Mince pies, plum puddings and bottles of Christmas cheer – it’s hard to imagine Christmas without a smorgasbord of festive fare. So how do you enjoy the silly season without over-indulging and piling on the kilos? Is it even possible? The answer is yes you can have a healthy Christmas. All you require is a little bit of forward planning and a decent amount of willpower. Here are seven ways to stop weight-gain this holiday season, without missing out on all the fun – and the food!
1. Never arrive hungry
Whether you’re hosting at home or celebrating around someone else’s tree, NEVER join the party with an empty belly – or you’ll want to devour everything in sight. Have a light snack 30-60 minutes before your festivities commence and always have a decent breakfast every morning. Skimping on breakfast to try and leave room for a large lunch will only make you overeat and leave you feeling ready to explode
2. Always offer to bring a dish
If you’re not in charge of the Christmas feast, offer to bring a salad or vegetable dish to add to the host’s table. This way, you will ensure that there will be at least one healthy option for you to eat.
3. Keep up your exercise
There’s always room for some festive season indulgence, as long as you’re burning off the extra calories with exercise. Just because it’s Christmas does not mean you should let your fitness regime slide – especially if you’re planning on sampling the ‘sweeter’ side of the season. At the very least you should spend 30 minutes a day taking a brisk walk around your neighbourhood – your body will thank you for it!
4. Control your portion sizes
When you’re circling the buffet table deciding on what to put on your plate, the best thing to do is to opt for a little bit of everything rather than a lot of one thing. Moderation really is the key to managing your weight (and health) over the holidays. This goes for alcohol too – sip slowly and make each drink last for as long as possible. And always pace yourself by following each alcoholic drink with a big glass of water.
5. Don’t eat while in the kitchen
Probably the most important tip for the festive season is to never eat while you are preparing or cleaning up a meal. Follow this simple rule and you won’t find yourself snacking while getting the Christmas feast ready, or gobbling the leftovers while you’re cleaning up after it.
6. Donate your chocolate gifts
Christmas and chocolate go hand-in-hand; gifting chocolate is an easy way of sharing good cheer and it’s an excellent present to give if you don’t know what else to buy. If you find that you are the lucky recipient of chocolate gifts this year, just remember you don’t have to eat it all yourself! Keep a bit for home, that goes without saying, but donate the bulk of it to charity. That way you’ll be helping your waistline, but also giving joy to someone in need.