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7 steps to survive the festive food frenzy

Published on December 18, 2014 by

We’re not recommending abstinence – the festive season is a time to share in family activities and an occasional treat is fine, but no plan usually means more pounds. Here are 7 tips to help you keep your weight under control.

1. Load up on the veggies

Turkey is the best bet for Christmas dinner. Not only is it the traditional roast, but it’s a quick and easily absorbable protein. Stay away from fatty meats like goose. To ensure you feel satisfied, load the rest of your plate with yummy vegetables like kale, sweet potato, carrots, cabbage, sprouts and green beans. Cook your vegetables by roasting or steaming them to keep a lot more of the nutrition within.

2. Experiment with great new recipes

Go gluten-free, dairy-free or even meat-free. Most people find there’s more time to experiment with time to plan and organise a meal they haven’t ever cooked before.

3. Don’t let other people decide what you eat

Christmas eating is often a result of peer pressure; don’t let family and friends persuade you to consume more food than you want to. Be brave enough to say “No, thank you” and miss out on the passing round of sweet and chocolate boxes.

If you are eating out for Christmas dinner choose a restaurant where you know what is on the menu and choose a time when you want to eat.

4. Limit your alcohol intake

Overdoing it can cause you to feel sluggish, moody or dehydrated. High alcohol consumption will result in an even larger comedown causing a sugar crash, which will encourage cravings of higher refined, more toxic carbohydrates. This is what will make you FAT. Be mindful over the Christmas period of the amount of alcohol you consume and understand the consequences.

Choose a lighter, refreshing drink maybe an elderflower cordial or a hot ginger drink.

5. Eat slowly

Christmas dinner is usually a social event, so there’s no need to eat quickly, you’re your time, put your knife and fork down between bites and listen and respond to your body. When you feel satisfied, stop; don’t eat just because there is food in front of you.

6. Hold back on the gluten

Gluten is a protein found in many types of grains, wheat, spelt, rye and barley. It can cause bloating, stomach pain, diarrhoea and even irritable bowel disease due to the amount of herbicides and pesticides used to grow the crop. Check whether you’re eating more gluten than usual and aim for a gluten-free day or two after Christmas to give your system a rest.

7. Steer clear of refined carbohydrates

Refined sugars are part of the reason why people are getting fatter. They can damage the immune system, cause mood swings and promote premature aging. Refined sugars can be found in a lot of pre-packaged food and are highly toxic to our systems so should be avoided.

Choose satsumas or tangerines as snacks and a homemade vegetable soup rather than lots of bread, pastries or tinned food.

If you follow these tips you’ll find that the scales won’t give you a horrible shock in the New Year and you’ll quickly be back in shape, whilst all your friends are on a strict diet.

P.S. Don’t forget the exercise – on those crisp, sunny days wrap up warm and go for a walk with friends!

Thanks to Chris Birch, personal trainer for these tips. For more from Chris contact him at or on07977242538.

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