Booze, party food and too much TV – it’s no surprise we pile on the pounds around Christmas time. According to the British Dietetic Association, the average person gains around 5 lbs in the run-up to Christmas. But January 2010 doesn’t have to be all about crash dieting. Portion control experts The Diet Plate have teamed up with obesity expert Dr Ian Campbell to bring you their top tips on how to enjoy the festive food without piling on unwanted pounds.
1. Have the right attitude If you go into Christmas thinking you’ll eat whatever you want and worry about it later, you’ll end up joining the majority of the nation as they crash diet their way through the New Year. Instead, decide to embrace the festive season with an “a little of what you fancy” attitude. You can save 500 calories on a traditional Christmas dinner, just by serving it onto the Diet Plate.
2. Think portion control, count bites of food, apply 80 calories to all puddings and chocolates, and 60 calories to cheesy savories, while healthy snacks just count 20 calories - it is a quick way of keeping it food that isn't necessarily served on your plate under control.
3. Don’t diet! Think always about a healthy diet not weight loss. Before going out to a drinks party, have a healthy meal first. This will help you avoid snacking on high calorie nibbles and canapés. Alternate alcoholic drinks with water. This will keep you hydrated and help you to drink less.
4. Eat what you need. Portion control is key to managing your weight. You can eat all the right foods but if you're eating too much, this will eventually lead to weight gain. Decide to enjoy your meal AND feel great afterwards. The Diet Plate takes the guess work out of it. Simply follow the guides on the dinner plate and you can still enjoy turkey and trimmings with the relatives without regretting it afterwards.
5. A little exercise will help Every little will help. Walk briskly while shopping, take the stairs instead of the lift. Don’t use winter as an excuse to stay inside. A walk in the fresh air a couple of hours after your Christmas lunch will aid digestion and make you feel good.
6. Stay Calm! Christmas can be a stressful time. As stress levels rise, so does our temptation to comfort eat. Try to remain calm and take time out to unwind. Having a couple of non-food treats up your sleeve such as a favourite book, a perfumed bubble bath or a phone call with a good friend will help you avoid emptying the fridge.
By Dr Ian Campbell
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