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Christmas - enjoy and be in control of what you eat

By Jennifer
Friday, December 1, 2017

Christmas Eating

enjoy and be in control of what you eatChristmas is often the downfall of many healthy eating plans.

On average over 6,000kcal are consumed on Christmas day by an individual, that's the equivalent of the calories consumed by a cyclist each day during the Tour De France. I don't know about your family but nobody in mine is doing that level of exercise on Christmas Day.

More food is freely available and we buy or bake more than we actually need; I love spending a day baking for Christmas: Christmas pudding, gingerbread, muffins, mince pies and my own mince pie alternative. There is something very therapeutic and satisfying seeing the plates of baked treats piling up. That's a lot of calories; calories that I don't normally provide for the family and calories that we don't relly need.

So how can we enjoy Christmas, have the treats we want and not be a few kilos heavier by the time we return to work in January? Here are a few tips for trying to maintain your weight over the next few weeks.

Fill your plate with the good food first

Our traditional turkey is a lean meat with beneficial protein and nutrients, together with a range of vegetables and a small amount of potato the Christmas main meal is a healthy choice. Vegetables associated with Christmas are packed with beneficial vitamins, minerals, phyto-nutrients and fibre. Aim to have half your plate with mixed vegetables: Brussels sprouts, red cabbage, parsnips,carrots. Go easy with the roast potatoes and the trimmings (bread sauce, chipolatas and any extra sauces).

Go easy on the pudding

Traditional Christmas pudding is high in calories, fat and sugar and low in protein. Eat some fruit before having dessert to cleanse the palate and reduce the need for a large portion of pudding. A small taste of pudding may be enough to satisfy the desire for dessert without the need to overindulge.

Portion size

Choosing a smaller plate, a side or salad plate instead of a dinner plate, and a smaller bowl or dish for dessert can help to reduce portion size whilst fooling your brain into thinking you are eating a larger portion. Eat until you are 80% full, not so you are completely stuffed.

Don't skip meals

Over Christmas ensure that you don't skip meals. Eating regular, healthy snacks and protein may help to stabilise blood sugar and prevent overindulgence at mealtimes. It will also ensure that you are not tempted to eat that mince pie or open that box of chocolates because you are hungry.

Parties

If you are attending any parties eat a small, healthy snack (poached egg on a slice of wholemeal toast, a protein based smoothie or Greek yoghurt with granola) before you go. This helps to reduce the temptation to overindulge. It also means that you have something in you stomach before you are offered that first glass of champagne or wine.

Don't drink your calories

Avoid substituting alcoholic drinks for food and don't drink on an empty stomach. Give your liver a chance to process the alcohol you are drinking by alternating alcoholic drinks with a low sugar soft drink or water and ensure that you drink a large glass of water before you go bed.

Exercise

Try to keep up with any normal exercise regime as far as possible, or get some fresh air and go for a walk or a bike ride.

Remember that ultimately you can say no; you don't have to have another chocolate or an extra helping of dessert.

You are in control of what you eat.

NutriJen Health & Nutrition

I hope these tips will help you to enjoy your festive season to the fullest -  to learn more about how nutritional therapy can help you claim your FREE 30 minute health and energy assessment today.

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