healthy eating meal plansNikki Boswell, Nutritionist for the December 28 Day Challenge has provided her top tips to avoid overeating this Christmas and keeping your healthy eating goals in check:
Technically Christmas is only one day of the year, but our festive indulgences tend to last for far longer. With multiple Christmas parties, concerts, family gatherings and all the leftovers that hang around the house in between, it can be very easy to over indulge and sabotage all your good intentions and hard work throughout the rest of the year – but it is possible to still enjoy the Christmas festivities and social gatherings, while keeping your calorie intake in check.
1) Firstly, plan your festive season: Find out when all the Christmas parties and celebrations are, jot them down in your diary and prepare yourself for this event. Consider what type of foods will be available, how much control you will have over what you eat and figure out how you are going to tackle this e.g.:

  • you might like to fill up before you go,
  • sit furthest away from the buffet so you don’t snack too much,
  • serve yourself on a small serving plate,
  • focus on eating slowly and enjoy the company and atmosphere,
  • or bring your own healthy options if appropriate.

2) Eat meat in moderation: When planning your strategies to get through the festive season, eating in moderation should be a top priority. It is perfectly fine to enjoy your favourite foods, and in fact can be a preferable strategy than completely avoiding foods, which can lead to binge eating and a negative relationship with food – just keeping in mind your portion sizes; serves of meat should be smaller than your palm and serves of discretionary food should be about the size of your thumb.
3) Make veggies the star: On its own a palm sized piece of meat seems far from satisfying but by loading your plate with heaps of veggies, your plate will instantly become colourful, vibrant and far more satisfying without blowing out your healthy eating plans. Just be sure to choose salads with lots of leafy greens and colourful vegetables and minimal additions like rich creamy dressings, meats and cheeses.ChristmasApple&PearTreePlatter-931
4) Fruit is natures candy: Similarly a thumb sized portion of your favourite dessert doesn’t seem that exciting on a plate on its own, but dress it up with lots of beautiful, colourful fruits and it will certainly satisfy your sweet tooth.
There is an abundance of glorious summer fruits available over the festive season, so be sure to enjoy the colour, texture and flavour they add to any Christmas spread. A bowl of seasonal fruit makes a beautiful centrepiece while helping you maintain your healthy focus. Fruits such as peaches, mangos and berries can be added to salads to make them extra special and are most definitely a key ingredient in many classic and healthy dessert recipes that add fibre, a range of nutrients and help keep the calorie count down.
5) Make your appetisers count: Colourful fruits and vegetables also make great snacks and nibbles to serve before the main meal or as picnic food. Serve vegetables with dip platers or make Cucumber S’mores such as those in the December Challenge.
Nikki Boswell, Nutritionist
healthy eating meal plans