Christmas is all about being with your family and enjoying yourself. I look forward to the Christmas-New Year week for pretty much 51 weeks out of the 52. Time off with the children, presents, great food and a happy festive atmosphere everywhere you go. What’s not to love J.
As much as I love Christmas, I used to dread it a little too. January would come and I would have to face the reality of feeling overweight, sluggish and unhappy with my weight. Last year I decided enough was enough. I set myself rules and boundaries. I still enjoyed my food, but in a more controlled and sensible way. I put on about a pound, which was a huge improvement on the usual 3-4-5lbs. My jeans still fitted me and I didn’t have to dig out all loose tops from the back of the wardrobe.
I was pleasantly surprised by how little effort it actually took. I did not feel deprived and enjoyed every meal just as much as everyone else.
So what are the changes that you can make to your Christmas routine in order to avoid piling on the pounds?
- Avoid calories that are not worth it. Don’t start December thinking that extra calories don’t count since it is ok to put on extra weight in December. If you can’t say no to the office cakes, see if there is a mini version. Mini bites, mini cupcakes and mini rolls will do a lot less damage as long as you eat one and not ten. If full size doughnuts are all that’s on offer, can you find a fellow slimmer who will be happy to share
- Look after your gut. Taking probiotic in the weeks leading up to Christmas will make a huge difference to how your digestive system processes food. It can prevent you from feeling sluggish and bloated and will help you avoid that over-full feeling. Probiotic can come in its natural form in foods like kefir and sauerkraut, or in easy to take capsules.
- Never go to a party hungry, especially if it is a buffet. Have a light salad or a green smoothie before you go. A kefir smoothie will keep you full and will line the stomach. You’ll be amazed how much difference this simple tip can make.
- Keep to ½ and ½ rule. Half vegetables, half everything else. No, vegetables do not include roast potatoes. This way you can still have a full plate, but with ½ the calories and double the fiber.
- Go for fruity deserts. Think sorbets and jellies rather than profiteroles. If you are hosting, why not make a healthy desert as an alternative to the normal high fat-high sugar ones. That way you will not have to feel guilty and the chances are some of the guests might prefer a healthy option too.
- Don’t overeat when you don’t really want to. So many times I was eating just for the sake of it. The fridge is bursting, the whole Christmas week feels like one continuous dinner. If you are not having a meal as a family or going out with friends, why not have a salad or a soup instead of the full on meal.