Staying healthy this Christmas
Well, it’s not often you see the words ‘healthy’ and ‘Christmas’ in the same sentence. It’s the Silly Season after all and we’re entitled to overindulge, right?
We want our Christmas table festooned in all manner of roast meats and braised hams. We want to see every colour of the rainbow represented in our myriad sugar-packed Christmas puddings, pavlovas and trifles. But if we’re clever, we can sneak up on the indulgence with some yummy, yet surprisingly healthy food that doesn’t make us feel like we’re missing out. In fact, by adding some leaner options to our Christmas fiesta, the only thing we miss out on is larger pants when we go back to work.
Here for your festive pleasure are a range of Christmas eating suggestions for those who don’t want to start the year with a Christmas hangover.
Finding a good balance: Healthy Christmas treats
No one is expecting you to lose weight over Christmas; your goal should simply be to retain your current weight. With that in mind, try to alter the balance between all the fatty, sugary stuff and some genuinely healthy alternatives.
Snack on tasty morsels like vegetable sticks, pretzels, rice crackers with avocado dip, sushi, and hummus. Remember, the more you eat low-fat foods, the less room you’ll have for the fatty temptations.
For meats, try to stick to lean chicken and turkey. And up the veggies-to-meat ratio on your plate in favour of the veggies.
Don’t overindulge yourself
Let’s start with the Christmas ham. Yes, it’s a tradition, but it’s not an overly healthy tradition with all that curing and saturated fat.
Moderation is the key. Have your big ham fix during Christmas dinner, but thereafter, try not to see cold ham sandwiches as your holiday snack. Go for some of the aforementioned healthy alternatives as often as you can.
Same with all those creamy dips, chips, candy canes, chocolates, sausage rolls, pies and, of course, the ever-tempting Christmas desserts. Be disciplined. Be mindful and stay aware of your snacking frequency. The odd bit of cake here and the odd chocolate bar there might seem harmless enough, but it will catch up. Limit your intake of all fatty foods to specific meal time events. Limit yourself to single servings, no going back for seconds.
An excellent way to keep your eating under control is to drink a few glasses of water before each meal. Water makes you feel full and you’ll eat less as a result.
Go for a smaller plate
If you’re the sort of person who piles your plate high, try swapping a dinner plate for a smaller, entree plate.
Walk it off
Nothing to do with food, but a great way to keep the weight gain in check nonetheless. So go for an after-dinner walk with the kids. Play a game of tennis or backyard cricket; anything that gets you off the couch and actively burning a few calories for an hour.