Partying = calories!!
Party food, alcohol, not enough sleep and waking up late feeling ordinary with a hangover & craving grease can derail anyone’s Summer bikini-body efforts.
If the idea of Christmas food and drink leaves you panicking about weight gain, take our advice on how to make healthy Christmas choices. Learn how to enjoy healthy Christmas food without the worry of piling on the pounds.
Here are 10 tips to help you avoid Christmas weight gain
Pick ONE dessert a day
(have a slice of cake only once a day and don’t overdo it)
The holidays are a special season—and you deserve to celebrate. Dessert should never be off-limits anyway. So on days when you have a holiday gathering, fill up a small plate with your favourite dessert and let yourself enjoy it completely.
Choose only the dessert that appeals to you; leave everything you are not crazy about. Here are my favourite homemade jaggery deserts to enjoy.
Stick with TWO drinks
(sticking to two limits your liquid calories)
Alcohol only supplies empty calories, so avoiding proper meals to compensate for a booze splurge means you’re losing out on valuable nutrients, just when your body needs them to help it detoxify.
To help prevent a hangover, stick to one type of drink and I make it a lighter-coloured one because they tend to be lower in the chemical by-products that can worsen a hangover. Aim to have no more than one alcoholic drink an hour, alternating with fresh juice or plain water. Here are natural hangover cures
Eat THREE healthy & well-timed snacks
(have a slice of cake but keep track and don’t overdo it)
Always make sure you to eat something light & healthy in regular intervals, so that you aren’t starving and bingeing on the party food when you get there. This is because if you allow too many hours to go by without eating, your body will crave high-glycemic or processed foods for a quick fix.
Instead, eat on a schedule – consume a meal or mid-meal snack every three hours.One of my favourites snack include multigrain toast with nut butter, a bowl of muesli with yogurt, or a bowl of salad. Here are 6 easy snack recipes
Fill up on FOUR types of fruits during meals
(when hungry, choose a serving of fruit instead of sweets)
Whole fruits are full of fiber, so they’ll keep you satisfied and nourished throughout the season. Make fruit-based desserts. In winter, our access to seasonal fruits means that we have delicious, sweet treats, bursting with nutrition to fill our bellies after a meal. Think oranges, fresh berries, apples, plums and more!
Here are my favourite foods to stop cravings
Stick to FIVE veggies each day
(get all those phytonutrients by meeting this daily minimum)
Having a good helping of vegetables with your meal will add vitamins, minerals and fibre and help you towards your five a day, but beware of vegetables that come with added butter, cheese or salt. If you’re in charge of the cooking, offer steamed or boiled vegetables without salt, and steer clear of creamy sauces or butter.
With everything else that’s on the table, no-one will miss these added extras. Ensure that your Christmas shopping list enables you to fill up the veggies bowl and get your recommended daily portions of veg. Here is a guide to types of Salt
Stay SIX feet away from the buffet
(prevent mindless eating by moving away to converse)
Go for quality, not quantity. There is no shock that during the festive season we all eat, eat, and eat more. All justified because it’s Christmas. So, unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for those extra kilojoules to start to add up. So my tip, go for quality, not quantity.
Instead of going for buffets dinners, have one meal and enjoy it. Instead of quickly drinking six glasses of wine, have two and enjoy it. It’s all about eating your favourite foods over the festive season in moderation!
Do SEVEN days of exercise
(don’t forget to exercise regularly during the holidays)
Don’t forget to exercise over Christmas whether it’s a brisk winter walk, cycling, some yoga or any way you prefer to increase your heart rate. Stay active! Gather the family and walk up a mountain, run around at a playground, swim in the river or beach and just move as much as you can! Keep it fun!
Drink EIGHT glasses of water
(daily, and especially before and during parties and gatherings)
It’s so easy to forget when we are not in our usual routine but dehydration will make you feel sluggish physically and mentally, give you dry skin, headaches and may lead to eating even more! Choose plain mineral water over soft-drink or diet soft-drink.
There is going to be enough sugar, fat and energy in the food at Christmas time. Enjoy the bubbles and fix without the excess energy. Here is the Best Way to Drink Water
Eat NINE ounces of protein
(three 3-ounce portions of lean, natural protein each day)
The protein will fill you up without making you have that sugar crash afterwards. Choose lean cuts of meat, remove any visible fat, and try to limit your red and processed meat you have in favour of fish, chicken, turkey and plant-based options.
If you’re eating out, try to choose the healthiest menu options to make the meal fit into your normal diet, rather than just going for your favourites. Here are best plant protein with all essential amino acids
Find TEN new ways to modify recipes
(if you tried 1 new healthy food/month, we now eat more variety
If your Christmas duties include cooking the dinner, then you must believe that Tasty food doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Bake instead of deep-frying, use olive oil instead of butter. Replace salt with herbs and spices to flavour foods, mashed bananas or applesauce for butter or oil. Try egg whites instead of whole eggs. Use low-fat whipped cream instead of full fat.
Consider minor tweaks to make family favorites healthier. Play with fresh herbs and spices instead of salt to lower sodium intake. Even a single substitution can go a long way. You can also serve your friends with an assortment of healthy, home-made dips. Vegetable sticks with guacamole or hummus are great options. Here are simple ways to get back on a diet
Rather than wait until January 1st to set your New Year’s Resolutions, take some time out now to think about what health goals you would like to achieve in 2022.
Following these simple steps helps you remain healthy during the holidays.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Blessed Holiday Season!
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