7 steps to a healthy Christmas
We all know the festive season is looking different this year, but there's still plenty of fun to be had, so let's make our mark and enjoy the build up, whilst staying on track with our healthy goals.
1. Plan for your routine
If you’re off work and out of your normal routine, establish a new one. Simply planning what you’ll have for breakfast each day will get you off to a good start. Think about how you’ll use your weekly SmartPoints® Budget: you could save it up for Christmas Day and Boxing Day, or use a few SmartPoints every day for little treats. It’s up to you! And if you slip up, forgive yourself – tomorrow is a new day.
2. Be honest with loved ones
For many families, food is an expression of love – particularly on special occasions such as Christmas – so saying ‘No thanks’ to something they’ve spent hours preparing can be tricky. But it’s not impossible! Try saying, ‘Your Christmas cake/pie/pudding is always amazing, but please don’t be offended if I only have a small piece. I’m feeling so much happier since losing weight and I want to keep on feeling this good.’ No family member could take offence at that!
3. Set realistic goals
Be clear about what you want to achieve over the Christmas period. Would you be happy to maintain your current weight, or do you want to continue losing? Or maybe you're happy to gain a few pounds and get back into the swing of things in January? Set goals to stay in control and track your progress.
4. Be real, not perfect
Fun with family and friends is what life is all about. It’s okay to let your hair down once in a while – it’s all about balance. You can’t be perfect all the time! If 80% of your choices are healthy ones, that’s good enough.
5. Have fun making healthy tweaks
Enjoy yourself in the kitchen and make some exciting veggie side dishes, fruity treats or snacks with the kids. Fancy a curry to spice up your Boxing Day? Remember to think about the smart swaps you can make – try replacing lamb with leftover turkey or vegetables, and as for coconut milk, use the half fat version instead of full fat.
6. Eat mindfully
Whether you’re eating delicious seasonal veg or a festive dessert, eat slowly and savour every mouthful. It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to signal to the brain that it’s full, so if you eat quickly, you may be on your second helping by the time you realise you didn’t actually want or need it.
7. Start a new family Christmas tradition
A brisk, hour-long walk on Boxing Day, or after your turkey lunch, could be just what everybody needs. How about starting a new Christmas Day tradition to get the whole family active? Whether you put on some Christmas songs and have a boogie or fire up the Wii, there are plenty of opportunities to make time for movement!