Christmas FoodIt’s easy to let your fitness and nutrition programme slip over the holiday period – and it’s OK to take a rest and enjoy the festivities with your friends and family. Use my top tips to cushion the blow and stay in shape this Christmas!

 

1. Stick to spirits

Christmas parties, New Year’s Eve, family get togethers… these often come hand in hand with a steady supply of boozy drinks! Switch your wine and beer to clear spirits and calorie free mixers and you might not ward off a nasty hangover but you’ll definitely consume fewer calories in the process

2. Know your party food

You don’t need to steer clear of all party food – just pick carefully and you’ll do your waist line a favour. Pick vegetable crudites and salsa over crisps and mayonnaise based dips, choose smoked salmon sarnies over pastry heavy samosas and spring rolls and if you’re the one hosting whip up mini frittatas and home-made guacamole!

3. Hide the chocolates

Don’t leave a big tub of chocolates within reaching distance while you’re watching the telly. Out of sight, out of mind. Bring them out when you have guests and put them away again afterwards!

4. Stick to your meal times

Try to keep to your usual meal times as much as possible, breakfast, lunch and dinner rather than constantly grazing on ‘fridge tapas’ and leftovers! Make sure these meals are protein rich (leftover turkey anyone?) and filling so that you’re not constantly tempted to snack.

5. Ration your ‘blow out’ meals

If you have 5 meals out to attend, have a look at the menus beforehand and work out which ones have healthy options. Decide which night out you want to be a ‘blow out’ and try to choose body friendly meals for the rest. Fish dishes, steak and bunless burgers are all great options that don’t draw attention to the fact that you’re watching what you eat!

6. Don’t over stock

It’s easy to clear the shelves of your supermarket in preparation for Christmas feasting! Try to buy only what you need for you and your guests so that you avoid having loads of unhealthy leftovers that you will feel obliged to eat!

7. Food bank it!

If you do end up with endless boxes of chocolate and a tonne of left over party food – you don’t need to eat it all!! Take it to a local food bank! A good deed and a good deal of calories saved!

8. Get moving

Even if you can’t find the time to make it to the studio, get out and do something! Go for a nice long walk or ask your trainer to give you a programme that you can easily follow at home!

9. Ring fence your down time

Don’t let one week of Christmas turn into one month of Christmas! Highlight the days you’ll be ‘Christmassing’ and stick to your routine either side of it! Why wait until January to get back to it?!

10. Get your family and friends involved

Let loved ones know that you’re following a healthier lifestyle and that you’d appreciate support instead of peer pressure to ‘have just one more’ – you never know, you might even encourage them to join you!