It’s official – Christmas is nearly here. Eager neighbours already have their decorations up and the first of the Christmas meals is fast approaching (or, in my case, was in November).
Apparently we eat 3 times as many calories on Christmas day compared to normal days. So how can you avoid piling on the pounds this Christmas? Here are a few helpful ideas which your January waist-line will thank you for:
- Alcohol! As my first alcoholic drink on Christmas day is alarmingly early, I’m in no position to lecture anyone. However, alcohol will ramp up your calorie intake very quickly, especially if you like cream liqueurs. Fortunately, Champagne has fewer calories than wine 🙂
- Have a healthy breakfast like smoked salmon and scrambled eggs. Not only is this really good for you but will also fill you up, helping you avoid tempting snacks.
- Replace high calorie, high fat, high salt snacks with olives, crudités made of carrot, pepper and cucumber, bread sticks and home-made dips like guacamole, houmous and salsa.
- At Christmas dinner, load up on the vegetables. Sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, parsnips, peas – all high in vitamins and minerals, as well as being low in calories. Go mad with the veggies!
- Christmas pudding, mince pies, double cream, brandy butter and custard are all massively fattening in their own rights – and we eat them together. Try having a small portion of pudding without the cream, custard or brandy butter.
- Cheese and biscuits – the perfect accompaniment to Christmas night in front of the TV. Hard cheeses like Cheddar are high in saturated fat, so choose softer cheeses, like soft garlic cheese, Brie or Edam. Healthier biscuit options include oatcakes or water biscuits, or just have the cheese with chopped apple or grapes.
- Chocolates – if they’re there, you’ll eat them! But 4 chocolates can add up to 200 calories. Dare I suggest just not buying them in the first place? (No, I didn’t think so!)
- Other things which will help expand your waist-line include pastry wrapped snacks like sausage rolls, party foods like miniature pies and burgers, salted nuts, all-butter biscuits, Christmas cake, sausage meat stuffing, Stilton, crisps, and the list goes on. Approach with caution.
- And finally, keep exercising! I know it’s hard to exercise at this time of year but it really is essential. Things like getting off the bus a stop early, taking the stairs instead of a lift, carrying a shopping basket instead of pushing a trolley (maybe not for the big food shop), will all help keep you fit and maintain a healthy weight. Also, exercising really keeps your mind focused on eating healthier foods because you’ve already worked so hard so get fit.