Did you know that the average person gains around half a stone over the Christmas period? Follow these 10 simple ways to enjoy your favourite festive treats AND keep the holiday pounds at bay...
10 Ways To Enjoy Christmas Without Piling On The Pounds
1) Start your day the right way…
Set yourself up for success by having a healthy but hearty protein rich breakfast. Protein keeps us ‘fuller for longer’, which results in eating less throughout the day.
*Try poached eggs or Greek yoghurt with seeds and berries
2) Fill your plate with festive veg
It’s easy to eat a 400-calorie mince pie within seconds, but not so easy to eat 400 calories worth of veg quite so quickly - you’d be stuffed!!
Fill at least half of your plate with festive vegetables and you’ll be guaranteed to have a lower calorie and healthier dish.
*Give your veg a twist by adding festive spices and cold-pressed oils
3) Don’t shy away from the turkey
Turkey is a wonder food when it comes to weight loss. This lean meat is a perfect source of protein, which can stave off hunger.
It’s also rich in tryptophan, which is the precursor to our happy hormone serotonin! The happier we are the more satisfied we feel.
*Don’t let left overs go to waste, try turkey salads, burgers, stews and soups
4) Opt for roast potatoes with health benefits…
By roasting your potatoes in olive oil you can maximize health benefits without compromising flavour.
We can support heart health by replacing some saturated fats with monounsaturated fats such as olive oil.
5) Get inventive with your canapés
Most shop bought canapés are high in trans-fats, refined carbohydrates and are ladened with calories.
Make your own healthy alternatives and you can snack without the worry of piling on the pounds.
*Try hummus, guacamole, spinach & artichoke dip with crudités, prawns, grilled chicken skewers, roasted chestnut mushrooms, spiced seed crackers and unsalted spiced nuts
6) Enjoy a drink…but choose wisely
Opt for a clear spirit (vodka/gin) with a no sugar mixer (sparkling water) and a squeeze of lemon or lime.
With only 70-90 calories per glass and zero sugar, you can enjoy this drink almost guilt-free.
7) Double weight loss with a food diary
A study of 1,700 people showed that food diaries can actually double weight loss! The simple act of writing down what you eat encourages people to consume fewer calories.
*Try recording food intake on a Post-It note, take pictures on your phone, record on the notes section on your phone, send yourself text messages or keep a record on an app.
8) Learn the art of mindful eating
Meal times shouldn’t be a race to the finish line. Take your time to chew, put your fork down between each bite. Savour the flavours to give your brain time to register that enough is enough.
9) Make healthy chocolate alternatives
Have a go at making these super easy raw chocolates. They are sweetened with coconut blossom nectar, which has a lower glycaemic load in comparison to refined sugar. Perfect for minimising that blood sugar spike and crash.
*Top tip – choose raw cocoa for an extra antioxidant boost
10) Book in your Boxing Day walk
Wrap up warm and organise a boxing day walk, not only is this a great time to bond and de-stress after the Christmas hype, it will also help to boost metabolism and burn off extra calories.
Lily Soutter Bsc (Hons) Nutrition, Dip ION, mBANT, CNHC
Lily is a Nutritionist and weight loss expert providing one-to-one nutrition consultations for health optimisation. She has obtained a Food and Human Nutrition degree from Newcastle University and a Nutritional Therapy diploma from The Institute of Optimum Nutrition. Lily has an extensive knowledge of the science of food and health, which enables her to regularly write for The Daily Mail, The Independent, The Mirror, Women's Health, Marie Claire, Good Housekeeping and Cosmopolitan.
For one-to-one nutrition consultations:
07929 392166 firstname.lastname@example.org