Christmas and Holidays…How to balance your eating and plan for social events…

Christmas and the New Year coming upon us fast… 42 sleep until #Xmas Eve…it’s still not time to put up the tree though…Personally, when my kids were small I used to do it, on Xmas Eve, when they were in bed and made sure all the lights were on when they came down on Christmas morning…the look on their little faces was priceless…

Now that we are retired it’s not such a heady whirlwind of office parties…those were the days…smile- I can remember though it was a never-ending whirl of food and drinks galore everywhere you turned…a balancing act for sure…but I am not going to tell you about how you can deprive yourself over the next weeks until after New year I mean pacing one’s self and enjoying what you do eat…there is so much to enjoy! Right?balancing on a piece of string

It is all about balance...A bit like a tightrope sometimes…but equally doable…and enjoyable…

Of course, food and drink is a major player some of you will be going on holiday and some of you will, be visiting rellies or just staying at home but at home or away there will be food and drink… when the holiday season is Christmas AND New Year…we want to be able to enjoy these foods without returning home with a waistline twice the size because of festive overindulgence… Surely there’s a way to maintain your weight loss AND enjoy new foods on holiday?

Picture the scene...You are sitting watching the sunset or slobbing out watching Netflix …The waiter brings your sundowner…he then comes back with a plate of ” May as well ” foods…alternatively you could be watching the Christmas TV shows…those “may as well” foods pop up everywhere…You are at a social event and that delicious buffet is calling to you…we are bombarded by different scenarios which all include food and drink…”May as well”

Sunset Bangtao Beach

These are foods which are there for the taking whether you are at home or away but because it’s a  holiday and they are there for the taking, you’ll happily just take one until before you realise the bowl is empty … “may as well.”

So what can you do so that you are not upset at yourself and guilt-ridden by the end of your next family gathering or dinner party for overindulging in every single dish that was brought to the party?

Know what you are eating before you go…Snacks and nibbles usually include (but are not limited to this list below…

  • Olives...Olives are a scrumptious snack that boasts healthy fats and polyphenol antioxidants. Their low-calorie density means that they may aid weight loss by helping you feel full. All the same, you should control for portion sizes because olives’ calories can add up quickly.
  • Peanuts…Peanuts are full of nutrition and make for a healthy snack. They’re full of fibre, protein, and healthy fats, which can aid weight management by keeping you full longer. For best results, choose raw, roasted, or boiled peanuts free of added salt and flavouring, and be mindful of your serving size.
  • Mince Pies…sigh
  • Doritos…Health experts say that the popular snack should be avoided at all costs as it’s made with unhealthy ingredients, preservatives and additives. The first ingredient on Dorito’s list is corn, but it’s actually genetically modified corn.
  • Dips…Dips and spreads make excellent condiments, snacks, and party food. However, they’re sometimes loaded with high-calorie ingredients, salt, sugar, and other additives. … At home, you can use whole foods to make your own varieties that are just as tasty but much more nutritious.
  • Hot chocolate …BUT do you need the squirty cream?
  • Something unrecognisable – but you take it anyway… “May as well”.

Doing this for no other reason than because you can is a surefire way of unnecessarily bumping up your overall calorie intake.

Now, I do believe you should try and sample the offered snacks if on holiday or at a friend’s or your works Christmas jolly… but remember you have a full week or two, to try and sample all the foods you fancy. So there’s no need to keep nibbling until they are gone on the first day…of the holidays…which generally carries on to the “New Year” Just saying!

I know it’s tempting and most of these little bowls are not only put there to tempt you to nibble but they make you thirsty and you have another drink…Hic!

So what else can you do?

Limit the Booze…

In the past, I have been on all-inclusive holidays with a bar in the middle of the pool…We walked the beach stopped in a little cafe and had a wine or beer with our lunch…came back straight into the pool..another drink or three…if I am at home doing the entertaining…I love mixing cocktails, especially at Christmas and the New Year…and I did start early just to get them perfect just saying!-smile-not so good after the fact-not smiling but heading for the bathroom cabinet…

By this time, it is only 3 pm in the afternoon and we have had a few drinkies already…

It can be so easy to get carried away when you have a beer, wine and cocktails literally on tap and, whilst drinking can be a fun and relaxing part of your holiday, it’s a good idea to control your intake…

Many times we end up drinking away our calories and sugar by drinking too many alcoholic beverages or indulging in that eggnog. This doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy what this season has to offer. After all, that hot chocolate might be just what you need to warm yourself up, but do you really need to add all the extra whipped cream and caramel? ….sigh!

Alcoholic beverages have tons of calories and sugar, which can give you super sugar spikes and still leave you wanting more, so if you recognise the amount you are drinking. You can even use a tracking app such as Myfittnesspal or Loseit to see how much sugar and calories you are really drinking.

