When the festive season comes around, many of us tend to indulge a little more than normal (or sometimes a lot!). It is Christmas after all!. And while we all need to let our hair down and have fun during this time of year, it’s important to remember to look after our bodies too.
It can be so tempting to eat everything in sight over Christmas and New Year – we’ve all been there! People bake more, there are parties and meals out. Buffets and lots of alcohol. You’ll be surrounded by your favourite things to eat and drink and there is no reason why you shouldn’t treat yourself, we definitely will be!
But at the same time, you don’t want to kick off 2018 with 10 extra pounds and feeling like you have to do some crazy detox to compensate for your over eating. Below we have outlined our tips to avoid overindulging over the festive season, whilst also ensuring that you embrace and enjoy what is a time for unwinding, socialising and being merry.
1) Eat Mindfully
We all know that eating quickly, not chewing thoroughly and not paying attention to what and how we’re eating can result in substantial overeating. Ever start with one sweet from the tin and the next thing you’re surrounded by sweet wrappers and wondering how on earth it happened? This is the exact opposite of eating mindfully. The good news is that these mindless habits can be overcome with practice.
These recommendations are a good starting point to enjoying and appreciating our food that little bit more:.
• Feed yourself with your non-dominant hand
• Put your fork down between each bite
• Sit at a table
• Eat in silence
• Put away the phone/turn off the TV
2) Plan Ahead
When you know you are going to be at home or at work for your meals, plan ahead. It’s very easy to just grab the leftover party food or reach for the chocolates and class it as a meal. Planning ahead will help make that temptation a little easier.
3) Don’t Skip Your Workouts
We are all a little busier over the Christmas period but it doesn’t mean that we need to stop our usual healthy eating and exercise routine as soon as December hits. Try as much as you can, to still eat a healthy breakfast and schedule your workouts in advance to motivate you to go.
4) Make the most of nutritious food on offer
The main one will be turkey. It’s a lean protein source and full of vitamins. Vegetables like Brussel sprouts, carrots and parsnips feature heavily in Christmas dinners too. So fill your plate with those rather than the extra pigs in a blanket.
If you are going to someone else’s home for a dinner party or Christmas dinner, offer to take a dish with you. That way, you know what’s in it and you can make healthy alternatives. Take a look at these healthy Christmas recipes from savoury to sweet.
6) Excessive Alcohol
For most people, alcohol is inevitably going to have its place in the run up to Christmas but it is possible to make better choices when it comes to your tipple of choice. For example;
• If you enjoy white wine, use sparkling water to make it a spritzer
• If you enjoy spirits, opt for a clear one (Vodka, Bacardi, Gin) with a sparkling soda or tonic water with fresh lemon or lime
• If you enjoy beer or cider, opt for a lighter option
Also taking a glass of water in between each drink will keep you hydrated and slow down your consumption.
7) Account for your night out
So it’s your big party night out and you are super excited to let your hair down! There’ is nothing wrong with this. However, planning ahead can help..
• Aim to do a workout earlier that day
• Ensure you are fully hydrated throughout the day
• Prep a healthy/tasty meal that you know will satisfy your cravings instead of a takeaway the next day
Christmas is fun and therefore should be enjoyable! An 80:20 approach is best, where 80% of the time you’re getting lots of nutrient-dense foods and keeping up activity levels, and 20% of the time you’re treating yourself!