How to eat healthy during Christmas and New Year?

Put your hand up if the festive season is a challenge to your waistline?  Yes my hand high in the air.  Coming from a large Aussie/Italian family the phrase “… eat and be merry …” went hand in hand with Christmas celebrations.  It seemed wherever I turned there was delicious food tempting my tastebuds and someone testing my will with their offer of ‘just one more serve’.

Don’t miss out because you’re not superwoman

What did I do?  I figured I had three options.  I could become a recluse avoiding all festive functions and family get-togethers, don blue tights and red undies to tap into superwoman like self-control to refuse the wonderful food on offer or find a more balanced middle ground option.

Missing out on the fun of Christmas was never a realistic option so it was ruled out instantly and wearing blue tights and red undies never seemed to bestow upon me superwoman like powers.  And I passionately believed then as I do now that food is to be enjoyed, that the festive season is about spending time with friends and family and that food is an essential part of our festive celebrations.

7 principles for festive eating

So to eat mindfully and to take the pressure off my waistline I created the following seven principles for festive eating.

Give them a try.  I believe you will be pleasantly surprised how easy they are to follow.

  1. Don’t over fill your plate. It’s easy to get excited when you see your favourite dishes, but remember the festive season is much longer than one meal, so you have plenty of time to enjoy.
  2. If you mistakenly overfill your plate, don’t feel compelled to eat everything. It’s ok to leave something. That’s why the term leftovers was created!
  3. Choose a mix of light and heavy dishes. You will not only experience a range of textures, smells and tastes, but you will also help your waistline.
  4. Get up early and get active. After eating a big lunch or dinner, the last thing you will feel like doing is being active, so do it before you eat.
  5. Plan your week. Understand the days you are eating heavier and plan to include meals on the other days that are lighter and will give your digestive system a rest.
  6. Practice the words ‘no thank you’. Sometimes we can find ourselves in situations where we feel compelled to say ‘yes’, but saying ‘no’ politely is okay.
  7. If you often find yourself going in for seconds, halve your initial portion size. That way, even if you go back for more, hopefully you will still be eating less

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas.

Take care

ciao Jan