Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Healthy Christmas Eating

Healthy Christmas eating - is that possible?  Of course it is.  A little thought and making a few decisions about what you will and won't eat (or drink) over the festive season will ensure you stay in control.

Decide your strategy now - are you going to go all out and eat and drink everything in sight and deal with the aftermath in January?  Or, are you going to control things, enjoy a few treats but make good choices at least 60-80% of the time?  Entirely up to you, but decide which then DON'T FEEL GUILTY, just enjoy whichever choice you have made.

If you are going to try for the 60-80% good choices then here are a few tips to help you stay on track.

1.  Decide in advance which meals or occasions are going to be the ones you eat what you like.  For example, I have decided that Christmas day, New years eve and two parties are going to be my eat-what-I-like (and drink) occasions.  Other times, I will try to eat three good, nutritious meals per day with no snacking.  Now, I am sure the odd mince pie and sherry (ugh!) will get under my radar but this is my aim.  And if I can manage this, I will not feel guilty at any other point.

2. Base your healthy meals around quality protein (meat, fish, eggs, pulses) and add lots of vegetables (particularly green vegetables).  Add some starchy carbohydrate (parsnips, pasta, potatoes, brown rice) in small amounts and only if you are feeling particularly hungry.  By eating in this way, you will ensure your energy levels stay high and you don't get cravings.

3. Try not to snack between meals.  If you have to snack, avoid sugary snacks - they will just make you crave more.  Snack on vegetables and tomato-based dips, berries and yogurt, and add some more starchy carbohydrate and protein to your next meal to try to avoid the hunger between meals.

4. Alcohol - when you drink, alternate each drink with water.

5. There are lots of healthy choices available even with traditional Christmas food.  Turkey is great, eat lots of vegetables and less roast potatoes.  Smoked salmon and plain nuts are all great foods.  Keep the salted peanuts and crisps to a minimum.  Choose carefully and you will remain on track.

6. Last point - get active!  Go for a walk - the more you move the better you will feel.

Have a very Merry Christmas.  Enjoy it to the utmost - hopefully with lots of energy, no bloating and lethargy from over-eating and minimal weight gain.

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