Christmas is one of the most hectic times of the year. From running around town trying to find presents for the person who has everything, to attending parties and dinners with people you haven’t seen since last Christmas, it’s easy to fall out of your usual routine. While this may not seem like a huge deal, people can easily get swept up in all the excitement, losing track of what, and how much, they’re eating. Since it’s a lot easier to gain weight than to lose it, we have put together a few tips to help keep you on track and avoid any unnecessary weight gain this Christmas.
Cut Down at Home
While it is lovely to go to an event and find a spread of Christmas treats to indulge in, these are almost always extremely high in fat and sugar. Whether it’s biscuits, hot chocolate, cake, or mince-meat pies, most of the food people will offer you will be less-than-healthy. To balance this, you need to adjust what you are eating at home, as this is where you have full control over your intake.
Switch to low-fat options wherever you can. Butter, milk, and cheese are some of the most obvious options, but you can also use items like 1 cal spray, or drink sugar free drinks (even better, don’t drink soft drinks at home!). Most of your meals at home during this time should be filling, but not fattening. But with the knowledge that you will be getting treats when you go out, this will be a relatively easy switch to make.
But Don’t Cut Too Much
While you should be working to counteract the effects of Christmas food, you don’t want to cut back too much on how much you’re eating. You might think that you’re avoiding calories if you only have a light breakfast, or skip lunch entirely, but all this does is leave room in your stomach for you to overindulge in all the high-fat foods later on. Furthermore, skipping meals is not a great idea, as you it will affect your mood and concentration, so don’t drastically change your normal routine, just the food on your plate.
Get More Vitamin D
The majority of the vitamin D people get comes from the sun, which means that we get a lot less of it in Ireland during the winter. Vitamin D mainly helps us absorb calcium and keep our bones healthy, but a 2009 study also showed that vitamin D is an appetite suppressant, meaning it could also help you from overindulging.
There are a number of reasons that soup is the ideal winter food. For starters, it helps you warm up when you get in the door, and can be easily taken to work to be reheated, or packed away in a thermos. It is also relatively easy to make, and you can combine any number of fruits and vegetables to make a flavour that appeals to you. Finally, it is easy to make a soup that is low in fat, but high in vitamins and nutrients to keep your immune system healthy during flu season.
When it comes to the Christmas season, food is just one of the many things you have to look forward to. We don’t ask that you avoid any tasty treats you see, or feel guilty about having them, but the tips laid out above can help you enjoy what you eat without risking unexpected or unnecessary weight gain. The most effective way to make sure you eat healthy this winter is to be conscious of what you eat, so always be aware of your plans, and plan ahead.