Friday 23 March 2018

10 ways to stay slim this Christmas

Library Image. Thinkstock.
Library Image. Thinkstock.

Claire O'Mahony

Not looking forward to the annual 5lb Christmas. Check out these strategies to avoid it.

1. Fear the canapés

Sausage rolls, salmon and cream cheese pinwheels, mince pies, vol-au-vents, cheeseboards and breaded prawns. Oh yes, the festive season offers so much finger food temptation but they do pack a calorific punch and you generally don’t feel full afterwards. It’s impossible not to avoid altogether but you can limit the damage. Obviously, if you’re hosting something, have some lighter nibbles – olives, hummus with crudités, smoked salmon. If you’re going to a party, eat some lean protein before hand and try and stick to the healthier party foods on offer.

2. The evils of drink

Christmas and booze are synonymous, not only on the day itself but also in the weeks leading up to December 25 in the form of parties and get-togethers and catch-ups. What can we say? Alcohol, as we all know, is merely empty calories, plus it’s likely to remove any food inhibitions whatsoever so you end up eating an entire round of Brie. It’s back to that age old advice: alternate the alcoholic drinks with soft ones and steer clear of ridiculously creamy liqueurs.

3. Move. Even a little

Christmas is the time when we like to be at one with our couch, remote control permanently attached to our hand. But a walk after Christmas dinner clears the head wonderfully and, you know, it can’t hurt...

4. Shrug off the ‘All or nothing’ mentality

Really, Christmas is just another day. Sure, there is heaps of deliciousness there for the eating but that’s not to say that the tin of biscuits has to be finished or the Christmas lunch dinner plate licked. You can overeat if you want but remember, it’s not set in stone.

5. Don’t beat yourself up

You can slip but you don’t have to slide. The All or Nothing mentality mentioned above can see you eating when you don’t feel like it just because it’s there or because you can. Had a massive Christmas lunch and feeling horrific? Draw a line under it there and then. It doesn’t mean you have to keep on trucking.

6. Water, water, water

With so many nicer beverages on offer, it’s not really surprising that we tend to forget about the H²O over Christmas. Keep a bottle to hand at all time. Obviously, it’s good for digestion if you’ve overindulged and for helping you feel fuller.

7. Be a gourmet, not a glutton

Do you want to gorge on cheapish chocolates and crisps out of a tube? Or would you rather savour some really good cheese and pate? The latter are more of a treat; the former won’t make you feel very good at all.

8. Do the maths

We’re not suggesting you count calories all over Christmas but a modicum of sense won’t go astray. Pick a handful of olives (69 kcal) over a handful of peanuts (180 kcal); a gin with slimline tonic (53 kcal) over an ordinary g & t (93) kcal and a wedge of camembert cheese (85 kcal) instead of the Stilton (120 kcal). Simples.

9. Reign it in

You don’t have stock the house as if in preparation for the world’s end. You’re looking at one day when the shops aren’t open. And if you don’t have lots of tempting things in the house, you can’t eat them. Although try explaining that to your mother....

10. And if all else fails...

Voluminous Christmas jumpers are very forgiving. And you have the entire, dreary, poverty stricken month of January ahead to you to live on green vegetables only

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