‘Tis the season to be jolly! And boy do we enjoy ourselves with the parties and social gatherings in full swing by the beginning of December.
On average the typical weight gain over the Christmas period is 2lb per person (personally I’d be happy if I could make it only 2lb!) That said this is not a guide to losing weight but being more mindful of what we consume so we can make it through to the new year happy and healthy…ish.
- Remember you don’t have to take an all or nothing approach. Just because you overindulged last night or ate the whole box of chocolates this afternoon it doesn’t mean you have to continue with the rest of the day like that
- Don’t drink everyday and try to ensure you have 2/3 alcohol free days a week if you can. Booze contains lots of empty calories and we tend to make poorer food choices, not to mention the hangover.
- If you’re eating out check the menu carefully there are always lighter options available. Choose tomato-based sauces over creamy ones, load up on vegetable sides and choose a sorbet over ice-cream. Again, going back to my first point it doesn’t have to be all or nothing, if you really want the garlic bread with cheese, have it but be mindful with your choices on the other courses. You shouldn’t feel like you are depriving yourself or missing out, it is Christmas after all!
Remember you do not need to have an all or nothing approach
- Christmas parties can be a minefield. Eat a light snack before you go (wholemeal toast with houmous, Greek yoghurt with fruit) this way you won’t arrive hungry and want to eat ALL the food. When you are chatting with friends try not to linger around the buffet and graze without even thinking (guilty!) you won’t even be enjoying the food you’re eating to warrant all the extra calories.
- If you have a big night out try to balance this the next day by getting some rest, drinking plenty of water and eating nutritious food – homemade soups and healthy curries are ideal in these circumstances. Just make sure you plan so you have all the ingredients you need to hand so that you don’t end up ringing for a takeaway instead.
Good planning will ensure you don’t overindulge unnecessarily
- When it comes to the big day itself, why not treat yourself to something indulgent for breakfast like scrambled egg with smoked salmon, this will set you up for the day with good fats and keep you full preventing some of the unnecessary snacking.
- Christmas dinner – chop your potatoes, parsnips and carrots thicker so they don’t soak up quite so much fat. Make sure you have loads of lovely sides – Brussels sprouts and red cabbage are my favourites but pick what works for you and your family.
- Keep active. Keep up all your regular activities, running or the gym, as much as you can. Go for a walk after lunch. Try a new activity with the kids, my local leisure centre offers kids rates of £1 so check out what’s happening at yours. This is also a great way to lead by example – happy kids with a healthy, active future.
Top Healthy Christmas Foods
Brussels sprouts – I honestly don’t now why everyone complains about these, they are lush! High in folate, fibre and vitamin C to keep you healthy. An easy way to getting one of your 5-a-day.
Parsnips – offering you that sweet, delicious hit. Full of folate, fibre and manganese.
Clementine’s and satsumas – juicy and packed with a hit of vitamin C. Have this instead of a handful of chocolates.
Dried fruits – just 30g is all you need for 1 of your 5-a-day. Sprinkle on your breakfast or have as a snack with Greek yoghurt.
Nuts – these are good for you as they are nutrient dense. They also contain a lot of fat and even though this is good fat it doesn’t mean you can graze on them the all day. A handful is enough.
Turkey – lovely lean meat and a great protein choice. just make sure you remove the skin.
So, there you have it, my nutrition guide to surviving Christmas! I hope this helps you towards a fitter and healthier 2019. If you would like advice and support to help you meet your personal needs in 2019 then please do get in touch for a no obligation chat. Julie x