There is the Christmas cheer all around but you have worries of your own? You have been diligently following your weight loss plan but with the oncoming festivities, your plan may go out of the window. But hey, before you kiss away those tasty Christmas dishes and treats goodbye, we have few ways by which you can revel without gaining much weight!
“Much to everyone’s delight, Christmas eve comes on a Sunday, the official cheat day for many following a rigorous diet! There you go, a fun fact to make you happy with the oncoming Christmas treats”
Start on the Christmas morning!
Breakfast is still the king
Given that Christmas is all about lavish lunch and dinner but that doesn’t mean you ignore the first biggest meal of the day; breakfast! This tip will prevent you from researching ‘how to lose the Christmas weight’ on the internet. Although you may be tempted to pick on the sweets on offer, eat a healthy breakfast consisting of boiled eggs/ egg omelette with whole grain bread or a paneer moong chilla loaded with vegetables. That will keep you away from straying over to the unhealthy snacks later on in the day.
Seasonal fruits ahoy!
Really who will eat fruits when there are plum cakes, marzipan, pastries, pies and other Christmas treats tantalising your taste buds? But hey, aren’t you on a health mission?! That means you receive seasonal fruits with equal gusto as these treats. After all, they are God’s own guilt-free healthy Xmas treats of sorts.
“Christmas doesn’t give you the leeway to compromise on the 5 fruits a day rule! No matter what you eat, ensure you earmark at least 4 servings of whole fruits factored in for the day.”
We have advocated this point enough in our blogs and rightly so. Research has found that your brain derives the same euphoria from an indulgent food (like cakes or pastries) even if you eat a bite-sized amount.
DIY Food Experiment!
Cut small pieces of the cake or pastry or the Christmas special dessert prepared at home. Keep it aside. When you feel like having some, have 1 of the small piece and keep it aside. You will realise that not just it helped settle your craving but you feel satisfied too! Do this trick even if you have prepared healthy Xmas treat.
Portion control doesn’t just restrict to how much food you serve for yourself, but also includes the portion of the frosting used. Frosting and cake decoration usually mean full fat whipped cream loaded with sugar. How to minimise it? Try dusting cinnamon flavoured sugar on the cake or just load them with colourful fruits like berries, kiwis, melons (basically fruits that signify the festive Christmas colours).
The Hearty Christmas Meal and Healthy Eating
There, you have successfully avoided indulging on Christmas morning and now comes the part you have been waiting for with mixed emotions of happiness and dread; the traditional Christmas feast. Don’t worry because we are doling out tips for you to have healthy food for Christmas with none of the post-indulgence dread seeping in.
So Christmas means turkey meat but chicken bodes well with the recipes too. Also, both the variants are lean meats by themselves until they are cooked in high fat-based recipes. Another point to note while cooking the turkey is to remove the skin. That is because turkey has a lot of fat just under the skin. If you are buying ready-made turkey meat from a shop, go for the unflavoured one as they can have too much of salt and seasonings.
2.Pay attention to the sides
No, we just don’t mean your sides (or love handles) but to the feast appetisers and starters. While you may be tempted to serve up fried snacks, do balance it out with steamed veggies as well. Sprouts and grilled veggies and fruit combo are also a good option. Try not to roast them as that will add on to the oil. Dips are an important part too, so try making them with yoghurt or avocados for the creamy taste.
3.Smaller plates, smaller portions
So your hosts will have their fancy ‘reserved-for-guests’ china out but they can actually add on to your weight. One very simple way to reduce your portion size is by reducing the size of the plates. So even if you are offered the glitzy plates, opt for the smaller size ones. If you are hosting the party, then ensure you extend the same healthy courtesy to your friends.
4.Watch out for salt and sugar
Thinking of using that canned meat for an exotic dish or a canned fruit for the pie? While you may introduce a variety there, did you know excess salt and sugar may also creep into your recipe? Even many sauces could silently hide excess of salt and artificial flavouring. So keep a watch out.
Be a Good Host and ‘Dost’!
Called a bunch of people over for a Christmas special lunch or dinner? Here are a few points you can remember to throw a healthy and memorable party
1.Mix and match it up
We understand that a completely healthy spread may not make you the most popular host. So you can mix and match up the dishes. If you are having a shallow fried starter then keep 2 baked ones; if you have a commercial sauce as a dip, keep 2 homemade ones along.
Go hearty on lentils, sprouts, lean meat, eggs in your menu. This will mean your guests will have a variety of healthy treats, the kind which will make them feel full soon. Make sure to grill them or saute them.
Try to restrict the amount of salt added to the dishes while cooking and don’t freely offer the salt shaker on the table. This will prevent the mindless addition of salt. If someone feels the need to add more, they could do so by taking a bit of an extra effort.
Pamper your guests with a great spread of salads. You can add a little bit of information about how 5 fruits and vegetables a day can keep dangerous lifestyle diseases away!
5.Small portions for them too
Do you have a spread planned? Then serve small portions of each dish. This has a double benefit: your guests will not waste food and they will be satisfied sooner preventing overeating.
How to Party Wisely?
The tables have turned and you get the pleasure of reaping in someone else’s culinary efforts! Yes, you are going to a Christmas party! But doesn’t mean you indulge. Here are a few tips on how not to slip on your weight loss goals yet have fun.
1.Don’t give up
Here you are preparing for the Christmas feast and do you think ‘There is going to be loads of fat and sugar. Am I going to fail on my diet’? Stop approaching the party on a negative note. Try telling yourself that you can control the portion you eat. You are capable of restricting only 2-3 starters. Having a positive approach while going to the party will help.
2.The no-growl party stomach
This is all time number 1 rule, never turn up to a party on an empty stomach. What happens next? You tend to stuff up on the first thing you end up seeing! Prevent it by having something healthy at home before.
Now these tips may seem easy to follow but they can put you in undue stress as you search for the ultimate healthy recipes for Christmas dinner! Hey, we are here to solve your dilemma with some easy, healthy Indian Christmas recipes to ring in the festival with flare!