The Christmas Survival Guide

So it’s that time of year when all your hard work for that LBD (little black dress) has paid off! The healthy eating and exercise regime, started in November, has been hard, but you’re loving the new you and your ability to wear what the hell you want - you superstar you!
 
This year I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the amount of ladies who have wanted to start working with me, on an 8 week weight loss coaching programme, in December. It just goes to show that health, energy and feeling good doesn’t just run from January – November. Now, more than ever, we see the correlation between eating well and feeling & aging well.
 
So how can you have a great time over Christmas without either depriving yourself, or putting on lots of unwanted pounds? This Christmas Survival guide will give you some ideas for what to avoid, and what fabulous healthy and delicious choices you can make, in order for you to look good and feel healthy all the way to January.
 
Survival guide fundamentals:

  • Don’t try to diet over the festive period. Set a maintenance goal instead. This is more realistic and much more achievable. This will give you the freedom to enjoy yourself without the feelings of deprivation or the pressure to rebel (ha!)
  • Normal routine tends to go out of the window over Christmas. Try to make sure you don’t forget about yourself and still take the time to plan your food. That way, you will still have the right choices in the house and it will be much easier for you to succeed.
  • Try and stick to normal routine on the days where you are having quiet family days. Christmas festivities tend to follow a pattern of a couple of days of festivities then downtime. Use these days to get back to normal eating patterns, following low GL (Glycemic Load) food groups with good protein and fats. Your body will thank you for it.
  • Make the effort to continue with your exercise programme. If your usual classes aren’t running, choose other options instead such as brisk walks with friends & family in the cold winter air.
  • Don’t go to a party hungry. If you do, you will be fighting your body’s urges for sugar, as blood sugar will be low. Ensure you have a good Low GL snack before you go.
  • Watch your portion sizes. If you’re with family and friends, and the buffet is calling, then have a little of things you fancy, that way you won’t feel deprived whilst sticking to smaller portions.
  • Make good alcohol choices. I know this one is particularly hard when enjoying yourself over Christmas, but avoiding sweet or creamy drinks is really key here.  Champagne, dry wine or spirits are good choices, try staying away from baileys, beer and sweet drinks. Try to drink with food, as this will reduce the impact sugars have on your bloodstream.
  • Drink plenty of water. This will encourage you not to over eat and will also improve how you feel the next day (your liver will thank you for it !)
  • Be gentle with yourself. If you do happen to overindulge, enjoy whatever you are indulging in and get back on track afterwards.
  • Have fun!  You’ve earned it!

Here is a lovely low GL dessert recipe to fill your house with healthy snacks over Christmas. 
Chocolate Fruit & Nut Clusters
 
100 g dark chocolate *go for a dark chocolate which is 80 % or more cocoa*
15g dried cranberries
25g ready to eat apricots
40g pecan nuts
5 Nairn rough oatcakes
2 tsp. xylitol
40g flaked almonds

Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl set in shallow water over a low heat until melted
Blend all the ingredients, except for the flaked almonds, in a blender or use a hand blender until roughly chopped
Add the mixture with the flaked almonds to the melted chocolate and coat thoroughly
Spoon into 10-12 cake cases for a 5 GL snack
Chill in the fridge until set

Lastly I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas filled with love and laughter.  As always, if you're looking for support then please contact me on 07894 111 433 or email info@debbiegallimore.com.