Spring races are a time to get dressed up and have fun with friends. Too much fun however can damage your health and your waistline. Here, Health & the City author Caitlin Reid shows you how to get through the spring carnival minus a couple of unwanted kilos.
Fashions on the Field, lawn parties, bubbles and lots of finger food – you’ve got to love the Spring Racing Carnival. While many of us attend Spring Carnival for the races, some of us are more interested in the antics on the other side of the fence. Picnics on the lawn complete with endless sparkling wine, beer and food can easily ruin anyone’s attempt of reaching their perfect beach body, not to mention leaving us a little under the weather the following day. Arrive at the end of the Spring Racing Carnival with a spring in your step, by following these six tips:
1. Choose the most important day: If you’re attending a number of spring races, limit the overindulgence by choosing the most important day to let your hair down. Too much of a good thing can see you drinking too much, eating poorly and skipping exercise sessions for a number of weeks, which is not good for your waistline or your health.
2. Include an early morning exercise session: Before you start getting ready for the big day, make a morning exercise session a must! Burning off some kilojoules will help you compensate for some of the extra kilojoules you’ll be consuming trackside.
3. Plan and pack food for the day: Not having food at hand will mean you’ll have to waste time lining up with the other hundreds of people desperate for a bite to eat. It’s either that or go without food for the day, which is definitely not recommended at any time, let alone when you’re enjoying a few drinks. Pack a picnic basket full of sandwiches, low-fat dips, cheeses, fruit, nuts and crackers. These snacks will help keep you satisfied all day and reduce the likelihood of a post-race fast food dash.
4. Enjoy the day: Take your focus off the food and alcohol by enjoying the company around you and the entertainment in front on you. Make the day about having fun with your friends instead of seeing how much food and alcohol you can consume.
5. Be alcohol smart: Swap the regular wine and beer, for lower alcoholic or carbohydrate varieties. While the lower alcoholic varieties are recommended over the low-carb varieties, both will offer you fewer kilojoules than their regular counterparts. Reduce consumption by putting your drink down in between sips and remain hydrated by alternating your alcoholic beverages with water. This will also help reduce the likelihood of intoxication.
6. Eat the foods you love all year round: Develop a healthy relationship with food by enjoying the foods you love all year round, but in moderation. When we deprive ourselves of the foods we love, we’re more likely to overindulge when we do allow ourselves the chance to eat them, which sets up a cycle of deprivation and overindulgence. At the races, enjoy sandwiches and sparkling wine, but leave the fried foods for someone else!
Cailtin Reid is a practising dietitian, nutrionist and fitness trainer. She is also author of Heath & The City $22.95. www.healthandthecity.com.au