With the Christmas festivities starting earlier and earlier each year it’s hard to avoid all those tempting treats that see many of us gain a few unwanted pounds between now and January.
So…… here are my top tips for enjoying the festive season whilst avoiding gaining a Christmas muffin top and feeling like you’re going to have to spend the next 6 months on a diet to shift the extra pounds.
Alcohol and soft drinks are loaded with empty calories so try alternating drinks with sparking water with sliced lemon or lime or still water with orange slices to reduce your sugar consumption. Hangover headaches are likely to be caused by dehydration so make sure if you’ve had a night out on the town you drink a large glass of water before you go to bed.
Eating at Parties
If you are going to a buffet event eat something before you go that you’re not ravenously hungry when you arrive and you’ve got something in your stomach prior to drinking any alcohol. Good choices would include protein and fat to slow down stomach emptying which will keep you fuller for longer and also slow the effects of that first alcoholic drink.
• Small natural yogurt with sliced banana and a sprinkling of nuts and seeds
• Slice of wholemeal toast spread with peanut butter and sliced banana
Another tip is to half fill your buffet plate with salad items and choose protein based foods such as chicken, prawns or smoked salmon. Avoid sandwiches, pasta salads, pastry or cakes as they are all high in carbohydrate and after an initial blood sugar high it will be followed by a dip which will leave you feeling hungry again an hour or so after eating. Take your plate and stand well away from the buffet table so that you can’t be tempted to graze.
We all love a roast spud but try reducing the amount of white potatoes and add other veggies to your roasting tray – parsnips, carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, shallot onions and peppers are all lower in carbohydrate than potato so are a great choice.
Turkey meat is lean but avoid eating the skin and try swapping sausage meat stuffing for chestnut stuffing.
Cook lots of green veggies – Brussel sprouts (try them shredded or roasted for a change), broccoli or asparagus. Steam vegetables where possible to help retain their nutrients.
Portion sizes at Christmas have a tendency to dramatically increase so be mindful of how much you put on your plate and aim for QUALITY rather than QUANTITY !
Make some healthy treats to keep in the fridge or cupboard for when guests arrive or you feel like getting in the Christmas spirit with some goodies whilst watching your favourite Christmas film.
If you’d like some recipes for Healthy Christmas Treats then download your copy of my FREE eBook here.
If certain people are likely to buy you chocolates or sweets for Christmas and you know you won’t be able to resist the urge to eat them try dropping hints now that boxes of chocolates are not as preferable as bubble bath, scented candles or even a pack of your favourite herbal tea which will help you treat yourself to some relaxation time.
We all have a tendency to buy and cook too much food over Christmas, don’t eat leftovers just for the sake of it, plan some meals for the few days after Christmas to use them up or freeze them for when you’re short of cash in January.
Don’t stop your exercise regime or wait to for 1st January to arrive, get outside in the fresh air and walk, go for a jog, keep up your exercise classes or show some moves on the dance floor at the Christmas party.
Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2019 xx
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