No one wants to miss out at Christmas, be deprived of the delicious (and sometimes unhealthy) food options, or feel like the gourmet and judgemental grinch. But as we enter the silly season of alcohol consumption and overindulgence, it can be a tough choice between taste and satisfaction or the all out belly blowout.
By making a few simple and healthy choices, you can maintain your waistline without forgoing the Christmas and New Year festivities. For example, choose one day, instead of five to over indulge. The Australian Heart Foundation also have ten suggestions on how to have a healthy Christmas:
- Make the most of the Delicious Fruit and Vegetables – During December, a vast variety of fruit and vegetables are in season and available for you to add to your nibble plates, main meals, salads and deserts. Be creative and try adding fruit to your salad.
- Portion Control – The Christmas season is all about to enjoying the seasonal food on offer and spending time with family and friends. It is easy to eat and drink more than you need or plan to consumer. Start with smaller portions of food, and fill your plate with salads and summer vegetables. This won’t only add vitamins, minerals and fibre into your diet, but will also have less kilojoules.
- Tuck in to Turkey – Turkey is a lean meat and is a rich course of protein, iron, zinc, potassium and phosphorus. White meat, such as turkey, is lower in kilojoules and fat compared to dark meat.
- Fancy a Nibble? – Nibbles are everywhere at Christmas, it is just that time of year. It is ok to indulge in a mini mince pie or shortbread biscuit but ensure you have healthy snacks on offer as well. Healthy snack options can include vegetable stick and hommus or a summer stone-fruit platter.
- It is Christmas Day, not Christmas Month – We all tend to over indulge a bit on Christmas Day. Don’t beat yourself up, and just focus on making healthier choices for the other 364 days of the year.
- Delicious Non-Alcoholic Drinks – Get the kids in the kitchen and make something the whole family can enjoy together. If you choose to consume alcohol, the recommended amount of drinking includes 2 – 3 drinks a day for women and 3 – 4 drinks a day for men. Don’t forget drinking alcohol and non-alcohol mixes adds to your kilojoule count. Try aiming for one or two alcohol free days per week.
- Set Yourself a Goal – Given the amount of temptation you are likely to face on Christmas day, give yourself a goal. It may be not to put on any weight, or only allowing yourself one piece of Christmas Pudding. Make a goal and stick to it.
- Buy Active Toys for Your Kids, and Join In – Selecting active toys for the children meaning play time can be utilised outside and spending time with the family. It doesn’t have to involve children games all the time. Try walking after dinner or going to a Sunday bike ride to the ice cream shop.
- Get into an Active Lifestyle while the Weather is Optimal – It is easier to get out of bed while it is light and warm, compared to cold, dark and icy. Join up with a friend and help them motivate you too!
- Give or ask for Healthier Christmas Gifts – Healthier gift ideas include healthy cookbooks, pedometers, quirky vegetable tools and storage containers, or an active adventure in your local town.
Remember, to enjoy Christmas surrounded with your family and friends. Australia Wide First Aid wishes you a safe and enjoyable festive season, and a healthy beginning to 2015.