Top Tips to Eating Well at Christmas

Christmas, New Years and all the related parties come with food and alcohol (for those of us who drink). And you shouldn’t have to miss out for the sake of being healthy. Moderation and balance is the key. So here are my top tips to achieving just that, without hiding away from the parties and food tables.

Drinking

  1. Drink 8 glasses of water a day, everyday, more on hot days – if you quench your thirst throughout the day, you won’t be inclined to try and do it with alcohol.
  2. Drink alcohol slower – If you slow down how quickly you consume your drinks through the night, you are bound to have less.
  3. Alternate between water and alcoholic drinks
  4. Choose your alcohol wisely – wines and liqueurs have less calories than beer. BUT if you mix liqueurs with a soft drink or flavouring syrups, liqueurs can quickly blow out, so watch what you mix with.
  5. Don’t drink alcohol if you are dehydrated – hot summer days can leave you dehydrated, so if you haven’t been keeping up with your water, don’t substitute it with alcohol. You will feel worse the next day if you do.

Food

  1. Skip the sauces on your food – if you need a sauce don’t drown it in sauce, go for just enough to alleviate the dryness of the food. Sauces tend to have a lot of sugar -> calories
  2. Eat some (healthier) food at home before you go to party – If you’re not as hungry, you’re less likely to try and make a meal of the richer foods. You can sample the food, but you won’t be needing much of it.
  3. Don’t over eat! – it’s an easy thing to do while drinking and socialising. Be mindful of what you put on your plate in the first place. When you go for seconds, really think about how full you are feeling and whether or not you will actually enjoy the extra food. Or will it send you over the edge, leaving you bloated and tired.
  4. Watch your portions – buffets can be hard to avoid this time of year which can be a good thing – you get to choose what you have on your plate and how much of it. Consider how much and what types of food your are choosing – more salad, a little meat, less sauce, some carbs (less of the highly processed variety).
  5. Remember moderation – In a season full of temptation, don’t make it about deprivation. Appreciate and enjoy the foods on offer, but follow the steps above and you won’t over do it.

If you find you over do it in some way at any given time, don’t beat yourself up! No one is perfect and we shouldn’t be shooting for perfect, we should be aiming for consistent. Beating yourself up will only make you feel less like doing better the next day or next time. You will be more likely to reach the end of the holidays and find yourself needing to start good habits all over again. No one wants to repeat those same New Years resolutions for yet another year – try something new this coming new year 😉