FESTIVE ADVICE: Bundaberg dietitian Hannah Parks.
FESTIVE ADVICE: Bundaberg dietitian Hannah Parks. SImon Young

Ditch your diet to avoid bulge

HERE'S some festive advice you can really get behind: skip the diet.

That's the advice from Bundaberg dietitian Hannah Parks, who has shared her advice on how to avoid carrying the extra kilos usually gained during Christmas and new year around for the next 12 months.

Ms Parks works with community-run health and well-being organisation IWC and said the the best advice she could give to people was to "keep it real”.

"I advise everyone to help cut down the cravings for all the delicious snacks on offer at Christmas by eating regular meals. Avoid skipping those main meals of breakfast, lunch and dinner. This also will help you to avoid overeating at the next meal.

"Importantly, eating regularly will help keep your energy levels up during this busy time of year - think of early mornings with children or late nights with adults, and eat regular and healthy meals to support that.”

Exercise also is important, she said.

"Make some time for exercise. Go for a walk after breakfast or lunch to reduce post-meal fatigue.”

It also can help manage any stresses that come along with the festive season.

"Incorporating regular exercise will not only help with managing your weight but can boost your mood, reduce stress and improve your overall well-being,” Ms Parks said.

Healthy treats and snacks also help keep up the cheer, as well as being mindful of the amount of alcohol you're consuming.

"Make a tasty fruit platter to nibble on between meals as a healthier alternative to lollies,” she said.

"And be mindful about how much alcohol you drink - try to limit your drinks and sip on water in between to help keep you hydrated. Also try to have some alcohol-free days. Your body will appreciate it.”

Her final top tip - don't diet.

"I advise people not to go on a 'diet' as such. So often people feel the need to start the new year on a diet and then get depressed because they are setting unrealistic expectations,” she said.

"Diets often only offer short-term results that are unsustainable for the long term.

"Instead, focus on making healthier food choices, reducing portions, limiting treat foods and doing more exercise. Healthy eating should be our focus and we should aim to do this most of the time, allowing for occasional treats in small amounts that we can still enjoy without the guilt.”