Guide To Eating Healthily Over Christmas

Posted by Sarah Cox on Monday, April 28, 2014 Under: nutrition

Are you looking forward to your roast dinner, christmas pudding, mince pies, chocolates and wine?  It's hard not to.... It can be hard to eat healthily and not put on weight over Christmas.  Most people eat far more than they need to and spend a couple of days indoors watching the tv with friends and family. Did you know that people put on an average of 5 lbs (or 2Kg) over the Christmas period?
 
It's important to enjoy yourself and take part in the festivities and not worry too much about what you are eating. However, it is better to be mindful of what you're consuming whilst enjoying yourself than going mad for a week and then going on a big crash diet in January.  The crash diet won't do you much good, whereas eating healthily over Christmas will. 
 
It doesn't take much to go well over your daily advisable calorie intake.  An extra serving of Christmas pudding and custard, half a box of chocolates or several glasses of wine all add up.
 
If you want to enjoy your food, but ensure you don't overindulge, it is possible to eat, drink and be healthy over Christmas by following my Christmas Eating Tips:
  • The traditional Christmas dinner of turkey, potato and lots of vegetables is actually a very healthy and low fat meal, as it contains protein, starchy food and vegetables.
  • Turkey is low in fat and high in protein so it's ok to have a few slices, just avoid eating the skin. Have lots of vegetables and limit the number of roast potatoes to one or two.  Also roast large chunks of potato as they will absorb less fat. 
  • It's generally the snacks you eat and alcohol you drink in between meals on Christmas Day that pile on the pounds, so this is where you need to be careful. Try to have some healthy snacks around such as raw vegetable sticks and dips, satsumas, dried fruit, dates or chestnuts instead of chocolates, mince pies and Christmas cake. 
  • You should still eat breakfast on Christmas Day, the same as any other day. It's important for your metabolism and body to function properly.  Try to have cereal, porridge or fruit and yoghurt rather than a big fry-up. If you really want a fry-up, save it for another day when you aren't also having a big lunch or dinner. Having breakfast will mean that you are less likely to eat high fat snacks before lunch.
  • If you have a starter before your main meal, pick a healthy rather than a high fat option. Smoked salmon is low-fat and contains healthy omega-3 fatty acids.  Any starter which is mainly fruit or vegetables is also a good option, such as soup or melon and parma ham. 
  • Christmas pudding is relatively low fat and contains fruit, however it is the custard, cream or brandy sauce you have on top that add the calories. By all means have a bit but just don't go overboard. If you aren't a fan of Christmas pudding, have some fruit instead.
  • Only eat as much as you need.  When you feel full, stop eating.  You don't need to feel stuffed and so full that you can't move. It's better to have a smaller portion and then have more if you need it than have a massive portion and feel you need to eat everything on your plate.
  • Go for a walk on Boxing Day to blow away the cobwebs and burn off some of the extra calories you've eaten. 
The main thing is to enjoy yourself and not be too restrictive at this time of year; just be mindful of how much and what you are eating and choose healthier options where possible.  If you eat healthily the rest of the year, eating a few more chocolates and drinking a few more glasses of wine over a couple of days, isn't going to make too much difference.  Just don't eat several boxes of chocolates and drink several bottles of wine if you want to keep the number of calories you consume down! 

In : nutrition 


Tags: 'eating healthily'  'healthy eating'  'eating healthily over christmas' 

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Sarah Cox
Balham, London
Sarah Cox

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