Festive days are usually associated with food (and drink) abundance. In my home-country the New Year’s Eve meal is probably the most abundant meal of the year. There is SO much food on the table, and most of it is only prepared once a year, this particular eve, so, naturally, you want to have it all. Experience shows, however, that the following days are overshadowed by not exactly feeling fit and well, by extra kilos and feelings of guilt. Sounds familiar? Well, I have prepared twelve tips on how to survive holidays without gaining weight. Hopefully you will use at least some of them!
- Do not starve yourself during the day
Do not starve yourself during the day in anticipation of a festive meal. It is a bad strategy. Have a nutrient-rich, satisfying breakfast/lunch in order to not feel excessively hungry by the evening. And by the way, if you plan to drink alcohol, it is not wise to do it on an empty stomach anyway: the consequences of drinking will be (even more) disastrous.
- Drink carbonated water before and during the festive meal
Bubbles will fill your stomach and supress your appetite to some degree.
- Make sure there are raw veggies on your table
This tip applies if you are in charge of the festive table. Cut the fresh vegetables, such as carrots, cucumber, pepper, celery stalks in attractive shapes. Snack on them. Raw vegetables create a feeling of satiety.
- Do not be afraid to experiment
Again, this tip is meant for those in charge of the dinner table. Try new, healthy recipes. Nowadays in a split second you can find millions of light, healthy and at the same time festive recipes for every taste and budget.
- Use small plates
The same amount of food on plates of different diameters looks quite different. On a large plate portions seem small, and vice versa.
- Be careful with alcohol
I am perfectly aware that for many this recommendation is not easy to follow. Just keep in mind that alcohol is very high in calories. For example, one bottle of wine contains about 600 calories. This is comparable to the amount of energy in a hearty meal. One small gin-&-tonic or vodka-cola contains about 120 calories. 25 millilitres of whiskey contain 60 calories. Except for being calorie-rich, alcohol stimulates appetite. As a result, you most probably will eat more than you would if you haven’t been drinking.
- Limit yourself to one portion
Take everything that you want but limit yourself to one portion. Sometimes we don’t even notice how our hand reaches for food. This is especially true when you hold a glass of wine in your hand. Stay mindful and enjoy every bite of the food that you eat!
If you absolutely want dessert, limit yourself to a small portion. Eat it mindfully, slowly and with pleasure.
- Wear a tight-fitting outfit
It might sound silly, but it does work. An outfit which inevitably makes a rounded belly visible can easily help you be more disciplined during the festive dinner!
- Focus on your friends, not on the food
Holiday is above all, not a feast, but an opportunity to connect with family and friends. The memories of moments of emotional intimacy will make you feel happy for a long time. The excess fat around your waist and hips – unlikely!
In the days before and after the feast do not stay on the couch but be active instead. This will help you to spend the extra calories and quickly recover from overeating and excess alcohol.
- The next day
If you feel that you’ve not exactly been very good, try to compensate the next day. Do not skip meals, but make veggies the main ingredients of your meals. Eat light, exercise and drink plenty of water.