Christmas Calories Hints and Tips
Although having Coeliac Disease means we are very aware of the gluten in our food, we can still overeat like anyone else at this time of year. A little indulgence is no harm but we can sometimes overdo it… Christmas is about celebrating and enjoying some lovely food but it doesn’t mean eating non-stop from the first of November to the 31st of January! In fact, there is a lot you can do to enjoy the Christmas treats, keep an eye on the calories and keep yourself in good shape to the New Year.
At Christmas, there are a lot more nibbles and snacks around and it is easy to keep picking away at chocolates and gluten-free mince pies. Check if you are hungry before you snack. That way you can enjoy a treat if you are and you can wait a while if you are not.
You may not be looking for food, but you will pick at something if you see it. Try to keep treats and snacks in cupboards and at the back of the fridge until you need them. Leaving chocolate on the counter or treats at the front of the fridge makes you much more likely to graze as you go by.
We over load shopping trollies at Christmas and then end up eating everything or throwing it out. Really think about how many guests you are going to have and how much they will actually eat. Especially this year when we might be having fewer visitors. Be careful not to buy for your usual crowd if it is going to be smaller numbers this year.
Unless you have a will of iron, boxes of chocolates and treats will be eaten before you know it and you will have to re-buy everything again. Save money and calories by waiting until closer to Christmas to buy the treats.
Portions are more likely to be a problem when you eat out – restaurant portions are often larger than we would have at home. However, unless there is a big change, eating out is likely to still be restricted this year. So watch portions at home instead. We do tend to comfort ourselves with lots of nice food. And while this is fine now and again, if we make a habit of it, long term the results are not so good. So plan your treat nights – even over Christmas and remember that (apart from Christmas Day) your plate should not be bigger than your out stretched hand.
Not only does it add calories (a bottle of wine can have up to 700) alcohol is also an appetite stimulant. This means that you eat more both on the night but also the following day. Do your liver and your waistline a favour and have a few alcohol free nights and limit how many drinks you do have in one night.
Although exercise won’t cancel out all of the extra food you eat, it will help offset some of the worst excesses. Even on Christmas day it is worth getting out for a walk. Factor in 20 minutes of exercise everyday over Christmas – a walk, a cycle, an exercise DVD if it is raining or simply skip for 5 or 10 minutes. It all helps!
Be careful not to start Christmas somewhere in November and finish around the end of January. Nibbling and over-indulging for that long will knock you right off balance. Give yourself a few days around Christmas day to enjoy yourself – just don’t take the whole of December!