We ask the experts for their tips for caving in at Christmas!
Christmas is almost upon us, and for many that means a month (or more!) of decadence, lots of delicious food, parties, celebrations, and perhaps a waning of you regular exercise regime. December may come and go, but those extra kilos may take longer to shift, so here are some tips to enjoying the silly season without gaining weight at the same time.
- Consuming a protein rich snack or shake before feasting will help to satiate your body’s appetite and balance your blood sugar. This reduces your hunger signals and cravings for hyper-palatable foods, protecting your waistline!
- If leftover food compels you to keep eating, plan to utilise leftovers in the days to come or make doggie bags for guests to take home – this not only prevents overeating, but also reduces food waste.
- If you normally pile your plate high, and then can’t stop till it’s clean, halve your regular portion size, and wait 5 minutes after finishing to decide if you need more.
- As hyper-palatable foods are pleasurable, your brain can often crave them to soothe itself if upset. As Christmas time can present stressful situations for some, brainstorm 5 ways before the festivities start that you can de-stress and create calm. A walk, 5 minutes outside or putting on your favourite music will help to soothe your stress response, and prevent unwanted calories from comforting through food.
We all know that its easy to over-eat, but what’s worse than that is the ‘hyper-palate’ that occurs when we overeat a combination of fats, carbohydrates and salts together, which effectively provides the brain with a greater sense of pleasure and reward in comparison to a normal wholefood.
Here are some ways to avoid this hyper-palate occurring this Christmas:
- Try a protein rich snack before your Christmas feast, this will help control your appetite and balance your blood sugar, and reduce those hazardous temptations.
- If leftovers are going to be a distraction, send home some leftovers with your guests. Out of sight out of mind, right?
- Instead of piling your plate high, try eating a regular portion size and if need be head back for seconds.
- Try adding more salad to your plate, and reducing the sugars and carbs.
- Try and maintain a stress free environment. You’ll be less inclined to eat too much or badly if you’re feeling happy and calm.
- Take a walk in between courses or commitments on Christmas Day.
- For every alcoholic beverage, consume a glass of water.
- Offer to drive, therefore not drinking alcohol to excess.