1. Damage Limitation with AlcoholThere’s no doubt that alcohol plays a big part in being responsible for our excess calorie intake over the festive period. Not only is alcohol high in calories, it also reduces your restraint, which could result in you eating lots of calories as well as drinking them. You can reduce your calorie intake from alcohol - without being a party-pooper - in the following ways: alternate alcoholic drinks with water or a diet soft drink; order a small glass of wine instead of a large glass; be mindful that creamy liqueurs like Baileys and creamy cocktails are higher in calories than other alcoholic beverages; ask for single measures rather than double measures; dilute alcoholic drinks by opting for mixers such as gin and slim-line tonic or Bacardi and diet coke (both of which are approximately only 60 calories providing you go for a single spirit measure).
2. Practice Portion Control
It’s Christmas, so I’m not going to ruin the experience by saying that you can’t eat some of your favourite treats, however simply by reducing the serving size of your meals and/or desserts, you can significantly reduce your calorie intake. Try going for 2 roast potatoes instead of 5, or a small fun size pack of chocolate rather than king size and two scoops of trifle rather than four. This way you are not depriving yourself and you get a taste for the things you enjoy, without overdoing it on the calories. You’ll feel better for it too, rather than suffering with that ‘stuffed’ feeling.
3. Increase your physical activity
Don’t just focus on the calorie intake side of the equation; remember you can burn off a few of those excess calories by increasing your physical activity. This may be an extra Zumba class each week, going out for a walk with your other half or the kids, or even getting up on the dance floor at all those parties.
4. Avoid being famished when you arrive at a party
We've all heard the diet tip about not going shopping when you are hungry, well I believe the same applies for parties where calorie laden nibbles are plentiful. Try to avoid going to your party hungry as you are far more likely to impulse eat and overeat. Instead, have a light meal before you go to take the edge off your appetite and hopefully reduce cravings. You could otherwise quite easily blow a whole day’s calorie consumption in an evening of grazing.
5. Ensure your cupboards aren't stocked with high calorie seasonal snacks
Restaurants and parties aren't the only places we tend to overeat. Cuddled up next to a glowing fire watching your favourite Christmas TV can lend itself to comfort eating. If trifle, mince pies and Quality Street are readily available in your home, the likelihood is you are going to eat them. Try to limit the amount of calorie dense foods you keep at home. If it’s there you will eat it, if it’s not you can’t…..
So those are some of my health and nutrition tips - good luck if you are trying to manage your calorie intake over Christmas; the festive season is most probably the hardest time of year to do this, with holidays abroad coming a close second.
Now for the last minute shopping for family and friends; well that’s what I have planned for this weekend, but of course you've got to get your priorities right first and make sure you treat yourself to some new party shoes, so that’s exactly what I have done. I have ASOS to thank for these pretty, patent Mary Jane 'lookalikies'.
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