Food temptation Turkey with all the trimmings Healthier option Be satisfied, not stuffed
It would be blasphemous to suggest that your Christmas feast should be a low-calorie meal. Instead, practice being “one and done,” meaning no second helpings. Serve yourself a moderate portion of turkey and your favourite side dishes. Eat slowly and enjoy every bite. After all, this wonderful meal only happens once a year.
Day 11 — Christmas Eve
Food temptation Meat pie Healthier option Seafood and salad
Follow the French tradition and kick off the evening with raw oysters. Oysters are rich in zinc, which helps keep your immune system strong. Next, enjoy a fillet of sablefish or wild salmon with plenty of veggies and a green salad for a light, nutritious meal.
Day 10 — Tree Trimming
Food temptation Shortbread Healthier option Fruit and nuts
Substitute the shortbread for slices, pears, cinnamon-dusted apples and mandarin oranges. A bowl of dry-roasted nuts will add protein, calcium and a savoury twist to your yuletide snack.
Day 9 — Christmas Vacation
Food temptation Eating out Healthier option Stock the bar fridge
Eating out at every meal can really stretch your waistline. Instead, stock the bar fridge in your hotel room with healthy breakfast items to nourish you through to lunchtime.
Day 8 — Christmas Cocktails
Food temptation Eggnog Healthier option Champagne
At 310 calories a glass, rum and eggnog is a sinful Christmas treat to be sure. A festive flute of bubbly, on the other hand, measures a modest 80 calories. Try to keep your consumption to a maximum of two alcoholic beverages.
Day 7 — Holiday Movie
Food temptation Large popcorn with butter Healthier option Just the movie
A large popcorn with butter will set you back a colossal 1,440 calories! Break the connection of junk food with movies. Stroll on past the concession stand and enjoy the movie for the entertainment, not the sodium bomb.
Day 6 — Skating
Food temptation Hot chocolate Healthier option Green, white or oolong tea
One cup of hot chocolate equals 150 calories and a whopping 25 grams of sugar. Opt for a cup of green, white or oolong tea instead. These teas are loaded with antioxidants that help protect your cells from damage.
Day 5 — Cookie Exchange
Food temptation Cookies Healthier option Crackers
Convince your friends to substitute crackers for cookies this year. Use whole grain flour, flax and sesame seeds to create a healthy snack. They also make a great hostess gift.
Day 4 — Christmas Market
Food temptation Waffles with whipped cream Healthier option Roasted chestnuts
Follow your nose to the roasted chestnuts. They pack a nutritional punch at only 150 calories per half cup, are loaded with iron, B vitamins, magnesium and folate, plus they are a fantastic source of fibre.
Day 3 — Dinner Party with Friends
Food temptation Yule log Healthier option Baked fruit
Ingratiate yourself with the hostess by offering to bring dessert. Baked pears, plum and figs will provide guests with a guiltless treat to end the night.
Day 2 — The Office Christmas Party
Food temptation Mini quiches Healthier option Shellfish and crudités
You need to strategize before entering a dietary war zone. Dodge the pastries, creamy dips and anything deep-fried. Instead, pick prawns, smoked salmon, tuna and raw veggies with salsa.
Day 1 — Christmas Shopping at the Mall
Food temptation Deep-fried fast food Healthier option Fresh salad bar
Fuel up after a long day of shopping with a meal-sized salad. Start with dark, leafy greens and raw vegetables. Choose a lean protein like tuna, turkey or edamame, and finish off with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Follow the 12 days of Christmas temptations guide and enjoy the holidays without the (waist-line) hangover
Avoiding weight gain during the holidays is no easy feat, thanks to so many deliciously tempting (and often, bad-for-you) choices shoved in your face wherever you go. But choosing to eat healthier this season doesn’t mean giving up on taste. For every unhealthy option, there’s an equally yummy, waistline-friendly alternative.