Christmas is a time of celebration. But it’s also known as the holiday where we do the most splurging on foods with high fat and calorie content. Sticking to healthy eating or at least having a balance seems nearly impossible.
Therefore, it is most important that we find ways in which we can survive this Christmas season without sabotaging our health goals or feeling guilty in January. The key is to plan ahead, know what healthy foods you can use to substitute for unhealthy ones and escape the holiday snack temptations. Here are some useful guidelines you can stick to for the December season.
Start your Christmas with a selection of healthy choices for a balanced breakfast. Choose less servings of meat in your pepperpot and lessen the slices of bread you use while ensuring it is whole wheat. Include a fruit or yogurt and a glass of juice as a bonus. This will help you to withstand hunger and prevent overeating while lunch or dinner is being prepared. If you don’t favour bread, have a bowl of porridge or whole grained cereal topped with fruit, a spoon of yogurt and some honey.
Ensure there are healthy options for your family’s lunch. Load your plate with vegetable dishes, salad and high protein meals then take smaller portions of the rich ones. Use juices or mauby and sorrel drinks instead of soda.
Desserts and snacking
Lessen the size of the black cake and try not to go for that second serving. Opt for fruit salad instead of ice cream or pie, or lessen the servings by half and add a fruit. Keep the snacks locked away; the closer they are, the higher the temptations. Try consuming healthy snacks or small portions of your meal every three to four hours throughout the day. This aids in stabilizing blood sugar levels and is much healthier than a single large meal. There is always the option of having a cup of tea instead of dessert. Tea has lots of antioxidants and will fill you up.
Drinking lots of water during the day will prevent over-eating and unhealthy snacking. A lot of people confuse thirst for hunger. For dinner, drink a glass of red wine. Red wine is loaded with antioxidants that help fight heart disease and cancer. It also improves cholesterol, fights free radical damage, helps manage diabetes, fights obesity and prevents cognitive decline. If you do not partake in alcohol, opt for a glass of 100% fruit juice.
If you’re attending an event, contribute healthy options that you and others can partake in. Also, before going out, eat a healthy snack to curb your appetite. It will prevent you from going wild at the buffet. Walk with a small healthy snack incase you can’t find anything healthy to eat, for example, an apple, orange, banana or a pack of nuts. Don’t be tempted to skip meals so you can stockpile calories for drinking. Alcohol only supplies empty calories. You will lose out on the valuable nutrients you need to help detoxify all of that alcohol.