As November winds to an end and December begins with its Christmas Parties, celebrations and invitations its often the time that my clients begin asking me how they can avoid putting on weight over Christmas. So this year I’ve decided to share my six top tips on how to stay slim through Christmas and New Year and still have fun.
How to avoid weight gain over the Christmas period
1. Start with a healthy breakfast
Starting the day with a healthy, protein rich breakfast helps to stabilise your blood sugar levels in the morning which means that your less likely to have sugar cravings and over eat later in the day. Bright and colourful smoothie bowls are a favourite of mine this time of year.
2. Eat mindfully
When you’re enjoying your Christmas celebrations, make sure you are really enjoying your food. Savour every bite and flavour. Put your knife and fork down between mouthfuls and give yourself some time to chew slowly. You’ll enjoy it more, plus your brain will have a chance to let your body know when you’re full.
3. Bring a plate
Bring a plate of food to contribute to the Christmas feast. When you bring a healthy fruit platter or colourful salad to contribute your guaranteeing that there will be something to eat that fits your dietary requirements.
4. Sleep well
Get your shut-eye and your waistline will benefit because a lack of sleep can lead to weight gain; when you are sleep-deprived, your body produces more of the stress hormone cortisol, which increases your appetite.
5. Watch your drinks
Alcoholic drinks and cocktails contain many hidden calories, and Christmas is often a time you may find yourself drinking more or more frequently. Gin or vodka with tonic water are lower calorie choices. Be sure to drink water between each alcoholic drink.
6. Learn to say no
If you don’t really want to eat something, say no. Never mind if your Great Aunt has spent hours making the cake, or if you’re faced with a huge pavlova and a persistent host at the buffet table. Once you get used to saying no, it’s easier than you think.
I’m also sharing a couple of healthy options that are ideal when you need to bring something to share.
White Christmas Slice Recipe
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1 cup cashews, soaked overnight and drained
- 1/4 cup coconut milk (canned)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/3 cup pistachios chopped
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries (unsweetened)
- 1 tbs. maple syrup or raw honey
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Whiz the cashews, shredded coconut, coconut oil, coconut milk, vanilla and maple syrup in a food processor until ridiculously smooth.
- Transfer mixture in to a bowl.
- Add the pistachios, cranberries and mix well.
- Press in to a 20 x 20 cm silicone or lined tin and place into the freezer for about 2 hours or until firm.
- Cut into squares and store in the fridge.
- Don’t be afraid to change up the fillings. I like swapping the cranberries for dried apricots.
Rocket Spinach and Nectarine Salad
- 60g baby rocket
- 60g baby spinach leaves
- 200g green beans, trimmed and blanched
- 2 yellow nectarines, sliced
- Seeds from 1 pomegranate
- 100g feta, crumbled
- Balsamic vinegar
- Arrange the spinach, rocket, spinach, beans, nectarines and pomegranate in a serving bowl.
- Crumble over the feta and drizzle with balsamic. Serve immediately
Kerryn Odell is a nutritionist located in the Mona Vale clinic. She loves to help those who are struggling with skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne, autoimmune conditions, women’s health, digestive issues, blood sugar issues, allergies, intolerances and stress-related issues. Reach her at the Mona Vale clinic on 9979 8887.