Christmas is often a blow out time for food. It’s the chance to let go and enjoy what’s on offer, but afterwards sometimes you feel like you just can’t move. Not forgetting there’s usually leftovers for a few days, especially if you’ve hosted. The last few years we’ve gone to my sister in law’s which means no leftovers (yay and boo).
If you’ve been on a health kick up to the festive season, you don’t always want to go mad, and might want to try and stay a bit healthier and restrained to avoid falling off the wagon totally.
Here’s some of the tips to help you opt for healthy alternatives at Christmas. (Some I try and do, others I think I probably should do, but know I’ll just opt for the traditional options I love!)
Tips for healthier food options in the holiday season
Parties and nibbles:
1, Use smaller plates at parties or meals
Our dinner plates are Denby ones and pretty huge, but I’ve some old ones which are a better portion size for me. It’s also why event venues provide smaller plates for parties and events. Smaller plates can look full more easily and your brain thinks you’re full.
2, Try using fruit or veg and making them more exciting.
Try fruit kebabs with melon stars, satsumas, kiwi stars
3, Pizza slices go down really well, but make homemade ones
Use Jamie Oliver’s cheat’s base which is just flour, water and a little oil, and top with lower calorie toppings
4, Try open top mince pies to reduce the amount of pastry.
Alternatively try making mince pie roll ups / swirls with croissant dough or light puff pastry. You still get the flavour hit, but with less stodge and pastry calories or fat.
5, Plain sausages without the blankets
Not as delicious, but buy really good quality sausage, and don’t serve more than you need. Get the bacon hit by adding cooked pancetta to the sprouts
6, Plan, plan, plan
Work out in advance what you’ll eat and stick to it especially if eating out. Much easier making the decision in advance than being swayed by what others are choosing.
7, Have a healthy starter
Try soup or melon with parma ham. It’s proven that if people eat a starter they usually eat less in the other courses.
7, Choose veg first
Bring the veg to the table before the potatoes, stuffing and pigs in blankets, so you fill up your plate with veg first, leaving less room for the less healthy options.
8, Have a lighter dessert option
If you’re like me you’ll always opt for a delicious dessert if it’s there. Often after Christmas lunch, you don’t really have room for pudding, but will eat it anyway. I’m not a fan of Christmas pudding, so having a lighter pudding as the alternative means I’ll always choose that one. I still get a sweet hit, but it’s no choice. Something like a meringue with fruit can also be a lighter dessert (as long as you don’t pile on the cream too much).
Do you try and manage the food you’re eating over the Christmas period, or do you just eat what you want then get back to healthier options afterwards? Which switches do you make?
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