HOW TO EAT HEALTHILY OVER CHRISTMAS (WITHOUT FEELING DEPRIVED)

Christmas can seem daunting if you have been sticking to a healthy eating regime beforehand. With so many festive foods in the shops, many of which are not the healthiest choices, it can be hard to resist.

However, it doesn’t have to be difficult to navigate your way through the sugary treats with a little bit of thought and prior planning.

Before I get in to my top 10 tips, there’s one key point for you to consider in relation to how you think about your food choices over the festive period:

Don’t give yourself license to eat everything in sight between now and January 1st.

It’s easy to think it isn’t worth bothering to eat healthily now, however if you go off the rails for 2-3 weeks it will be so much harder to get back on track. On the ‘normal’ days during December try to eat as close to your usual diet as possible.

TOP 10 TIPS FOR A HEALTHY CHRISTMAS

  • If you have been trying to lose weight, set an intention over Christmas to maintain. Trying to lose weight over the next few weeks is probably an unrealistic goal for most.

  • Plan ahead as much as possible. If you usually make meal plans continue to do this over Christmas, eat something healthy before you go out if you know you might be tempted to pick at food and have some healthy snacks to hand such as nuts, olives and fruit.

  • Drink alcohol with food rather than on an empty stomach and aim to drink a glass of water in between alcoholic drinks.

  • Continue to exercise as you would normally. If you haven’t been doing much exercise recently, wrap up and get out for a brisk walk anyway.

  • Eat mindfully. It is so easy to overeat, especially during long family meals when there is lots of food on the table to pick at. Slow down your eating speed and make a point of stopping when you feel full.

  • Have a protein-rich breakfast to help curb cravings later in the day. Something egg-based would be a great choice.

  • Only indulge when it’s really worth it. If you love mince pies, have one and enjoy it but don’t mindlessly pick at the Quality Street if they aren’t really your thing. Save your indulgences for something you really love and you won’t feel deprived.

  • Fill half your plate with seasonal vegetables, but go easy on the potatoes and parsnips.

  • Don’t forget that many traditional Christmas foods are really healthy! Turkey, Brussels sprouts, red cabbage, chestnuts, walnuts and dark chocolate all have lots of nutritional benefits.

  • Remember that YOU are ultimately in charge of what goes in your mouth. Don’t be swayed by what other people are eating. You decide what is best for you and yes, it is ok to leave something on your plate.

Ultimately Christmas is a time for celebrating and spending time with friends and family so don’t be too hard on yourself if you do indulge in a few things. Follow my tips and above all, relax and enjoy yourself.