How to eat healthier and feel better this holiday season


The festive season is here which means decorating the tree, sorting the Christmas presents and of course planning the Christmas day menu. Food tends to be more indulgent with higher calorie and sugar levels and in general consuming a larger amount of food. Rather than developing unhealthy eating habits that can tip us over into the new year, there is a way to enjoy the season without the unwanted weight gain.


Top tips for the day:

Portion control! Before loading up your plate, scan the table and decide what you really need. Try to choose a smaller plate or bowl so you avoid piling the plate up high. Studies show an average of 30% less food consumption this way.


Rather than load up on high calorie foods there are some simple health swaps we can include in our day.

Swaps:

• Creamy dips – for homemade guacamole

• Mashed potatoes - for roasted herbed sweet potatoes

• Traditional stuffing – for homemade stuffing with apple, oats and hazelnut

• High fat canapes (chips, sausage rolls & high fat cheese) – for a tasty platter of veggie sticks, hummus, fresh berries and raw nuts

• Christmas pudding with custard and cream – for homemade fruit crumble with Greek or coconut yoghurt and dark choc dipped strawberries


Remember to load up on veggies - If you’re hosting the dinner, try to include a rainbow of different vegetable options. Embrace the seasonal produce with leafy green salads, roast pumpkin, sweet potato mash (without the cheese), asparagus, beetroot & pomegranates.


Snacks options:

- Cucumber, celery and carrot sticks with hummus or fresh salsa

- Homemade guacamole & rice crackers

- Oven baked pita chips

- Fruit kebabs (festive berries & cherries)

- Vegetable and Christmas ham mini quiches

- Mixed raw nuts & fresh cranberries


Of course it is Christmas so we do want to include a few treats on the day. Try to use the 80:20 rule, 80% of the time choose whole, real, nutritious foods and 20% of the time choose for pleasure. When you do indulge, homemade options are always a better option.


Eat normally throughout the day - When we deprive ourselves of meals or food during the daytime we tend to play catch up or overeat at night. Try to eat normally during the day and include an afternoon snack before the big event.


Pace yourself - Eating slowly and mindfully will allow optimal digestion. It takes around 20 mins for the brain to tell the body you are full. Most of us tend to inhale our food and move onto the next course or beverage. Try to chew your food 20-30 times before swallowing, put your fork down between bites and sit down at the table. Christmas is all about celebrating with family and friends so enjoy the moment.


Skip the seconds - One of the highlights of Christmas is the leftovers the next day. Try to resist the temptation of going back for seconds.


Bloating can be due to a number of reasons. Some common reasons include eating too fast or on the go, stress, consuming too much caffeine or as simple as not chewing your food properly.

• Sit down and enjoy your meal (without any distractions or devices!). Chew your food slowly so that it is liquid before you swallow and put your fork down between bites.

• Drink between meals – water and other liquids can dilute our stomach acid which can disrupt the body’s ability to break down our food. Keep fluids to either side of eating.

• Digestive aids – lemon juice and water or apple cider vinegar 15mins before a meal can help stimulate our digestive enzymes and help relieve symptoms of indigestion or bloating.

Want to find out more or ask a question? Click Here to get in touch with Chrissy.

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