Weight gain seems inevitable at this time of year but if you don’t want to start 2016 fat, tired and ill, how can you minimise the damage?
Eat as much natural, real food as possible. Buy fresh meat, fish and vegetables and fill yourself with good home cooked meals. Bake your own Christmas cake (nice with a slice of Wensleydale and some almonds) and mince pies using butter and reducing the sugar content. Make salad dressings, dips and healthy treats (ask me for my no-cook chocolate, seed and nut recipe). Doing a bit of something in the kitchen can be great fun if the family gets stuck in too.
The right breakfast can set you up for the day. Include some protein and fat eg nutty muesli with natural yoghurt, poached egg on toast, home made porridge (not sachets/pots) with flaked almonds and cream or a low-sweetness smoothie (mine is based on avocado and coconut milk).
The worst choices are cereal, toast with jam, fruit juices/smoothies and chocolate which will have you on a blood-sugar roller-coaster for the rest of the day, and craving for more bad things.
Have a healthy snack before going out and drink plenty of water before and during parties. You’ll be less likely to drink too much alcohol or over-eat. Sugar and vegetable oil are in almost all processed ‘party’ food and will cause weight gain. Soft drinks are sugary and, surprisingly, “diet” drinks also increase weight.
Hide biscuits, chocolates, cake, crisps and alcohol in cupboards and leave bowls of nuts, veg sticks and dips in plain sight. Treat treats as treats. Enjoy them but don’t make a meal of them. If you try to abstain and you’re more likely to have a blow-out. Ditch the diet ‘on it, off it’ mentality and allow yourself to have a little. Accept that there will be naughty goodies everywhere you go; you will eat some, and so will I!
Top tip – Eat well and have a Merry Christmas