As the party season is upon us I thought I’d do a blog post with some tips that can help you stay on track.
The Christmas holidays are stressful for nearly everyone, well apart from kids. People panic if they’ve remembered to send everyone cards, have they got the right present for so and so, where to sit Aunt Ethel when she doesn’t get along with cousin Susan and this all before the food has even been thought about.
I am not even going to pretend that I am all virtuous when it comes to eating and drinking at Christmastime. That being said, though, I know now not to go to excess and the tips below help me so I hope they can help you too.
First of all I’d like to know why everyone goes to the complete excess at Christmas? If it isn’t presents its food and drink. We seem to buy enough food as though there’s going to be an apocalypse and the food supply to our area is going to be cut off. I’m speaking from experience but judging by everyone elses trolleys and baskets in the supermarket, nearly everyone buys far too much in.
I know in my family we have always had much more than needed food wise. I can remember Christmas dinners at my Grandmother’s house the dining table would literally be groaning under the weight of all the food. As we’d leave her house to head back home, everyone was handed a food parcel and then there was still plenty of food in her cupboards, fridge and freezer to feed the street!
Before I post my tips, I would just like to say that this time of the year is all about enjoyment so if you do find yourself eating a whole Terry’s Chocolate Orange in one sitting (yep, that was me) or having to undo a notch on your belt whilst devouring another round turkey and stuffing sandwiches (again, that was me), do not beat yourself up over it. Life is far too short and if you do start with the guilty feelings you’re likely to think sod it and eat more food to comfort you.
Tips For The Holiday Season
Eat Things You Love
Okay so this may seem obvious but what I mean is, eat the things you absolutely love but wouldn’t normally eat at other times of the year or things you eat very rarely. For me it has to be a dairy free pate, I absolutely love pate so if I have some oatcakes with pate I’m not going to beat myself up over it, I’m going to enjoy it! At the same time, I’m not going to go mad and stock up on things I just ‘like’ and eat for the sake of eating….which brings me on to tip 2.
Scan The Buffet
Following on from tip 1, if you’re at a buffet, scan the whole set up because the foods you love may be at the end of the table and by the time you reach them your plate will be full of foods which are just ‘ok’. In addition to foods you love, focus on healthier alternatives to have like guacamole and crudities, fruit and greens.
Make up a Plate
At a buffet it’s best to make up a plate rather than grazing, treat it as if you are having a meal. Fill a plate up of foods you love, salads and other plant-based foods and then you are less likely to keep returning to the buffet table.
Sit Down and Chew
I understand this may be tricky in a social setting especially at a party but if you can find somewhere to sit down and chew your food and enjoy it, you are less likely to go back for more as your brain has registered you ave eaten and your stomach will be satisfied.
It is very tempting on a cold winter’s evening to sit in front of the TV and watch Home Alone for the 357th time with a cheese board to keep you company. However, if you are busy playing board games or charades or even out for a walk or sledging with the family you are less tempted to be snacking.
Have 3 Days Alcohol-free Per Week
I know it’s the holidays and everyone seems to drink more at this time of year but try to have 3 alcohol free days per week to give your liver and the rest of your body a chance to rest. There are many alcohol free mocktail recipes on the internet or if you fancy it, try creating your own.
When it’s colder we tend not to drink as much water as we would in the warmer months but it is still vitally important we get enough fluids. If plain water isn’t your thing, try adding fruit and herbs to your water to jazz it up!
I am a huge believer of this, not just at this time of year but all year. I can certainly tell when I’ve not had a sufficient breakfast and by 11am I want to eat everything in sight and then this feeling tends to carry on the rest of the day, nothing seems to satisfy my hunger. Whether it’s just a quick breakfast of wholegrain bread with nut butter and banana or a couple of poached eggs or a bowl of porridge, eating a good breakfast will set you up for the day.
Finally, I would just like to say, if you do have a day where you overeat it does not matter. Tomorrow is a new day. I know many people who overeat for one day think that that’s it they may as well continue eating rubbish until the New Year and then start the New Year afresh with a big healthy eating and exercise regime. You don’t need to wait until the New Year you can start the very next day. Don’t beat yourself up, banish guilty thoughts, you are human, we all do it from time to time. Having guilty thoughts will more than likely make you turn to food for comfort. Enjoy the food and start afresh the next day.
I’d love to hear some your tips which help you stay on track during the Christmas holidays, please feel free to comment below.
Health and happiness to you all.