1 Dec 2017

Top 25 Healthy Christmas Tips

Do you wish you had a healthy survival guide for Christmas? Here is a list of my my top Christmas healthy eating tips, recipes, and gifts to help you enjoy Christmas without depriving yourself or putting on lots of weight. 

1. Don’t try to diet

Set a maintenance goal instead. This is more realistic and much more achievable. This will give you the freedom to enjoy yourself without feeling deprived or wanting to rebel.

2. Don’t go to a party hungry

If you do, you will be fighting your body’s urges for sugar… Ensure you eat a nutritious snack before you go, whether it is left over turkey or some homemade energy balls. This will put you back in control.

3. Plan your food

It is normal that the routine goes out of the window over Christmas. However, make sure you don’t forget yourself and still take time to plan your food. You will still have some nutritious and healthy food in the house and it will make it easier for you to succeed. It is not fun to eat unhealthy just because you had no choice.

4. Exercise

Try to keep on with your favourite exercise, whether it is going to your yoga class, pilates or simply going for a walk with your friends and family to get some fresh air.

5. Drink plenty of water

This will help you not to over eat and will also make you feel better the next day.

6. Think veggies

Filling half your plate with vegetables (Brussels sprouts, carrots, chestnuts, red cabbage…) is a great way of getting much-needed nutrients and making you fill full.

7. Portion size

Eating from a smaller dish causes you to eat less because the food itself looks more substantial. If you transfer food from a 12-inch plate to a 9-inch plate, it looks like more food and you, therefore, feel more satisfied.

8. Out of sight

If you want unhealthy foods and all you have to do is reach for it and help yourself, chances are you’ll end up eating more than you would have liked. But if you simply don’t buy it or have to go outside to get it, you probably won’t go.

Include protein in all your meals and snacks. This will avoid dips in blood sugar levels and will give you longer lasting energy.

9. Invest in a Thermomix

Called ‘the world’s most intelligent food processor’, it allows you to weigh, chop, blend, mix, grind, grate, cook, steam, whisk, knead and more.

Why I love it: While it costs a fortune, this quintessential foodie toy combines the best of many kitchen appliances. Appreciated by chefs, nutritional therapists, fans of cooking and non-fans of cooking, it saves you time, gives you culinary skills you never thought you had and significantly reduces the number of dishes piling up in the sink. From velvety soups and smoothies to homemade dough, and even risottos, it will transform your cooking into a simpler task, while bringing healthy, delicious dishes to your loved ones.

10. Emotional support

Feeling supported by your friends or family is key if you are watching your weight or simply trying to eat healthily. Ask your loved ones to avoid offering you sugary treats or team up with a family member who is also trying to lose or maintain their weight.

11. Christmas snacks

Swap sausage rolls, crisps, cheese straws and milk chocolate etc… with a small handful of unsalted, unroasted almonds, cashew nuts, Brazil nuts, half an avocado with a few pumpkin seeds, 30g of chocolate covered nuts, hummus and crudités, natural live yoghurt with berries, 2 hard-boiled eggs, 2 oatcakes with hummus, avocado or nut butter, a slice of frittata or homemade energy balls….

12. Eat protein

Include protein (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, beans and seeds) in all your meals and snacks. This will avoid dips in blood sugar levels and will give you longer lasting energy and reduce cravings.

13. Take your time

It takes around 20 minutes for your body to tell your brain that you’re full. If you eat quickly, you’re more likely to eat more. If you chew more, you’ll eat more slowly and won’t have to think about the specific amount you are eating. You might also find yourself enjoying more the food you are eating.

14. Figure out how not to overeat when you are overwhelmed

Although Christmas is a happy holiday it is easy to feel overwhelmed, stressed out and sometimes relationships between family and friends are not as peaceful as you wish. Find out 10 things you could do instead of stress eating and allow yourself the help and support that you need.

15. Try out my Christmas kale salad

Kale might not sound like the most festive of foods, but load it up with sweet, seasonal veggies and crisp maple roasted pecans and you have the recipe for a light Christmas treat, with enough vitamins to keep the whole family healthy.

16. Recognise true hunger

Many people have lost the ability to distinguish true physical hunger (“stomach hunger) from a desire to eat (“mouth hunger”). Be mindful.

17. Eat balanced meals

Eat regular meals and snacks built around mainly unprocessed whole foods. This will ensure that your physical hunger is satisfied and your body is getting the energy and nutrients it needs to function at its peak.

18. Avoid missing meals

Or cutting out whole food groups as this can lead to hunger and cravings, and may trigger overeating.

19. Get enough rest and sleep

Feeling tired can cause you to turn to food to improve your energy levels.  Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night.

20. Try out my Christmas Cranberry Tart

Christmas brings entertaining, feasting and family time — but that doesn’t necessarily mean an onslaught of sugar and junk. Made with whole foods and no refined sugar, this sharp yet sweet recipe is such a treat, nobody will even realize how healthy is it!

21. Watch out for too much control

Controlling your food excessively can bounce back and end up with binging excessively. It is okay to fail, don’t try to be perfect. Stop beating yourself up and find out why you’ll be more successful if you tackle emotional eating with compassion and respect.

22. Avoid alcohol excess

Drinking makes us eat more and often the wrong kind of foods (sugar, fast release carbohydrates). Hangovers also often lead to poor food choices.

23. Try out my healthy mince pies

Mince pies are a must at Christmas, but they don’t have to be stodgy and sugary. Enjoy a healthier version of the traditional recipe.

24. Enjoy + Merry Christmas!

And if something gets in the way of your healthy eating and you’d like to do something about it in the New Year, book your free chat with me.