Christmas is a time to celebrate with friends and family but that doesn’t mean our bodies and waistline should suffer as a result.
The extravagance of Christmas food and alcohol can be equivalent to consuming 2-3 days of food in a single day. This coupled with the mindset, “I’ll start in the new year” often leads people to gain weight excessively, making it more difficult to lose in the long run.
Here are some simple tips and tricks to avoid the Christmas “blow out”.
Making small changes on Christmas day can make a world of difference. Instead of opting for heavy dressings try a homemade dressing of lemon and olive oil, or choose greek yoghurt instead of cream with dessert. Choosing leaner cuts of meat without the fat and crackling, or making our apricot bliss balls instead of rum balls are other great ways to reduce your calorie intake whilst still enjoying Christmas.
Make one plate
When it comes to the Christmas spread, it is easy to fill up multiple plates with various foods on offer. This often leads to overeating as you lose track of just how much you have consumed. To manage this, have a single plate of food so you can visually see how much food you are consuming and what your plate consists of.
Don’t forget your vegetables
It’s easy to forget about having your vegetables when so many foods are available. Start by filling your plate with salads and vegetables as these options are lower in calories. This will also help you assess your portion sizes when it comes to meat and carbohydrates such as potatoes, as you can visually see how much you are consuming compared to your vegetables. Remember you want to aim for half a plate of vegetables.
Incorporate something active into your celebrations. Go for a swim in the pool or at the beach, go for a walk with a friend or play some backyard cricket with the kids. These are all great ways to burn some extra calories whilst still having fun. No matter how big or small the activity is, it all counts.
Listen to your body
It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain it’s full. By slowing down and taking your time you won’t overeat. Once you recognise you are full, tell yourself it is time to stop eating and only eat again when you feel hungry next. Not only does this stop you from overindulging, but it will stop you from feeling sick and lethargic, making your day much more enjoyable.
Focus on the celebrations
Christmas shouldn’t be just about food, instead the focus should be on spending time with family and friends. By placing the importance on socialising instead of the Christmas feast, all of a sudden that second helping of potato bake may not be so enticing. This also serves to minimise any feelings of “depriving” yourself as you can fill up on love and happiness from those around you.
All in all, Christmas is one day out of the year. If you do slip up, don’t beat yourself up over it and get back on the band wagon the following day. Enjoy, Merry Christmas!!!