage control”. Like we said in many of our previous blogs, we at Fitness Fables believe in balance. If you can balance out your guilty eating habits with jogging, swimming and staying fit, then do it! Embrace this festive season, enjoy it as much as you possibly can and most of all stay healthy and safe.

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