Festive family feasts are one of the more exciting parts of the holidays. Yes, Christmas and the holidays are a time for indulgence. But indulgence doesn’t mean you have to eat until the Santa suit actually fits.
There is a way to indulge in the delights of holiday spread without engorging your digestive system.
Here are our top tips for eating, drinking and being merry and still looking hot on the beach.
Eat the healthy stuff first
Summer salads are delish and if you fill up on those first, there will be less room for the not-so-healthy other bits. Next fill up on protein and (healthy) carbohydrates. Then finish with a bite of dessert.
Don’t turn everything into a sandwich
Eat the turkey and ham but avoid the bread. By the time you add butter and sauce you’re more than doubling your calorie count…and guess what? It’s yummy enough without it. There’s likely to be other, more delicious side on the menu but if you must have bread split it with someone else.
Just a taste
There’s usually a stack of dishes at a family get-together and we often feel obliged to have some of everything to satisfy the hopeful amateur chefs around the table. Our advice is to taste everything, but don’t binge on everything. Have a bit of everything on your plate and if you really do love a dish, have just have a little more of your absolute faves.
Don’t over-do it on snacks
Nibbles like chocolate and nuts will probably be out all day and night. But just because they’re there, doesn’t mean you have to eat them. Save your tummy for delicious, more nourishing mains! You’ll be surprised how quickly a handful of snacks can turn into a Christmas binge.
Christmas foods that you know you will just eat because they’re there. This delightful concept involves giving high-calorie foods away to people who aren’t worried about their weight, e.g. the single blokes next door who have highly physical jobs or bring them to gatherings to share. You don’t need four boxes of shortbread in the pantry. Seriously – you don’t.
Celebrations often feature fancy drinks, and fancy drinks are usually alcoholic. If you plan on drinking and being merry, be sure you stick to the guidelines of one standard drink of alcohol per day. Try to also have at least two alcohol-free days a week. Not only does too much alcohol wreak havoc on your health, but it can also curb your weight loss efforts too.
Bring something healthy to the party
If you’re bringing a dish to a party, make it healthy. That way you know that there will be at least one healthy thing you can get full on that won’t break your calorie bank.
Take it away
If you fall particularly head-over-heels for a dish, remember that it doesn’t have to be a one night stand. Ask the host if you can take a little away to enjoy tomorrow when you’re less likely to explode from too much food. Even better, ask for the recipe so you can make a batch to have all to yourself another day!