Nutritional Strategies to survive the festive season

Breakfast is key

Starting the day with a quality breakfast is vital to help curb hunger and manage cravings during the day. Research shows those who start the day well are more likely to be resilient to higher fat and higher sugar options. Be organised and start your day with a protein packed breakfast such as eggs and include wholegrain cereals with minimal added sugar such as rolled oats!

Be planned and be aware

Summer brings holidays and staying at different locations or with family. Not everyone is an elite athlete and often dietary habits can be very relaxed at this time of year. This isn’t an excuse! Plan for the worst and ensure you have quality options ready to go when you need. Don’t let the choices of others affect you and your goals. 

Don’t go to a party hungry

Going to a party or gathering well fed can significantly curb cravings and improve your will power to be disciplined around poor food choices. Plan ahead if you know food will be of low nutritional value and bring some quality options for you and other guests. This strategy helps reduce additional nibbles that are not healthy choices.  

Be smart with alcohol

It’s the season to be merry but alcohol packs a punch with calories at 150Kcal per serving. It increases cravings for poor food choices, promotes fat storage and when drunk in excess can significantly impair training adaptations. Not ideal for a high performing athlete! Be responsible with alcohol, if you can follow this message your training performance and subsequent recovery and will be significantly enhanced this festive season. 

Cut the Cr*p! (Carbonated/sweetened drinks, Refined sugars, Artificial, Processed 

Christmas is the time for vast amounts of poor foods options being constantly available. Nibbling on these here and there can end up significantly increasing your calorie intake across the day. Make a real effort to avoid excessive eating of chocolates, sweets, fizzy drinks, cakes etc. Remember it’s a break to spend time with family and friends not an excuse to gorge!  

Get enough protein!

Protein is a vital component to maintain lean muscle mass, control hunger and optimise your recovery. However poorly planned diets and high intakes of festive treats can often result in a poor intake of quality protein sources. Be planned and organised if you’re away from home, liaise with your performance nutritionist to ensure you can meet your protein requirements during this time.

Follow this simple barbecue etiquette for a guaranteed barbecue success  


Bring your own meat

The host will respect you and your taste in quality protein.  Its common barbecue law to expect the meat you bring to end up on your plate!\

Bring a salad

At most New Zealand BBQ’s there will be a huge supply of meat and carbs, bringing a colour packed summer salad will ensure you can at least have a balanced plate—provided there is some left when it’s time to eat!

Eat before you get there

Arriving hungry will most likely result in you vacuuming up all of those high calorie, low nutrient snacks. To avoid this, make up a quality smoothie before you leave or have another appropriate snack option to keep your appetite at bay until the main course!