The festive season can jeopardise our healthy eating regime and further the temptation to overeat and drink is not limited to one weekend, but an entire month with Christmas parties, work drinks, and not to mention the never-ending supply of office treats throughout.
So here are our tips to come out the other side with your weight loss plan on track, and not having to take drastic action in January.
Eat before you head out
Don’t turn up to the party hungry making you grab all in site. Follow your usual healthy meal timings and routine in the daytime with good choices at home rather than starve all day then over eat when out. Healthy snacks to tie you over include a hard-boiled egg, hummus and vegetable sticks, apple slices and a handful of nuts or pot of yogurt, or a slice of turkey and reduced fat cheese on wholemeal pitta. Don’t forget to drink a glass of water which also aids fullness.
Take a break before heading for seconds
It can take a little while for your brain to register to your stomach that it’s full so wait for about 20 minutes before going for seconds. Be selective with your seconds too, for example choosing fruit over a sweet treat.
Be buffet savvy
Buffets can be great for letting you choose what is suitable for you. However studies show that the greater choice of food on offer means we are more likely to overfill and load up on more calories. Be mindful here. Limit yourself to a small plate, ideally fill up with 3 or 4 healthy choices and steer clear of pastries, creams and fatty skins on meat.
Put on your dancing shoes
Dancing is a great way to work off some extra calories so why not show off your moves at the next Christmas party. Over Christmas itself, suggest a family walk after lunch – a one hour brisk walk can burn off 280 calories and prevent you feeling sluggish later on.
Don’t let the food be the event’s draw
The food and drink can often be the event’s main draw giving us an excuse to overeat. Instead, enjoy the opportunity to socialise with friends and colleagues and participate in the other activities on offer.
Fill up on turkey and vegetables
Turkey is a lean meat and an excellent protein source. However, keep an eye on your portions and swop the pigs in blanket and sausage meat stuffing for some vegetables which will help fill you up and keep the sugar cravings at bay.
Control your portions
It wouldn’t be a weight loss post without mentioning portion control. It can be easy to eat more than you intended when socialising. To help maintain your portion control, consider a starter (perhaps with a side order of vegetables), instead of a main course, or ask for a smaller portion.
Practice mindful eating
It’s impossible to avoid eating at a party but eating mindfully will allow for the proper signals to be sent to the brain to signal that you’re full. Some mindful eating tips include avoiding the habit of repeatedly grabbing nibbles and crisps lying around you while you chat, paying attention to the foods’ textures and different tastes once at the meal, chewing thoroughly, focusing on how the food makes you feel, and stopping once you’re full.