Thanksgiving and Christmas are my favorite eating days of the year. Christmas dinner is now only a couple of days away and the Turkeys and Hams have already been bought and are waiting to be eaten. Every year I get up early on Christmas morning and eat and drink my way through the day and end up feeling boated and a little off by the end of the day.
I have thought about how best to get through the day and have the following tips. Remember that so much about Christmas is about lounging around and visiting with family and friends and this year if you plan to be moving a bit you may feel a lot better for it as you sit down to eat that big delicious meal. I have tried to put all of these ideas in order so that it is a bit easier to follow.
1. Decide what you are going to eat during the day is morning. Think about 3 meals and 3 snacks. No one says you can’t have a snack, then dinner a while later and then desert a while after that.
2. Get some exercise right after you get out of bed. Well we may have a little bit of a problem with this as the two little ones are going to want to eat presents right away and they will dictate the first hour or so. But after that if you can get the blood flowing is would be great. This will help you focus on your fitness and make you aware of how your body feels that day.
3. Drink lots of water throughout Christmas day starting in the morning. We all know how important it is to drink water and to stay hydrated. Also the Water will keep your body from feeling hungry throughout the day and let you feel a little fuller.
4. Eat a small breakfast to set up a slow eating day. Maybe some All Bran or something else filling would be good. I like to load up on the fruit if I know that I am going to have a busy day out and about as I know I will not get a chance to eat fruit later and it makes your breakfast a lot more interesting, colorful, and better.
5. Again you should have a fairly small lunch. but make sure that it is a complete meal and not a meal of candy and chocolate. This is where the morning planning will have helped as you may be out of the house and you do not want to resort to fast food.
6. Try to have some kind of snack a couple hours before dinner and then a walk. This is your first real chance to make a difference in your eating for the day that may normally be bad. Try making something interesting and out of season. I love fruit salad so you could always make a fruit salad and have it over low fat frozen yogurt. The great reason for this is that the Turkey and the rest of the food smell great I am always feeling so hungry all afternoon just smelling the food that the dinner itself is pure gluttony, this can be avoided by not starving yourself through the afternoon.
7. Eat everything at dinner but only small portions of each food. I am not sure about you but we have a large Christmas celebration with about 15 people and have ham, turkey, two kinds of potatoes, six vegetables and a couple of kinds of buns or bread. It is not the amount of food that matters but the trying of all of the foods at the table. Remember you can have leftovers for days in small servings as well.
8. Go for another walk if the weather is good. The worst thing to me is that after having a great Christmas dinner there is no energy outlet so you end up just sitting and almost falling asleep from the tryptophan in the turkey and then you don’t want to get up at all. Why not instead take a little walk around the neighborhood?
9. Dessert. If at all possible try to make a dessert yourself as then you can be sure how good or bad it is for you. My wife is always the designated dessert person for family get togethers as she makes stuff that is not quite as bad for you but always different and always really great tasting. One of the favorites these days is angel food cake with strawberries and Cool Whip
10. Try to keep things interesting for the evening. Having an interactive game to play or have the kids putting on a play is great. What you want to do after dinner and dessert is keep away from the regular habit of snacking even though you are full.
Christmas is a day that people always associate with a lot of food and what I have in mind is not to have you starve yourself on Christmas in the name of dieting but instead just make sure that you have a great day of moderation and eat some healthy snacks to keep yourself from eating too much heavy food and to feel a bit better about yourself the next day.