The number one question I get asked at this time of year is: How do you NOT put on weight over Christmas? But the truth is I struggle with this just as much as everyone else. As soon as you put me anywhere near Gran’s mince pies, shortbread, mushy peas, endless pudding varieties, and never-ending left overs it’s game over for the hard-earned bikini body and hello sausage arms and love handles.
But it doesn’t have to be like this! Why work your butt off (literally) just to throw it all away in a month of boozing and turkey roasts? Here are a few tips to make sure your New Years resolution isn’t weight loss again next year:
1. Make healthy versions of your favourite foods (like my raw gingerbread men). There’s no need to sacrifice the fun at Christmas just because you’re terrified of the scales. You just need to mix a few things up – swap sugar in homemade cakes and cookies for coconut nectar, dates or apple puree and white flour for coconut flour or almond meal. Make your own dips using minimal ingredients such as chickpeas, tahini, olive oil and garlic. Make healthy pita bread chips with olive oil and Himalayan salt, baked in the oven for 10 minutes. Blend frozen bananas with coconut milk to make gelato.
2. Eat only your favourite foods. There’s no point denying yourself during the silly season but make sure you don’t just mindlessly snack on everything and anything. Choose the foods you love and saver the flavour!
3. Don’t skip your workouts. You’ll need them now more than ever if you want to keep yourself trim, not to mention to burn off all those extra delicious morsels and buckets of champagne you’ve been downing consistently. Plus it’s a great excuse to get out of awkward Christmas parties: “Sorry I have to leave, I have a 6am yoga class/PT session/walk with a friend I cant let down.”
4. Practice portion control. I know it’s a time when you’ll want to overindulge and sample all 27 pudding varieties, so make sure you have only a slither of each, keep your plate size small and you’ll keep your waist small too.
5. Keep only healthy, fresh foods in your house so you can have a snack before you head out and in case you need to snack again when you get home a little boozed. You’re asking for trouble if the only thing you have in the fridge is a box of Magnums or packet of Tim Tams. The guilt the next day combined with the hangover just isn’t worth it.
6. Take a clutch with you to cocktail parties – it will occupy one hand leaving only one available for either a drink or a snack at any time, slowing down the consumption process.
7. Don’t beat yourself up if you eat or drink a little too much. Recover, drink plenty of water and go for a walk in the fresh air the next day. There’s no point wallowing in guilt so go easy on yourself!