I love Christmas.
Rife with tradition, friends, family it's a really important time for me to get into down time.
In fact for me, it's one of the few times of the year I will indulge with things I fancy. Then, in the new year - when everyone else is deadly motivated too, that's the time to jump on a healthy bandwagon if you'd like...
Proof we're not all nutritional humbugs...
A reality is - most Brits will eat 3 times as many calories on Christmas day than a 'normal day' (that's around 6,000 calories for women and 7,500 calories for men!) and it's really easily done!
Add to that highly salted preserved foods such as gammons, smoked salmon, cheeses and nuts and the guarantee of Christmas gainz (and some of the most amazing pumps you'll have all year) is easier than ever.
IF YOU WANT TO CONSIDER HEALTHIER CHOICES
Christmas is a time for a little indulgence.
However, there are still many of us willing to make a few changes with simple food swaps.
Swapping roast beef for turkey or chicken will reduce the fat content and save calories.
Swapping your pigs in blankets for extra roasted veggies will add more phytonutrition and reduce your salt intake.
Adding extra green veggies will never be a bad thing, unless it's sprouts... XD
Changing from sugary rich mixed cocktails (White Russians, Espresso Martinis and Bailey's for example) to clear spirits or wines can reduce the calories, sugar and fat content.
You can enjoy Christmas without going completely over the top. Or totally go over the top if you want to.
It is your choice and your Christmas day - celebrate it how you want!
If you'd like to survive the festive period without gaining half a stone in water, you can do it - it's just about what you want from the festive season and where you'd like to be after.
My own top tips for a healthier Christmas
Let your appetite be your true guide.
Tough isn't it that one... but in reality the best question is Am I actually hungry?
You don't 'have' to clear your plate, you're an adult now you have your own rules.
You don't 'have' to eat the Pringles, you can buy healthier crisps, people will understand if you explain to them that you would like not to have that extra piece of cake or if you want it, can you negotiate some caloric room later on?
Just because the chocolate bar is open, doesn't mean it's in a rush to be eaten.
Vegetables, hydration and proteins are foundations of any healthy diet.
Filling half of your plate with green veggies is pretty easy on xmas day. Minimise the cauliflower cheese and go for the broccoli and cabbage. 1/4 plate of protein and fill the rest with delicious food like braised cabbage, roast potatoes, stuffing and other goodies.
Eat slowly, savour your food, enjoy every bite.
Dessert will be delicious, slow down, chew, savour it. Enjoy the company and even try placing your fork down between bites.
Christmas is the perfect time for the Wii and have fun with the kids. No kids, grab a walk after dinner, this can reduce post-prandial blood sugars and improve digestion without wanting to hit the sofa and the boxing day snooze button.
Alternate alcohol with softs
Alcohol can add calories to any occasion but also stimulates appetite and behaviours. You might try your best to limit your intake by having one alcoholic drink followed by one soft drink or water.
Hide the biscuits
Out of sight really can be out of mind!
It is Christmas after all don't be a killjoy. You choose what you'd like to do and no matter what there is always time to fix anything later on.