Christmas carols are being played everywhere you go and you’re probably starting to plan your Christmas menu. However, Christmas can be a difficult time when it comes to sticking to a nutritious, wholefood diet. So, here are some tips to make it easier for you.
- Don’t go to a party hungry
It’s a good idea to have a snack before going out. This will reduce the chances of eating the not-so-nutritious party food. A high-protein snack will help you to feel full, as well as helping your food choices while at the party. Some ideas include a handful of nuts, a boiled egg, or veggie sticks with hummus.
- Don’t try to lose weight
This is fairly self-explanatory. It is going to be a very determined person who will be successful at losing weight over the festive season. Instead, aim to maintain your current weight. You can do the following to help:
- Consider your food choices – go for the more nutritious food such as salads & vegetables, meat and fruit instead of offerings such as pastries, chips, lollies or chocolates
- Pile your plate high with salad
- Try to wait 20 minutes before having seconds. It takes that long for your brain to get the message that you’re full.
- Contribute a nutritious dish (or serve them if you’re hosting)
If you’re taking a plate to a function, or are hosting at your home, serve dishes that are nutritious – homemade dips with veggie sticks, nuts and seeds, salads, roasted veggies, lean meat dishes, fresh seafood, a big fruit platter for dessert.
- Pack snacks
If you’re out for a while (such as trying to get all your shopping done in one go!), pack a snack to take with you. Some nuts or a banana will serve you better for morning tea instead of a slice of banana bread with your coffee.
- Drink right
Make sure that you stay well hydrated during the festive season. With the increased consumption of alcoholic beverages, it is easy to become dehydrated. Drinking lots of water with alcohol (try to alternate between water and that glass of wine) also helps with the dreaded hangover.
- Enjoy yourself! Eat what you want.
Now, this is tricky. Eat because your body tells you that you want it, not eat everything because it’s there and because its Christmas. Listen to your body. If it’s telling you that you would love some of that amazing shortbread that your aunty made, then eat that and enjoy eating it. But skip the fruit mince tarts if they’re not your favourite and you wouldn’t miss it if you didn’t have it.
Also remember that Christmas is only one day of the year. If you don’t get caught up in all the pre-Christmas festivities, you should be able to enjoy your day without feeling guilty.