Indulge this Christmas Without Piling on the Pounds
On the big day itself, it’s natural and even necessary to indulge. The key thing is to not turn Christmas into an excuse to overindulge every single day. While you certainly shouldn’t feel guilty over Christmas, it is important to make sure you don’t develop bad eating habits, as it will be harder to stay on track in the New Year.
Instead of making yourself guilty, or feeling like you have to restrict yourself over the festive season, try making your version of otherwise indulgent recipes. There are many alternatives to calorie-laden traditional recipes that you can find online. In our society, we are lucky enough that stores are always stocked full of healthier alternatives that cater to vegans, celiacs, and almost every other dietary requirement. Be careful when shopping for these self-proclaimed healthy or ‘free-from’ alternatives as they can sometimes have hidden nasties. It’s far better to make your own version of something like a pie rather than getting it ready-made.
Make the most of seasonal produce that you can find at this time of the year. Go to your local farmers market and get inspired by the range of fruits and vegetables that you can still find in winter. Don’t feel afraid to ask the vendors for recipes, especially when you’re not familiar with certain types of grain or vegetables. Instead of having candy about the house, try to make centerpieces with bright oranges and pomegranates for a fruity festive feel.
Don’t forget your greens
As well as having all kinds of delicious treats available on Christmas day, also include several healthy options. Remember, healthy doesn’t mean boring, so make dishes that you know everyone will also enjoy. Make a Kale salad feel Christmassy by adding fresh pomegranate and nuts on top. Greens are often overlooked in a Christmas dinner, but they can add a little bit of freshness to an otherwise heavy meal.
Alternative methods of cooking
Instead of frying everything this year, or using heaps of oil, try using low-calorie methods such as steaming, or using a slow cooker. You can experiment with different kinds of dishes, incorporating seafood as well into your Christmas meal. Try to make salmon with a slow cooker and have it as a side dish, or prepare it after the Christmas period.
You might not realise that liquid calories can make you gain weight much more than calories from solid food. This isn’t because liquids magically convert into fat more than food, but because it is easier to consume a surplus of calories when you are drinking without realising it. High calorie drinks to watch out for include sodas and alcoholic beverages, but also include fruit juices- often recommended to us as an alternative. The calories found in sodas don’t give an indication of the nutritional value, as a smoothie, for example, can be high in calories but will at least be nutritionally dense.
Don’t feel like you have to avoid delicious food over the holidays, but making some small changes, and following simple ways to make dishes healthier, you can go into the New Year feeling a better version of yourself.