Tins of chocolates, hearty gravy slathered dinners, butter ladened biscuits with cheese, and the occasional glass of wine are all things that we are likely to enjoy over this festive period. Delicious as these items are, they aren’t that good for us and can have a negative effect on our health, especially if you combine them with all the Christmas nights out, and that fact that exercise can go out the window over the festive period. Luckily, as we know that the week of December 25th is one where excess is likely, there are some strategies that you can use to offset it. Read on to find what they are.
Turkey is only one of the things that are eaten in excess at Christmas.
Get in shape beforehand
One way to limit the damage to your health and your waistband over the Christmas period is to make an effort to lose a little weight beforehand. Of course, how you do this is entirely up to you and different method work for different people. However, one way is to try the Paleo diet for a week before the festive period hits in full.
This is where you only eat food that would have been available to Palaeolithic man. That means lots of meats and green vegetables, but no refined sugar or grains. The advantage of this diet is that you can still eat at on those Christmas meals by just having the meat and veg, or even the odd bit of cheese.
Another option is to try low calorie weight loss shakes for a period before Christmas. These are meal replacements, and you have them instead of your normal breakfast or lunch. The advantage of this sort of weight loss program is that is super easy, and it doesn’t take hours of prep in the kitchen. Something that makes it the perfect for the already hectic period of Christmas. The shakes taste pretty good too, so that can make it pretty easy to stick to, allowing you to achieve your weight loss goal before December the 25th hits.
Provide healthier options
Your health and your waistline can also benefit from providing some healthier options over the Christmas period to sit alongside the high fat and high sugar treats. For a party that you are hosting include crudities and yoghurt based dips instead of soured cream ones. Also look for wholemeal snacks, and put out items like pretzels instead of nuts, as they are way lower in calories.
Homemade healthy dips can make a pleasant change to all the fatty foods on offer. Image here
For roast dinners, parboiled the potatoes and spray with oil before roasting in the oven, instead of cooking them immersed in fat. They still taste great and are way healthier too. You can also make the gravy with one of the soluble stock pots that are on the market now and leave out the fatty meat juices to make this a little less calorific.
Also, don’t forget to load up on delicious vegetable dishes that are full of nutrients, as well as being tasty. Particular favourites of ours include Savoy cabbage cooked with smoked bacon and stir-fried brussel sprout with garlic! Yum!
Remember though that the idea is here that you don’t become a martyr to healthy eating and avoid all the higher calorie stuff. Instead, it’s about providing a balance selection that you can choose to combine with more calorific foods over the festive period.
Limit the bingeing time
Even when you are combing the more calorie dense choices with, the less calorific ones, it can still be beneficial for your health to limit the amount of time you allow yourself to eat whatever you like.
Basically, if you are going to have a few day where you know you will overeat, it’s best to ensure that you limit these. Many people pick Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day for this. Ensuring that they eat reasonably during the run-up to, and the week after Christmas. Believe it or not, doing that can seriously reduce your chance of gaining unwanted weight, as well as prevent frequent attacks of indigestion and the stomach issues that many people suffer from over the festive period.
Another option is to alternate the days when you have food freedom and when you eat more normally. Again this allows you a chance to enjoy all of your favourite items guilt-free but also ensures that you don’t stray too far from the beaten track in terms of food. Something that can make going back to a normal diet a bit easier come January the 1st.
While the advice about can work wonders for some over the Christmas period, for others they man not be as effective because they require an element of willpower. Something that it’s easy to throw out the window at this time of year.
However, there is still another option left, and it’s the easiest of all. It is to just tune in and be a little more aware of what you’re eating. In fact, doing this can enhance the experience tasting and consuming food, and it can help you be more aware of when you are eating for reasons others than actual hunger. Something that can really help you from overeating too much, no matter how delicious that Turkey dinner is.
Set a distinct goal as a new year’s resolution
Last, of all, don’t forget that Christmas is but a fleeting time of year and come January you will have to go back to eating a regular diet. To help you make that transition, it can be useful to include weight loss or healthy eating goal in your resolutions for 2018.
Although like any goal you want to hit, you have to break it down into small manageable chunks to achieve it. For healthy eating that might mean setting a weight that you want to reach and then coming up with actions that can help you to get to this.
Actions such as cutting out processed foods, following a specific diet plan, and going to the gym regularly. Just remember by incorporating this into your new year’s plan, you can help limit the damage of overeating that the Christmas period can cause, and ensure any extra weight you do gain doesn’t stick around too far into 2018.
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