Ok, so lets be honest here for a minute... There is no point in going on and on about "just remember only in moderation". Instead lets set ourselves for the fact that we are going to indulge. Now that we have got the elephant in the room, lets look at some strategies to support this elephant! There is a few simple techniques that I will outline that if followed will make a world of difference, without making you feel guilty..! So lets dive straight into scenarios and recommendations;
What's your favourite?
You arrive at mum's place and before the Turkey even hits the table you are greeted with lollies, chocolate, slices, nuts, cheese, mince pies, sweets and of course our friend Mr booze. What you simply need to do is rather than go for everything in front of you, choose only one or two things to indulge in. This will be the one thing that you have been looking forward to all year. Maybe it's your sisters home made caramel slice or your Mum's mince pies, whichever it is, stick with it. If then you find yourself saying "but damn that cheese looks so good too" with a glass of champagne in one hand and a mince pie in the other then tell yourself "No I'll hold off until after lunch, and if I still feel like it, I will have some then". I can almost gurantee you, you WILL NOT want that cheese after lunch.
Lunch is on the table.
Ok so it's now 2pm and lunch is on the table. Now this one is hard as we all do Christmas lunch differently, but most commonly its either a buffet style or formal a la carte.
Buffet style: If it is a 'help yourself' scenario then scan all the options first and nut out which ones are better for you. Choices like seafood, salads and vegetables are the winners to go for first and fill half your plate with these. If there is more than one choice of other proteins choose your favourite and start with this. Again remember if you are still hungry (you won't be) you can go back for more, it's not going to get up and run away! Now to the sauces, DO NOT drench; your salads in dressing, your turkey in cranberry sauce or your prawns in cocktail sauce. Just a teaspoon is all you need if any at all.
A la carte: If you're meal is served for you then unfortunately a little of the control is taken away, so the key here is to slow down your eating. Take the time to put down your knife and fork for 5 minutes here and there. If you draw out the meal your brain will actually have the time to register what you are eating as you eat it. This way you will actually feel full as you eat rather than 20 minutes later. The same rule applies in relation to eating what's more nutritious first and limiting your condiments. Remember as soon as you feel full, put down your knife and fork and distract yourself with conversation. As you have been taking your time, you will probably find you one of the last to finish and hopefully your plate is cleared before you're tempted to fall into the trap of eating just because it's there.
How will it make you feel?
So you've chosen a few faves to start, lunch is out of the way and you're on your third glass of bubbles and dessert has been called! Well the basic fact here is we just need to try and limit our intake as best we can. Your body struggles with sugar no matter what I say. Our bodies have such a hard time processing sugar that we can only do our best to limit our intake and ensure that we aren't shovelling it in right on top of everything else (to the point we are unbuckling our belts!). All I can say is what I say to myslef "why am I having this" and "how will it make me feel now and tomorrow." If the answer is "sick" or "sad", then do you really need it?
Overall you will consume more calories on Christmas day, that is a guarantee but hopefully these tips will help reduce it even just a little bit. Unfortunately as there isn't a magic wand that will just make those calories disappear my last tip would be to throw in a workout before you head to lunch, a quick tabata workout is all you need 30 minutes of high intensity work in which you will keep burning for hours afterwards - hey it's better than nothing! Keep an eye out Christmas Eve for a special Christmas day Tabata!!
Ok bring on our elephant...!!!