Many of us worry about how much we will eat or drink at this time of year. We want to avoid putting on weight, and we want to keep trim and be healthy.
However, with so much food everywhere on Christmas Day and generally over the holiday period, this it can be very challenging.

Use these seven useful points as a basic guideline on how to better manage Christmas Day lunch and the other celebrations, and to avoid ending the holidays feeling bloated with some extra unwanted kilos hanging around your middle.

1.  Drink water when you wake up and another glass or two half-an-hour before Christmas Day lunch

Drinking a couple of glasses half-an-hour before a meal will naturally cause you to eat less, since you will already have taken the edge off your hunger and therefore wonâ??t feel you have to start piling in the food immediately.

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2.  When drinking alcohol, intersperse your drinks with water

Make sure you pour your drinks yourself, and sip from a glass of water intermittently in between the alcohol. Avoid the mixers â?? thatâ??s usually where the hidden sugars and harmful chemicals lie. Rather limit yourself to a couple of glasses of dry white wine or a beer.

3.  Watch out for pre-meal snacks at your Christmas Day lunch

Go for the snacks with green, red, or yellow fresh veggies in them.  Crudités with a small amount of dip is far better than tucking into hand- or platefuls of crisps, chocolates or salted peanuts.

Remember to also eat pre-Christmas Day lunch snacks slowly. If you feel you have to resort to crisps or nuts, simply take one or two at a time, not a great handful. In this way you are having and enjoying the same foods as everyone else, just naturally and easily eating less of everything that is available.

4.  Have a bit of everything you like at the Christmas Day lunch itself

The key here is to help yourself liberally to the fresh veg and salads without dressings, and to seriously limit your intake of fatty/processed meats and deep-fried foods â?? and then treat yourself to another plate of the veggies and salads.

5.  Eat slowly and consciously

Very important is to remember the tips around eating well, and eating consciously: eat slowly; really chew and taste your food each time you put some in your mouth; and always put your cutlery down between each mouthful. This gives your stomach more time to process what youâ??re putting into it. If you work through your Christmas Day lunch this way, you will be satisfied sooner rather than later without needing such large quantities of food.

6.  Enjoy your dessert

Enjoy your dessert, but in moderation. Take a small serving, eat it slowly and consciously, whilst savouring every mouthful. Put down your spoon between each mouthful and youâ??ll still feel youâ??re â??indulgingâ?? like everyone else.

7.  Don’t pig out after Christmas Day lunch

Thereâ??s often more to come after the main meal, such as coffee and chocolates. As with your dessert, have a small piece of chocolate, and allow it to linger in your mouth. If youâ??re the host, it helps to process any leftovers immediately in order to manage post-Christmas lunch snacking.

Warnings

If you have any medical condition where you have specific guidelines with regard to eating or drinking, follow your guidelines as required.
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