Festive Eating 2011

By Meeghan, 23 January, 2012

The following article has been written by Meaghan Butterley,

Before the meal

Continue to eat regular meals, even on days with Christmas functions and gatherings. Skipping meals to ‘save room for later’ leads to increased hunger and overconsumption of calories at other meals.

During the meal

There is need to cut out all of the tasty treats at your celebratory lunch or dinner, just remember your portions. Fill half of your plate with vegetables salad, one quarter with starchy foods (pasta, potato, bread) and one quarter with meat. Put your knife and fork down after each bite. Slower eating usually leads to fewer calories consumed, as it allows more time for our digestive hormones to signal to our brain that we are full. Enjoy the conversation and company between mouthfuls. Remember that the Christmas feast is not your last supper! Most of us will continue to consume leftovers and other treats for the days and weeks following Christmas, so there is no need to stuff yourself full of these foods on the day. The longer you sit at the table, or the closer you stand to the buffet, the more tempted you will be to eat. Place a physical barrier between yourself and the food wherever possible.

After the meal

No matter how careful we are, most of us will consume more calories over the festive period than at other times of the year. To help compensate for these additional calories, ensure you incorporate additional physical activity into your regime. Set goals for the festive period, for example, 5 x 30 minute walks each week.

Christmas treats

Avoiding your favourite Christmas treats altogether will leave you feeling deprived and often ends in binge-eating. Satisfy your cravings by indulging in a small amount of your favourite foods, whilst avoiding some of the other treats passed your way. It can be useful to plan ahead and decide which treats you will enjoy and which you will avoid, to ensure the enjoyment is worth the calories. For example, indulge in a few mince pies, but plan to pass on the lollies and chocolates.

Merry Christmas to you all!

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