While Christmas is a time of celebration, the festive season doesn’t have to undo a year of healthy eating. Plan your food strategy and you can face the new year in good health and great shape.
EAT BEFORE YOU PARTY
Though it may seem counter-intuitive, you should never arrive at a party hungry. Make sure you’ve had a light snack or a filling drink beforehand. It will help to curb that impulse to gorge on anything and everything in sight.
QUALITY NOT QUANTITY
If you analyse your own behaviour at a buffet groaning with food, you’ll probably realise that you only really enjoy the first few mouthfuls – before your waistband starts to pinch and you are overcome with that somewhat sickening and physically uncomfortable feeling of regret for eating till your sides ache. Instead, go for a little of what you love, not a lot of everything on offer.
AVOID THE SNACK TRAPS
The bane of health-conscious eaters at parties is the multitude of fattening snacks everywhere in sight. Traditionally, they tend to veer towards high-fat, trans-fat and unhealthy. If you’re a guest, go for the vegetable sticks and hummus or baked corn chips and salsa over the potato chips and cream cheese-based dips.
BE A HEALTH-CONSCIOUS HOST
If you’re the host, don’t sabotage your guests’ fitness goals by plying them with fattening snacks. Or at the very least, make sure there are healthy options. While our parents’ generation may have had limited choices in the snacks section of their local supermarket, we are spoilt for healthy choices today.
THE MAIN EVENT
The main event, Christmas lunch or dinner, is a once-a-year occasion and like many you may feel compelled to honour tradition and serve a big bird. Roast turkey and chicken are both good sources of high-quality protein and less fattening than roast duck. White meat is the leanest choice, but dark meat is acceptable if you skip the skin.
The real fat traps are the trimmings. Why not offer healthy roast veggies and side salads? Alongside gravy, you could also offer a fresh fruit salsa. Then comes dessert. Portion control is of paramount importance here. Just a taste will satisfy after a heavy main course. Fresh fruit, especially those pretty little edible baubles called berries, is always a welcome choice.
Then comes dessert. Portion control is of paramount importance here. Just a taste will satisfy after a heavy main course. Fresh fruit, especially those pretty little edible baubles called berries, is always a welcome choice.