By Jessica Sepel

Healthy living is all about enjoying everything in moderation – deprivation is not allowed in my books and most definitely should not be a part of your end of year celebrations! However, the temptation to over-indulge in food and drink is all the more present in the holiday season!

So, here are my top nutrition tips to get you through the festivities feeling satiated, satisfied and strong – without the overindulgence!

1. Continue to prioritise everyday healthy eating habits – just because it’s the silly season doesn’t mean your everyday habits should now fly out the window. I still start my day with lemon water, morning exercise and a healthy breakfast.

2. Don’t deprive yourself. Give yourself permission to enjoy all foods in small amounts – moderation is everything. When you deprive yourself with food – it can lead to overeating/feeling anxious around food later. The minute you give yourself permission – you actually don’t even want it as much. If you have dessert – allow yourself a small amount and enjoy it mindfully.

3. Make healthy swaps – these days there are always healthy swaps around. If not practice the tip above. Go for the greens and veggies as opposed to the heavy starches – potato and rice. Avoid fried foods and enjoy the grilled options instead.

4. Stop at 2-3 drinks (sorry) and avoid cocktails and sugary cordials – go for spirits with fresh lemon juice and soda and red wine – best options. Drink a lot of water the day of an event.

5. Inspire your friends and family with healthy food! Bring a healthy dish and treat to your Christmas lunch – see the recipe page on my blog for some ideas!

6. Be careful with canapés – party season means more catering and more canapés. So be smart when choosing your finger food; go for grilled proteins rather than fried, fresh or raw vegetables instead of rich sauces and keep track of how much you’ve had (so as not to overdo portion sizes)

7. Have a protein rich snack before you head out – if you arrive at your party absolutely starving we all know what is likely to happen. We grab a hold of anything in sight and sadly healthy choices fly out the window! So I usually eat a protein rich snack before any silly season parties such as boiled eggs, hummus and some raw veggies, Greek yoghurt with nuts and seeds or a protein shake or one of my Sugar-Free Protein Balls.

8. It’s OK to say no – be confident and politely say ‘no thanks’ if you’re offered a less healthy option that you don’t feel comfortable with.

9. Don’t put yourself under pressure to eat perfectly, relax with food and yourself. It feels so good. If you splurge, move on, don’t let it ruin your holiday. Focus on the real reason for the season – it’s not food!