Eating right at Christmas
A healthy Christmas dinner? Really? Is that even possible? And if so, wouldn’t it be a lot less fun?
It’s ok. We get it. Christmas is a time to relax and let your hair down. However, there are ways that you can make the food a lot healthier without compromising too much on taste.
We also appreciate there are many different types of diet out there. But in this short piece, we are going to focus on a traditional Western Christmas dinner. And look at ways that we can make it a little less indulgent.
Overindulging at Christmas
Above all, we want you to enjoy Christmas. Similarly, we want to help you minimize the post-Christmas food hangover.
The brutal truth is, that people tend to gain more weight at Christmas than at any other time. In fact, according to the British Medical Journal, many of us consistently put on 0.4 to 0.9 kg.
This is for reasons including;
- increasing alcohol intake
- larger portion sizes
- consuming more high-density foods
- more difficulty acting with restraint among family and friends
- and the increased availability of high fat and high sugar foods
Some psychological tricks that can help
Before you even think of adjusting the ingredients, there are a few mind tricks you can use. Firstly, the tendency at Christmas is to want to eat everything on your plate. Simply by using smaller plates, you will automatically reduce portion sizes.
Also, we often mistake thirst for hunger. And when you drink alcohol earlier than normal it can bring on a thirst. Start the day with a big glass of water when you get up. And put a jug of water on the table along with the food. Keeping hydrated will help decrease your cravings.
Finally, try to pause between helpings. The feeling of satiation is often delayed. Take the opportunity to have a good old chat before going up for more. A 10-15 minute delay will allow your body to catch up with what you just ate.
Making a healthy Christmas dinner – a few tips
- Here is some good news. The turkey itself is relatively low fat. the large proportion of calories is in the skin. Three or four slices without the skin should only be 3-400 calories.
- And before you even cook the turkey, prick the skin. This will allow some of the fat to drain off.
- Use coconut oil instead of goose fat to cook the potatoes. They taste delicious
- Instead of sausage based stuffing use chestnut or fruit-based stuffing
- For the pigs-in-blanket, use low-fat sausages and lean bacon
As for the pudding. It’s challenging to keep the calories down. However, there are little tricks you can do, like using creme fraiche instead of double cream. It still tastes great.
And finally, the key to stopping eating is having the food out of sight. Try and be disciplined and clear up, once the main meal is over. Picking throughout the day can be a real downfall.
A final word
We do hope we have encouraged you to have a healthy Christmas dinner. Remember, we can offer sound nutritional advice all year round. So if you need some extra help in the New Year, please do contact us.
In the meantime, have a wonderful Christmas. And a healthy one too.