Christmas is almost upon us, which means opportunities to gorge ourselves with food and drink are everywhere. From festive work parties to dinners and drinks with family and friends, this is the most overindulgent time of year by a long shot.
While it’s OK to indulge and enjoy yourself during the festive period, it’s important to be mindful of the things you are consuming in order to maintain your weight and not start the new year feeling sluggish and out of shape.
To help avoid the dreaded holiday spread across your middle, while still enjoying the delicious spread of food on your tables, we’ve put together five strategies to avoid overeating this Christmas.
Eat healthy the majority of the time
Make healthy choices when you can. If you’re at home, don’t binge on snacks just because they happen to be in your cupboards. Avoid filling little bowls with crisps, nuts and chocolates and casually scattering them over your house, too. This will only lead to mindless nibbling.
Instead, celebrate only during special events such as Christmas day, holiday parties or you annual get together with friends. Plan your meals for each day and make room for the occasional splurge.
Be mindful of portion size
By being mindful of how much you are eating, you will avoid that horrible bloated feeling you get when you’ve stuffed too many potatoes in with all the turkey and trimmings. Portion control means you can still indulge in all your favourite foods, just less of them!
You don’t have to eat like a mouse either. The trick is to eat larger portions of health foods such as your brussel sprouts and carrots balanced with smaller portions of more indulgent and high-calorie choices.
Eat more fruit and vegetables
High in fiber, rich in nutrients, and low in calories, fruit and vegetables are the heroes of any diet. Vegetables, particularly, are a win as they generally contain less sugar and more fibre than fruit. Try filling half your plate with vegetables at each meal and start by eating these first – by the time you get to the less healthy, stodgy food you may even be full.
Limit alcohol intake
This is a tricky one for many people over Christmas, as we often forget that alcohol contains empty calories. This means it contains calories that can’t be used as energy by the body. Furthermore, when we drink our calories instead of eating them, we don’t tend to register fullness, which means we often end up consuming extra calories unnecessarily.
As well as being high in sugar, drinking alcohol tends to decrease our resilience to temptations. Try to decrease the amount of alcohol you consume and instead alternate each drink with water or another low-calorie soft drink.
Don’t stop exercising
This is important not only to avoid gaining weight over Christmas but also so you’re not set back when January comes around and everything returns to normal. Choose an exercise routine you enjoy and pick a time that works for you so that you will stick to it. Just think of it as your little bit of ‘me time’!
Want to learn more about nutrition and the impact a well-balanced diet can have on your life? Get in touch to see how we can help.