In the blink of an eye Christmas has rolled round again, and we all know what that means – the shops are horrendously busy, kids are already bouncing off the walls, and Love Actually is on repeat on ITV2.
It also means an abundance of delicious (but unhealthy food) in the shops and inevitably in our cupboards, which isn’t great news for those trying to lose or maintain weight.
Now we’re not here to tell you to live like a saint over Christmas, and we appreciate that most of you won’t be following our diet plans during that time, but if you do want to try and lead a healthier lifestyle over the yuletide period, try following these tips…
Choose lean meats
If you’re going to be eating meat over Christmas, then try and make it as lean (low in fat) as possible. Here are some tips for doing so…
- Remove any skin from poultry
- Trim off any visible excess fat
- Cuts of pork, lamb and beef with ‘loin’ in the name are lower in fat
- Choose white meats such as chicken and turkey rather than red meat
- Replace some of the meat in your diet with fish
- Steam, grill, poach, bake or broil meats rather than fry
Limit the booze
Most of us like a drink or three over Christmas, but if you’re trying to stay on the healthier side of things, then you should limit how much alcohol you drink. Alcohol contains ‘empty’ calories and is a sure-fire way to put on weight. Obviously we’re not telling you not to have a drink at Christmas, but everything in moderation!
Drink enough water
One of the most important parts of living healthily is making sure you drink enough water. Ideally, women should drink around two litres of water a day, and men around two and a half litres.
Avoid sugary veg
As a carbohydrate, we know that too much sugar isn’t great for us if we’re trying to lose weight, and certain vegetables are higher in sugar that others. So when you’re piling your plate high in Christmas Day, cut back on veggies such as peas, carrots and green beans, and opt for lower sugar options like broccoli, cauliflower and spinach. Try sweet potato mash instead of white potatoes.
Don’t beat yourself up
While this isn’t a tip for eating healthily as such, it’s still essential – don’t beat yourself up if you don’t eat particularly well over Christmas. It’s a time of huge temptation and there’s absolutely no shame in treating yourself. You can always pick your diet back up in January.
Get up and get moving
It can be tempting to park yourself on the sofa in front of the TV all Christmas, but you should try and get up and get moving from time to time as well, particularly if you’re not dieting. You don’t have to run a marathon, but just a quick walk will help burn a few calories and make you feel much better.
Don’t neglect your mental health
Christmas can be a tough time for many and can really test your mental as well as your physical health. If your mental health is suffering then you’re much less likely to look after your body as well, so if you’re finding yourself struggling this Christmas, try and talk to someone who can help you deal with whatever you’re going through.
***And most importantly don’t forget to enjoy your Christmas!***