I love food. Warm mini mince pies. Chicken with crisped skin and golden feathery roast potatoes. Homemade apple crumble with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
But I also love to look and feel good, and this generally means not completely giving in to my gastronomic appetites! Christmas is a time for getting together with families and friends and food plays a big part of this annual pagan celebration.
Food, especially social eating, can trigger dramatic emotions especially at key holiday times, when the pressure is on to produce or consume sumptuous, show-stopping fare.
However you feel about excessive food consumption, it can create a tense atmosphere if you refuse food that has been lovingly prepared or expensively purchased with the excuse that you are on a diet!
So, to help you to munch well, but not burst the seams of your new beige tailored trousers, here’s a simple four-point plan to help you to retain a healthy shape:
Keep them small and leave a gap between the first and second courses, you may find you don’t need a second round. A large glass of water often takes the edge off the need to keep grazing.
‘Savour your food’ this will give your brain a chance to register that your hunger is in the process of being satisfied! The Christmas season is a social time for many of us, so take the opportunity to hold proper conversations as you share lunch, dinner or drinks. Literally ‘chew the fat’, find out what’s been happening in other people’s lives – you may hear something scintillating!
Salty snacks help the alcohol – the other Christmas calorie expander – go down more easily and are tricky to avoid. Try to crunch without the calories: crackers, crisp breads or crudités are good alternatives. If you can’t resist the salty snacks, drink water or soft drinks to accompany them. Or alcohol minus the snacks. I’m trying to help you here!
Consider alternative desserts, one of my favourites is plain yoghurt with chopped fresh fruit and runny honey. Or take a basket full of fresh fruit as a gift if you are visiting.
Sample the exotic fruit of the season, many have fantastic health benefits and are worth seeking out for the taste sensations you are rewarded with. Kumquat or Sharonfruit anyone?
Some of you go to the gym religiously (see what I did there!) during the holiday season. Parks and open spaces are more my thing and cost nothing. Wrap up warm and walk or run until your cheeks tingle. If you are with your hubby, lover or someone you would like to get more close to, there are a number of other calorie burning activities you can engage in. Not for this post.
Or you could enlist the services of a dietitian. http://www.dietitiansunlimited.co.uk/
Written for HandbagFairy.com
© Suzy Rigg