The lead up to Christmas and the panic of meal preparation for families is well underway- have I got a big enough turkey? What if someone’s a vegetarian? Can you really have too much stuffing? Is there enough pudding? All questions which circulate round your head with only one week to go. You might also be wondering how to ensure you don’t over indulge on Christmas. Whilst it is a day to indulge you don’t necessarily have to over do it just because it’s Christmas.
You might be familiar with the feeling when January rolls around and you’re probably wishing you didn’t have that extra mince pie and the extra glass of vino… So in order to keep yourself energised and not to feel too sluggish going back to work and starting those New years resolutions (which lets be honest, you’re already doubting that you’ll keep) maintaining a steady eating pattern over the holidays is your best bet. Here are my top 10 festive tips:
1. Portion Size! This is a key player in indulging but not over indulging… Make sure you’re not filling every inch of your plate just because there’s the food available. You can still enjoy your Christmas dinner with reasonable portion sizes. Ensure that half your plate is filled with veggies.
2. Stay active, during the holidays it’s tempting to put your feet up and binge watch all the festive movies. While this is a good way to enjoy family time and relax it’s also important that you stay active. Think about getting yourself out (and the rest of the family) and going for a walk. Research has shown that the more you snack whilst watching T.V the more likely you are to consume more food at your next meal.
3. Don’t go to hard on the booze! Having a few glasses of wine is completely acceptable however, you might want to rethink opening the bottle at 10am. You should absolutely enjoy a few glasses but make sure you’re staying hydrated by drinking a glass of water between drinks and opt for lower sugar options such as gin and slimline tonic or vodka, soda, lime.
4. Let’s talk about your Christmas plate. Here’s my rough guide… Aim for half your plate composed vegetables, a quarter for your protein (turkey/pork/pheasant) and the other quarter is for all the little extras- another stuffing, pigs in blankets, maybe some cranberry sauce.
5. Make sure that you’re catching up on your sleep this holiday. In between the shopping, cooking, family gatherings and late nights out make sure you’re giving your body the rest it needs. An adult should be aiming for 7-8 hours sleep, with teenagers needing an extra hour. Poor sleep is linked to increased energy intake and cravings for high sugar, high fat foods.
6. Make sure you enjoy the little things. Just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean that your days have to be massively focused on food and whether or not you can afford to eat a mince pie. Enjoy yourself, be aware but let go.
Ultimately, Christmas is a time to indulge but that doesn’t mean you have to over indulge! Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!