Prepare for happy, healthy holiday season with these tips

Heathy Eating

The festive season is upon us and it’s a wonderful time of year with joy, cheer and gratitude in abundance.

Also, in abundance is a barrage of parties, special celebratory recipes and leftovers.

End of year festivities may make it seem difficult to finish off your 2018 health goals, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan said it only takes a few small changes for Queenslanders to have a healthier festive season.

“We know that one-third of all cancer cases are preventable through healthy lifestyle choices, including limiting alcohol, quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, eating well, keeping active and being SunSmart,” Ms McMillan said.

“By being mindful when it comes to eating, thinking about healthy alternatives, and opting for balance and moderation, we can all enjoy the holidays the healthy way and reduce our cancer risk.”

Cancer Council Queensland suggests a few festive feasting and fail-safe tips to get Queenslanders kick-started on a healthy countdown to Christmas:

One, manage your portions. One of the ways to avoid overeating at holiday celebrations is to focus on your portion sizes and fill most of your plate with yummy salads and a small serve of protein. Also, if everyone is bringing a plate, opt for a dish that incorporates fruit or vegetables, like veggies sticks and guacamole.

Two, take care in the heat. Remember to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water, especially with the hot weather predicted for Queensland, and stay SunSmart when outdoors and the UV Index level is three or above. Also, a good tip to avoid over-eating is having a glass of water 15 minutes before each meal.

Three, limit sugary drinks and alcoholic beverages. An easy way to reduce your kilojoule intake and reduce your cancer risk is to swap out sugary drinks and alcohol for water. A regular 600ml bottle of soft drink contains no nutritional benefits, but around 16 teaspoons of sugar, and drinking one can of sugary drink a day can lead to 6.5kgs of weight gain in a year. If you’re chasing flavour, infuse fruit or herbs into your water, or freeze ice cubes with fruit and drop it into soda water for a fizzy drink, minus the added sugar.

Four, get moving. Make sure to schedule in a minimum of one hour of moderate activity or 30 minutes of vigorous activity into every day – you’ll feel healthier and more energised for it! Exercising doesn’t have to be complex and it can be made easier and more fun when you get the whole family involved; It can be as simple as walking the dog, having a game of backyard cricket, dancing to your favourite holiday music or setting up an exercise circuit. You can also pair physical exercise with your social calendar. If you want to schedule in end-of-year catch ups with friends, why not set up yoga dates or plan to explore your city or town on bikes together?

Five, focus on fun. The festive season is all about spending time with your family and loved ones, so shift the focus from indulging on food, to indulging on good family time. One way to make this a little easier is by being a giver of healthy presents. Instead of gifting a box of chocolate or bottle of wine, you could consider sports equipment, active experiences or healthy cook books.

For more information about Cancer Council Queensland and reducing your cancer risk, visit or phone 13 11 20.


For more information, please contact:

Lisa Maynard, Manager, Public Relations and Social Media
Cancer Council Queensland
P. (07) 3634 5171 or E.