Party season is in full swing and your social calendar is probably packed with parties, dinners and gatherings, not to mention the most festive event of the season – the Christmas tree auction happening tonight at Hotel de Paris.
These gatherings often call for drinks, nibbles and not the healthiest food – even after the carol service at St Paul’s on December 17 (7 pm) you’ll be tempted with goodies – which is why this is often the season when we pile on weight even though we eat only bite-size portions.
Take Maddywell’s free 10-day Happy Healthy Monaco Challenge
If, like me, you want to take advantage of all the joy of the season without feeling like the stuffed turkey you’re about to cook, start by asking yourself the following three questions:
- Christmas past: How has overindulging in the lead up to Christmas benefited you?
- Christmas present: How important is it to keep doing what you do versus start taking responsibility for what you eat?
- Christmas future: How will your life change when you break your habits and make better food choices?
I know Bah Humbug, right? But most of our habits at this time of the year are deeply engrained in family traditions and breaking free from what is familiar is possible.
Even though you may think that eating junk at this time of the year is unavoidable, you have the ability to make empowered decisions about the food you put in your body. You have choices. For example, you don’t have to eat all the Christmas food on offer.
Maddywell’s favourite party tips:
- Fill up at least half your plate with vegetables (no, fois gras does not count as a vegetable).
- Ditch the potatoes, the pasta, the rice and – gasp! – the bread. There’s nothing special or Christmassy about these foods and they contain very little nutrients.
- Aim for 80 percent healthy food and save 20 percent for your holiday treats.
- If possible, add your dessert to your main plate – this drastically cuts down on the portion, as opposed to having an entirely new plate for dessert after your main course.
- If at all possible, try to sit down when you eat and to truly savor your meal. Take the time to chew and enjoy the flavors and the texture of each and every bite! Eat slowly!
Want to avoid overeating at a Christmas party?
- Don’t turn up at a party starving. Always eat breakfast and lunch if you are going out for dinner. Include protein and healthy fats to stabilise the blood sugar and reduce cravings.
- Make sure that you are getting a balance of protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats at every meal and/or snack.
- Get enough sleep! Our hunger cues are thrown off track when we aren’t sleeping enough (or hungover!). Sleep balances leptin and ghrelin, the hormones that tell us when to start and stop eating (and yes, we all have them!).
I’m hosting a FREE 10-day Healthy & Happy Pre-Christmas Challenge starting TODAY. All you need to do is sign up and you’ll get all my hottest tips to stay on Monaco track in the countdown to Christmas!
Maddy is the Founder of Nutrition For Naughty People, aimed at helping individuals find a better balance between the things that keep them healthy and the things that make them happy! Any questions? firstname.lastname@example.org. Article first published December 14, 2017.