Without doubt, Christmas can challenge us all in the realm of healthy eating! With all the extra drinks and party invitations, it's very easy for us to mindlessly find ourselves eating all day long, over a period of a month until New Year has been and gone! However, you can still have fun and not worry too much about dieting, it's really our food and drink choices that we have to be mindful about, as well as not letting our activity slip during this time. When you have achieved amazing results with health and weight loss goals over the past few months, don't want Christmas temptations to spoil your progress. On my programmes, we cover how to manage parties and holidays and maintain success over the festive season. My clients accept that they are not dieting, but can eat smart instead!
Here's some tips to keep your vitality and weight on track over the festive season. Firstly it's a good idea to write down your maintenance goals (for health, fitness, relaxation) over the holidays (don't worry about losing weight, leave that to the New Year!) - here are my top 10 tips for Christmas Survival! Enjoy!
1. Don't try to diet
And don't fret about what you are eating - set a maintenance goal instead, eating low GL 80% of the time means that you can relax a little and enjoy a mince pie or a glass of wine, or a few nibbles at a party. Eat slowly and make the food and drink last!
2. Plan your food
To a certain extent Christmas sends our daily routine out of the window! But you can at least make sure you have the right foods at home so you start the day with a good breakfast, like oats or eggs, and carry some fruit and nuts in your bag so you have a ready snack to keep your blood sugar even, if you are out and about. Give yourself a chance of survival as it's a shame to give in to the wrong foods just because you are starving.
3. Don't go to a party hungry!
Have a small snack beforehand so you will have more chance of not overindulging on party food - 2 oatcakes and hummus or avocado or a protein based smoothie like Get up and Go, if you are not hungry then. This gives you more control and will prevent you munching your way through the buffet because of hunger!
4. Eat less!
Choose a small plate if you can and go for smaller portions and chew slowly. This not only helps your digestion to work better but it also allows time to pass! It takes 20 minutes for the brain to recognise that you are full so take advantage of that timeframe!
5. Take a low GL dish to a party - here are two canape ideas:
Mini smoked salmon kebabs - cut up smoked salmon slices into bite sized square pieces and thread onto a coctail stick with 1 cherry tomato and slices of cucumber
Cream cheese, garlic and herb dip - combine 200g low fat cream cheese with 100g greek yoghurt, 1 clove garlic and some mixed herbs. Blend with freshly ground black pepper and serve with sliced peppers or celery
6. Make 'good' alcohol choices! Swop the creamy and sugary cocktails for a glass of prosecco, champagne or red wine, or a vodka with fresh lime and tonic - make it last and have a water for every alcoholic drink to spread the load. You'll find you drink less and wake up hydrated with less likelihood of a hangover!
7. Sip water throughout the day as hunger may be a sign of dehydration. Water gives you energy too.
8. Get out into the fresh air and take a walk if you can't get to the gym or do your usual exercise. This will aid digestion and make you feel less likely to lie on the sofa!
9. Have fun!
10. And finally - should you succumb and wake up with a dreaded hangover - be gentle on yourself! Start again and make sure you have some vitamin C, milk thistle and water to hand. We are all human, after all!!
Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas party season and look out for my 10 tips for avoiding the Christmas Day Bloat!