|The ‘go on, it’s Christmas’ message is pervasive, excess and seems to be encouraged everywhere you look. From TV adverts to supermarket banners, but we promise it is possible to get to January without total regret and the need for pure abstinence and shutting yourself away.
Below are our experts’ tips on how to survive Christmas from our resident doctor, Dr Graham Brown.
Timing is very important when dieting, keeping yourself ticking over will stop any gorging or temptation to grab something unhealthy to fill the void and ease hunger pangs. The holiday season can be hectic, making it easy to skip or delay meals, but keeping an eye on the time and your tummy is a great way to avoid overeating this Christmas.
Dr Graham says: “Timing is everything when trying to keep up your weight loss. So, try to eat something every two and a half to three hours. This way you can eat healthy small meals to keep your metabolism ticking over and hunger at bay. Alongside our Bodyline appetite suppressants, we would recommend the following ideas as ways to start the day right before you tuck into the turkey!”
Start the day right
Why not wake up with some oat porridge with a few almonds and chopped apple, sprinkle a little cinnamon over to feel extra festive.
A great snack is a cracker with hummus on mid-morning and won’t take long to make either, which is great when you are rushing around and between opening gifts and starting the main bulk of the cooking.
Say no – it isn’t rude
Sometimes you find yourself being a Christmas people-pleaser. If you find that you say yes to food and drink, you’d rather refrain from to keep up appearances, there are ways to say no!
One good tactic is to start with a smile and a compliment: “Wow, that looks delicious,” or, “That’s so nice of you!” Next, begin to deflect: “Too bad I’m not hungry right now,” or, “Wow, I wish I hadn’t just eaten lunch . . . I’m stuffed!” If you know the pusher will not be checking up on you, you can always ay, “I’ll have some in a little while.”
If none of that works, “No thank you” is always a perfectly acceptable response. Although most food pushers mean well, you’re under no obligation to eat food you did not plan for, aren’t hungry for or simply do not want.
Research has shown that using smaller plates, knives, forks, glasses and other tableware could reduce the amount of food we eat. Many of us tend to use the size of the plate as a measure of how much we can eat. If we use a large plate, we fill the plate with food, which often means we eat too much. Research from Cambridge University suggests that smaller plates could lower the amount of food we eat. British people could reduce their calorie intake by up to 16%.
So, at Christmas, why not pick up that smaller plate for your big meal, snacks, or nibbles, you still get to enjoy all the festive foods, including the turkey and all the trimmings, but reduce your calorie intake.
Hurrah for sprouts
With the average Christmas dinner equating to around 1,624 calories, there is great food in there that can be piled high on your plate – sprouts!
Sprouts are one the best foods to consume when you are watching the pounds. They are high in nutrients but have negligible calories which mean that you can consume sprouts without the worry. Furthermore, sprouts contain a high amount of fibre, so this is great for making you feel full for a longer period of time.