Christmas Day itself
As we mentioned last week, there is absolutely no reason to feel guilty about a little indulgence over Christmas. Some of the foods we eat over the festive season are foods that we only get at Christmas so feeling anxious about enjoying them may do more harm for our mental health and wellbeing that actually eating them.
Remind yourself that is doesn’t have to be case of all or nothing. Every day, even Christmas Day, is an opportunity to eat your fruit & veg, lean protein, drink plenty of water and fit in some exercise. There is nothing to stop you ticking all of these boxes and still include your favourite Christmas treats. Finding that balance will really help you enjoy Christmas a lot more rather than thinking back to the time where you choose to avoid all of the festive fun and food.
That being said….. it is possible to eat, drink and be merry without over doing it or gaining weight!
So if you did want to make Christmas Day a little bit healthier here are a few tips to think about…….
Christmas Day breakfast
If you normally have breakfast Christmas Day should be no different. Choose high protein options such as poached eggs or an omelette. Add some smoked salmon or avocado for healthy fats. Or make your porridge festive with some cranberries and cinnamon. A healthy breakfast may reduce the temptation to snack before dinner (maybe!)
Christmas Day dinner
- For starters try melon, vegetable soup or smoked salmon instead of pastry based options.
Dinner is served…
- Turkey is a great option for any day of the year. It is low in fat, packed with protein which helps fill you up and provides many other nutrients including B vitamins and zinc, a mineral that is essential for your immune system.
- Before tucking into your dinner remove the skin from the turkey. Just 15g of skin contains 70 calories and 6g fat – and it’s gone in a mouthful!
- Don’t bath the turkey in oil, butter or lard when you cook it. When adding fat use a pastry brush to add a light covering rather than pouring it on top.
- Pile your plate high with traditional seasonal vegetables. The more colour you have on your plate the greater the variety of nutrients.
- Steam your vegetables rather than boil them to hold onto vitamins and minerals.
- Let’s be honest…. Brussel sprouts are not exactly the most exciting veg. To make them a little bit tastier this year, try roasting them with hazelnuts or pecans and some cranberries. Or try with garlic, chilli and some soy sauce.
- Roast potatoes in olive oil or rapeseed oil rather than butter. Cut them into large chunks, as these absorb less fat than smaller ones and roast separately from the turkey.
- Use low-fat milk instead of cream or butter to make your mashed potatoes.
- Gravy is a must for the turkey. When making let the fat from the turkey juice rise to the surface, skim it off and use what is left behind to make the gravy.
- Make your own stuffing with chopped chestnuts, which contain just 2.7g fat per 100g. If you’re using a packet mix of stuffing, avoid adding the recommended knob of butter – no one will miss it when it’s covered in gravy.
- Use low fat custard or low fat crème fraiche instead of cream or brandy butter with your Christmas pudding. As an alternative, try a fruit compote by stewing your favourite berries with plums and apples with a pinch of cinnamon and serve with low fat custard.
- Like we said that last week if you don’t LOVE the dessert on offer then don’t have it. Eating for the sake of eating won’t help anyone.
Christmas should be a time for festive fun and good food. So stop trying to lose weight, and instead focus on maintaining it.
A very happy and healthy Christmas to all from the Hustle Team