Christmas – makes you think of friends, family, gifts, snow… and food! Christmas is one of the best times of year to indulge in food you absolutely love – it’s practically a must! But if you’re trying to watch your weight or stay healthy, it can become a bit of a minefield. No worries, it’s completely feasible to chow down on all your favourite Christmas grub without turning into a pudding yourself!
Don’t Skip Meals
It’s tempting to want to skip breakfast in an effort to ‘save up’ for the main event – Christmas dinner. While this may seem like a great idea, it’s actually likely to make you overeat when it comes to the big event! Eat a healthy breakfast with plenty of fibre to keep you full until the big meal. This way, you’re less likely to go overboard when you finally sit down to eat.
Choose Food Wisely
Good news – turkey is officially on the nice list! Eating lean proteins like turkey or chicken will aid your muscle growth and keep you feeling comfortably full. Make sure you don’t ignore the veggie plate, and try combining it with healthy fats like avocados and nuts. Avoid too many starchy white carbs like bread and potatoes – don’t avoid them altogether, but moderation is key!
Watch The Booze
One or two festive glasses of wine is fine, but don’t end up in a combined food-and-booze coma! Alcohol is full of empty calories – meaning you’ll be adding to your calorie count and receiving nothing in return. Add ice or use mixers to dilute your drinks to keep them less alcoholic. Drink water in-between your alcoholic drinks too to keep hydrated. Want a sneakier tip? Drink out of tall, thin glass. Research shows we tend to pour ourselves less to drink when we use taller, thinner glasses – you’re tricking your brain into drinking less!
It’s normal to feel like you need to vacuum up every bit of food there is, as quickly as possible – we all do it! If you eat too quickly, your brain doesn’t have time to register when you’re actually full, leading to overeating. For the same reason, slow down and think about whether you actually need to grab that second plate! Another thing – it’s okay to refuse seconds, even if you have a pushy family member trying to get you to eat more.
Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind
As childish as it sounds, your brain really does think of things less if it can’t see them. When you serve yourself Christmas dinner, leave the food in another room rather than sitting at a buffet-style table. You’ll be less likely to pick at all the food or fill up your plate anew! This also goes for desserts – if you’re worried about shovelling yourself full of sweets, cut yourself a small portion and then put the rest away.