Christmas is one of my favourite times of year, everything is all beautiful and shiny, people are happy and jolly, and there is just an air of warmth and love - But it often comes hand in hand with extra parties and gatherings where you are tempted to over-indulge in loads of food and drinks you normally wouldn't. Whilst this is ok on occasion, when it becomes a frequent thing over this time of year it's easy to get off track with your health and fitness goals and end up letting some bad habits (and foods!) follow you in to the new year.
So I want to arm you with some super handy tips for when you go to parties, gatherings, and anywhere you know you'll be tempted, to help minimise overeating, to battle the after effect, and to combat the infamous Christmas bulge:
- Hold a cup (or your phone or wallet) in one hand. This minimises how many snack type foods you can grab and keeps you distracted.
- If you are drinking alcohol, alternate each drink with water to make sure you keep hydrated and to minimise the hangover. Try drinks such as vodka/gin and plain water (getting some hydration easily in too!) with fresh lime or lemon wedges and try to stick to the one drink to minimise hangovers. Avoid the punch and the sugar pop type drinks that are loaded with artificial junk, pointless calories, and too many preservatives.
- Eat before you go. It's simple, it's effective, and it prevents over eating. This doesn't mean you can't eat when you go to parties, it just means you'll eat less - which is super handy when the foods on offer are usually not the healthiest.
- Go for the foods with the least amount of sauces, dressings, and ingredients on offer. Keep it simple and fill up on the fresh foods, salads, veggies, meat, fruit, and minimise how many sweet foods you have (unless you take an amazingly healthy dessert - loads of ideas are included here).
- Take a dish that you know you will suit your needs so you have something to eat - plus this is a way to wow plenty of those healthy food doubters. Need ideas, there's plenty of ideas here and they are all so tasty and delicious nobody will know they are made with only real food.
- Relax, breathe, and enjoy yourself. Keep busy and fill yourself up on the relationships, conversations, and experiences around you rather than mindlessly stuffing your gob. And when you eat something that you normally wouldn't, enjoy every bite of it - it is Christmas time after all, just don't go so over-board that you make yourself sick the next day.
- Use your time off to spend some quality time outdoors - get active, go for a walk (especially helpful for your digestion if you've over-eaten), spend time with friends and family doing activities rather than being plugged in and spending it in front of the TV. Use it as time off from normal stressors and rejuvenate and nourish your body rather than allowing it to become inactive and sluggish - set yourself off on the right track before those infamous new year's resolutions come rolling by!
Happy Eating and Merry Christmas!