If there’s any time of the year that you want to know how to have your cake and eat it too it’s Christmas! It’s the season of festivities but predominantly eating, drinking, eating and drinking and eating on top of that. So how do you curb overeating and still stay festive and partake in the fun of enjoying delicious food in the company of family and friends?
We’ve got some tips for you!
1. The first tip is in relation to your portion sizes of the holidays and what exactly to do with your plate!
We all tend to have the opportunity to fill up big plates on Christmas Day and at lunches and gatherings. So instead of piling up a mountain of food start with a single layer. You can use your hands as guidance in deterring you from a potential overload.
Opt for lean sources that have been grilled, steamed or baked. Avoiding fried, breaded or crumbed meats will save you calories from the oil used for cooking!
1-2 Fists: Veggies and Salad
Veggies and salads are less calorie dense than other sides so you can afford to fill up on these. Watch out for sauces and dressings, ensuring you get these on the side as this is where the calories can be.
Cupped Fist: Carbs or fried sides
Portion control these calorie dense sides, you’d want no more than a cupped fist worth.
1 Finger: Fats, Sauces it Dressings
The most calorie dense part of your plate will be the fats which will usually come in the form of sauces and dressings, avocados, nuts, butters etc. Fat contains 9 calories per gram as opposed to protein and carbs which are 4 calories per gram so a lesser portion and mindfulness in serving is required for calorie control.
2. Tip number two in relation to desserts and sweets
Go by the ‘serving size rule’, so if a Christmas pudding has 5 servings per bunt, eat one, not all five! This is a way to control your portion. If you’re overdoing it in the alcohol department dessert is a good meal to skip and instead have a few more glasses of wine. Note 1x Glass of Wine = 125 calories.
3. If you’re feeling susceptible to overeating and writing the day off you can opt to keep your water intake up
We recommend 1L per 20kgs of body weight (exceptions to the rule apply). This will keep you fuller for longer and less likely to confuse dehydration for hunger.
4. Don't cut foods and food groups - maintain a balanced diet
If you feel like you’re holding back from enjoying something you really want you are more likely to cave and have it anyway. We recommend an 80/20 approach to nutrition, 80% whole food and 20% soul food.
5. Meal prep ahead of time
To prevent derailing and making poor food choices. Do this where you can. So if you have lunch or dinner plans pre-prep your other meals around it.
6. Don't aggressively cut calories
Particularly not around Christmas time, feeling restricted at a testing time of the year will cause you to overeat when you do acquire freedom.
7. Likewise, don't have ON/OFF days
This will promote yo-yo dieting.
8. Opt for pre-portioned food
To aid in portion control.
Don’t put yourself in a position to have to miss out this Christmas, as well as that don’t on the flip side use it as a season to overindulge and subsequently deal with kilos of weight gain in the new year. Instead, become educated on your body’s needs and use the tips above to be wiser with your eating practices.