Not want figgy pudding this year? – 5 ways to avoid overindulgence this Christmas season

inevitable-office-christmas-partySo it’s party season! But four 3-course Christmas lunches, three Christmas parties, two Christmas day meals and New Year’s Eve party later, plus the endless amount of chocolates, nibbly bits and cheese and biscuits, and you are heading for that all too familiar over indulgence feeling come the 1st January. You’ll probably spend the rest of the year convincing yourself you’ll start your diet and drinking less next month. ‘I need junk food to get me through this hangover’ ‘We still have chocolate and wine to get through, I want to have that before we start…’ Sound familiar?!

Wouldn’t it be great if this year was different? Instead of attempting to start a new diet on the 1st January and failing by 3pm, why not start a healthy lifestyle now, one you can maintain? Or maybe you just want to keep the indulgence to a minimum to make it easier come January?

Here are 5 tips for keeping those calories down but your spirits up this Christmas:

  • Try switching some alcoholic drinks on a night out for non-alcoholic

    You can get a triple whammy benefit from this – cutting down the number of calories, relieving pressure on your liver and other organs, and keeping you hydrated for a lighter hangover the next day! You can even do this on the sly if you are afraid of being berated! For example you could try just having just a mixer on your round e.g. lemonade instead of vodka and lemonade (40 calories instead of 97 (0r 134 for a double) or ordering a Becks Blue or other non-alcoholic beer in a glass (22 calories instead of 113). Getting yourself a shot of water is always another good trick to cutting down on those units (0 calories instead of 37!)!

  • Don’t buy lots of snacks and chocolates

    It sounds simple, but if you don’t buy them, you won’t eat them. Even more important, you wont get used to them being around and there always been food to graze on. However, if you fancy something for you and your guests to nibble on, switch some of your snacks to less calorific, higher nutrient version. You could swap breadsticks and sour cream and chive dip for carrots/cucumber and hummus, Celebrations to dark chocolate covered mini rice cakes or chocolate orange to Nakd cocoa orange bits.

  • Start your exercise plan today

    It doesn’t have to be much, but getting your mind and body into the routine of exercise during December, will make it so much easier to continue through into January and beyond. Start by getting out for at least a 3 mile walk, three times a week or getting into a least two classes at your local gym.

  • Swap your pudding in at your work Christmas meal to a coffee/tea

    Cut out the sugar hit of the pudding and get yourself a warming drink instead. Many places are happy to offer this instead of the pudding. If coffee is already included, see if they can put you together a fruit salad. Fruits like berries, apples, pears and apricots don’t cause such a sugar high and have added superfood benefits such as antioxidants and vitamins. Of course you’ll need to give them plenty of notice and order in advance.

  • Above all, be brave!

    The hardest thing, at all times of year, but particularly Christmas is dealing with peer pressure. Some people don’t want you to not appear to be joining in with everything as it either makes them reflect on their own over indulgence or your spoiling their fun. However, if you can be strong and just make a few changes, say no a few times, it will give you the strength to make small changes bit by bit to improve your lifestyle long term. And trust me, when you say you fancy a coffee instead of another alcoholic drink, you won’t be the only one!

Want some festive healthy recipes? Head to Alternatively if you need help, support and advice with your nutrition and exercise, head to BirdSol now

Leanne Bird, Founder of BirdSol

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