‘Tis the season to be jolly! Sometimes the holiday season seems like an endless round of Christmas lunches, parties, and drinks and nibbles with friends. This can spell disaster for our waistlines and by the time New Year rolls around we’re feeling like the only solution is to find the best diet. So here are some tips to help you avoid ending the holiday season with a belly as tubby as Santa’s.
Obviously some events are so enjoyable, and no-one in their right mind would turn down the food. So realize that on some days any sort of eating plan is going by the board. With only a couple of weeks of November left, I'm in the middle of a three week weight loss program so I can fit comfortably into my party clothes. However, once we get to the party season. I'm just going to sit back, put any thoughts of guilt aside and make the most of the occasion. Watching the diet will be done on other days.
For all the memorable occasions there are also plenty where the food is a to put it politely, bit ordinary. Last year, Karen went out for her office Christmas lunch, and told me the food was terrible. The parsnips had some weird coating and weren’t properly cooked, the turkey was bone dry and the Christmas pudding had been reheated to barely lukewarm.
On those occasions, when the food isn’t good. Either pick the healthy option or just don’t eat it. Of course, be polite if required and pick at it if necessary, but don’t wolf it down. Don’t waste the calories on something which you are not enjoying. Have something tasty and healthy when you get home.
Drinks are another area where it can be easy to make healthy choices. The problem with drinks isn’t the alcohol itself, it’s the sugary mixers or beer, which cause your body to pile on the pounds. Drink wine, enjoy a glass of fizz, or choose spirits with low calorie mixers, skip the egg nog and the sweet fruity punches.
The other problem with alcohol is harder to solve. After a few drinks not only do most men look more attractive, but so do the high calorie snacks! To help combat this drink water in between the alcoholic drinks to dilute the effect of the alcohol, and help you feel much better the morning after.
Unless I’m hosting a party, I keep snacks and crisps out of the house and stock up on healthy nibbles. Then I don’t worry about grazing when I’m out at an event.
That said, try to limit your choice from a buffet to the things you’ll enjoy the most. Don’t try everything on the table as sampling too many different flavors can fool your brain into thinking you want to eat more.
Mingle and chat at parties, use the opportunity to catch up with family and friends. It’s hard to eat at the same time as talking, so make socializing, not eating your priority.
If you are hosting a party remember that your guests are probably having the same weight issues and will thank you if you can offer some tasty yet healthy alternatives to the usual party fare.
Eat healthily in-between events. As it says in the Venus Factor eating plan says: “Win the week, not the day”. Preparation, a meal plan and a shopping list can really help make sure you have quick cook food in. Taking half an hour to make a home cooked meal is better for your waistline than grabbing junk food as you rush between work, shopping and the inevitable Christmas preparations. You can also make a point of eating less at lunchtime to reduce your total calorie intake.
Watch your portion sizes, it’s OK to have a slice of grandma’s boozy Christmas cake, but make it a slightly smaller slice.
This next tip I picked up from a BBC newsreader. She said, never wear lose clothing or elasticated waist trousers, nor buy a bigger size of jeans. Snug fitting jeans will let you know when you’re eating too much and the discomfort as they get too tight will help you stop eating before you pile on the pounds.
And above all, try and get enough sleep. Getting enough sleep helps to regulate hormones that keep hunger and appetite at bay. The festive season is tiring enough without being sleep deprived and extra hungry as well.
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