Wow, only 4 weeks until Christmas! All my clients have been a little stressed out about work amping up and trying to get everything done before the holiday period. On top of this it seems that everyone wants to get in a social Christmas event with you BEFORE the big day hits. Food is a big part of celebrating Christmas, but if you just keep mindful about your choices you can come out the other side not too bad off. This year I thought I would list some simple Do’s and Don’ts.
Do (You will get lots of presents)
· Take a healthy dish to a party. Options include a big plate of sushi, rice paper rolls, home made Thai fish cakes, cherry tomato, bocconcini and basil skewers or a big fruit salad platter.
· Have a small high protein snack before you go out so that you don’t turn up hungry and devour the first thing in sight (hello sausage rolls!!). Some ideas include a small 95g tin of tuna or salmon, a handful of nuts, a boiled egg or some veggies sticks and hommous.
· Reduce your alcohol and energy intake by 1) Taking some soda water to drink between alcoholic beverages 2) Drinking reduced alcohol wine, light beer or spirits with soda or diet soft drink (less calories) 3) Stopping your hosts from topping up your glass, how many did you have again?
· Only say yes to every third canapé offered. Pace yourself. Christmas is like cricket; you’re in for the long haul! Don't get caught out ;)
· Keep hydrated with water. Christmas can be hot. Water helps to fill us up and prevent us from reaching for food when really we are thirsty
· Get active with your friends and family. A game of soccer on the beach, lawn bowls or scenic walks are simple and enjoyable.
Don’ts (You are more likely to get coal)
· Eat out of family size open packets or dive nose first into the crackers and cheeses without a second thought. You are better off putting a small selection on a plate and sticking to just that.
· Think you are doing better by drinking cider. Cider is the in thing in Australia at the moment and our intake is increasing. It’s the most energy dense of all alcoholic beverages!
· Leave your plate on the table. Studies have proven that people (especially men, sorry guys) will eat up to 40% more when they leave their plate on the table. This is because people will pick at more. You don't really need it!
· Feel obligated to try and eat a big delicious piece or serving of everything. Choose what you really want. Also, a couple of mouthfuls are all you need to get a taste. Sharing is caring. Hand over the other half of that mince pie.
· Completely switch off in relation to healthy eating with the justification that it’s Christmas. Yes you can indulge a little but don’t make it your excuse to eat 5 mince pies a day and candy cane for the next festive month.
· Keep temptation in the house if you can’t handle it. Out of mind out of sight. Give it away, throw it out, or get someone in the family to hide it!
· Feel like if you have fallen off the wagon it’s game over. You will do a lot more damage if you let things snowball!
Good luck :)