The exciting holiday season is once again here – and yes (!) it is possible to maintain your weight over the holidays!
Stay strong and don’t pay attention to those good-resolution “saboteurs” who tell you “no point trying, you’re bound to gain the pounds back at Christmas anyways!”
No, BE POSITIVE! Yes, you can have fun during the holidays, in a reasonable manner and without necessarily gaining 5 pounds in 2 days.
To maintain a good state of mind over the holidays, avoid at all costs an “all or nothing” attitude. If you lose yourself to some chocolate on Christmas eve, everything is not damned! Simply pick up right away the next day with a lighter meal and a 30-minute walk on an empty stomach.
Don’t let the challenge of Christmas last until late January by telling yourself, “but the amount of weight I need to lose…”
This year the pounds are not invited to the party! And here’s how to make sure they stay away…
The problem with appetizers is that they are nearly as calorie-packed as an entire meal! What’s more, pre-dinner appetizers can go on for as long as dinner. So, to avoid coming to the table with a full stomach, let’s keep it light with the hors d’oeuvres.
30 min before joining your hosts, eat an apple. After 30 min, the apple’s pectin acts as a natural appetite suppressant. You won’t be so quick to grab every one of the hors d’oeuvres waiting to be eaten. Instead, take a small plate and choose 5 appetizers to enjoy slowly, no refills. If you spot a platter of fresh vegetables, do your mingling nearby. And stay far away from the buffet! This way you won’t be tempted – out of sight, out of mind ;).
As far as drinking goes, opt for tomato juice or a glass of Perrier with a slice of lemon. If you’re tempted to go for some alcohol, choose a glass of red wine, and sip it slowly throughout the evening. Your wine should not be swallowed but rather savored ;).
If you have the choice, go for smoked salmon over foie gras, and avoid dishes made with puff pastry, pizza dough etc.
If there are oysters (yum!), indulge yourself!
Pass on the bread. It’s totally an extra and will raise the meal’s calorie quantity pretty quickly. Save that space for the rest of the food on the table.
Fill up the larger part of your plate with any types of vegetables that are served.
Allow yourself a glass of wine during the meal.
Eat slowly. This is a simple rule but extremely effective for decreasing the calorie content of your meal. Put down your fork between bites, savor each one and enjoy! Avoiding finishing your plate (or glass) too quickly so that your host is less tempted to offer you more ;). This way you’ll still have a little room left for dessert!
Did you know? You can reduce the caloric value of your meal by at least 60% by simply opting for smaller sized plates! Tried and tested: a very serious study by Professor Brian Wansink, Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University, shows the influence of dish sizes on how much we eat! So, if you’re making Christmas at home, you know what to do…
Ah the traditional triple chocolate Buche de Noel or Yule log cake which ties the entire meal together!
Well, ok, a dinner party without dessert is not really a dinner party. So enjoy your cake, but why not try out a recipe for a fruit yule log this year to give a new twist to the end of your meal. You can also opt for a small bowl of fresh fruit with a ramekin of melted dark chocolate on the side for dipping. Light and festive at the same time! Or go for a grilled fruit dessert like our recipe for grilled pineapple with a small scoop of ice cream. The hot and cold elements of this dessert will give your taste buds everything they’re craving.
And hey, if your stomach is telling you there’s simply no room left, pay attention. Dessert is sometimes too much to pile on and then we end up with a stomachache later. Listening to your body is important!
We all know that at family dinners, the meal is never really finished after dessert. Then it’s time for coffee or tea, accompanied of course by chocolate and candy – as if we still have room left!
Instead of packing in more calories, opt for a “digestive infusion” of mint, ginger or cinnamon. And instead of chocolate and candy, if you’re at home, put out clementines, physalis (cape gooseberries), persimmons and lychees which are sure to delight your guests and serve as a lighter note to the end of your meal. If you’re invited out, why not bring your host an exotic fruit basket?
Even if your Christmas went well – without too much indulgence – start out on the right foot as early as the day after, and continue for one week until New Year’s, with these healthy tips:
Start your days with a detox breakfast: lemon juice squeezed in a little room-temperature water on an empty stomach + Sobacha Detox Plus (as much as you want) + an all-fruit breakfast!
Hydrate! Help your body eliminate toxins. In order not to feel more sluggish than you generally do after partying, drink plenty to help your body restore equilibrium and eliminate: water, herbal teas, fresh mint leaves or cinnamon infusions, black tea, Sobacha…enjoy all of these unlimitedly, and preferably without sugar.
Move! Go walking at a somewhat faster rate than usual to get your heart pumping. This is ideal for countering a hangover and burning off yesterday’s dinner. Plan 2 to 3 cardio sessions per week to sweat and boost elimination.
Eat light meals: instead of reheated leftovers opt for fresh seafood accompanied by lots of veggies, and fresh fruit for dessert. You allowed yourself to indulge freely yesterday, so no excuse not to hold back now 🙂
Treat yourself to relaxing breaks: stretching, meditation, yoga, refreshing power nap, etc. The idea is to stop and relax even just for a short time. A tired body cannot not properly regulate its hormones and is therefore prone to cravings and less likely to experience satiety.
And now that you know how to handle all the upcoming partying, let’s dive into some exciting recipes for this year’s holiday dinner! From the LeBootCamp kitchen to yours, go on, check out what we’ve got on the menu for Christmas!
Wishing you an amazing holiday season!
Your Weight Loss & Wellness Coach