That might deter you or help you drink a bit less. Also, think of the sugary beverage as a dessert and that means, maybe skimping on dessert…just saying! because you have already had it.

It is also not really that much different over the “holiday” period at home...we set out our little bowls of nibbles and then have a mid-morning tipple with a mince pie…

What can you do…?

Stay off the booze until 3pm (or later). As a general rule, the longer you wait until your first drink, the less you’re likely to drink overall in the day.

Set yourself a (sensible) drink limit. Giving yourself a maximum number of drinks to have does help keep your alcohol intake in check… whilst freeing up when and how often you can drink.

Drinking water in between the glass of alcohol is what works for me and it keeps me hydrated as well.

It is also important especially in the heat to keep hydrated it doesn’t just have to be water. Teas, coffees, juices, and even fruits like watermelons and peaches can all help you stay hydrated in the sun. Carrying a bottle of water with you though, that can be refilled and sipped on throughout the day, is always going to be a smart idea.

Also, remember alcohol will increase your chance of dehydration because it’s a diuretic, so make sure you’re drinking plenty of water throughout the day if you’re on the beers.

Neglecting your body’s need for water can lead to tiredness, lack of energy, muscle cramps and an upset tummy – not what you want to experience on a relaxing holiday…or before Christmas Dinner is served…I still have vivid memories of my father overindulging and then not eating his Christmas dinner…my sweet mild mother was not impressed and my father did not repeat that any Christmas after that unfortunate episode…smile-

The motto is you do not want to upset the Christmas chef…

Who doesn’t love a walk when on holiday or a break from work...some like to swim a few lengths in the pool..some even use the gym(not me) …

But a lovely brisk walk or a friendly game of footie with the family in the frosty air does wonders as well so it might be holiday time but it doesn’t mean you can’t wrap up warm and enjoy!

But, during the festive season, it would be unrealistic to expect yourself to work out every day and count your calories – after all, holiday times are meant to be a time for relaxing and taking a break from your usual day-to-day routine.

But what happens when you’re eating out?

  • Make sure you eat something before you go..don’t starve yourself all day…
  • Share a meal with someone…I always share with Lily and the older she gets the more eats which I don’t mind…
  • Ask for a Doggie bag/To-go box at the same time you order and when your food comes, only leave on your plate a single serving and put the rest away in the box. The simple concept of “out of sight, out of mind”
  • Share a dessert…

But most importantly we all have little lapses...One or two weeks of some overindulgence isn’t going to be the end of the world…

But this shouldn’t mean we just forego all common sense and eat anything and everything in sight, doing our best sunbathing /Couch sloth impersonation each and every day…Just saying…

The trick is finding the right balance and even just one or two of the suggestions above will help you to strike the difference between relaxation and indulgence, whilst keeping things under control.

And if things don’t go to plan and you do end up putting on a few pounds more than expected?…. Don’t stress.

It probably means you had a great time …but all these tips apply to many social situations there are always temptations.

We have Thanksgiving, then Christmas coming, New Year on the horizon, and someone is bound to get engaged, married, divorced or have a baby…

All of these are triggers…Life is one big trigger …We have to choose how we are going to live it!

Thank you for joining me today I am giving Saturday Snippets a break for a while(I am ) struggling to think of words as is my muse but we will be back refreshed and raring to go with Saturday Snippets after the New Year…

I hope you find some of these hints and tips on how to get through the upcoming festive season and all the parties and jollies helpful…as always I look forward to your comments I hope you have a fantastic weekend wherever you are…x

46 thoughts on “Christmas and Holidays…How to balance your eating and plan for social events…

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      I know the feeling, Liz although I can’t get as many of the goodies I could get in the UK here however my son returns tomorrow from his UK trip and is tempting me already with what goodies he is bringing back.. it will be time to put my tips into sction-smile..

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  5. petespringerauthor

    It is a constant challenge, but I think you’ve got a wise approach. To think that we’re never going to have lapses isn’t realistic. It’s what we do when that happens that defines what direction we’ll go. I know that I like to eat, and while I’ve improved my eating habits in the past five years, exercise and the proper mindset are what works for me. When I get off track, I don’t beat myself. I get refocused and promise to do better the following week. Then, I follow through on that commitment. Everyone has to figure out the formula that works for them.

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    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Absolutely , Pete I am quite happy if I really want something to just have one or a small piece and that’s it..its taken me years to get to that point but I can be quite disciplined now as nothing is off bounds which stops the craving…and then as you say refocus….Like you it works for me I hope you are having great week…:) x

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    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Happy they helped , Cindy getting through Christmas , the New Year, holidays or social gatherings can be a nightmare in so many ways…I am trying to avoid anything sugary or limiting myself to just a little sample and so far its working well 🙂 x

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  8. beetleypete

    We only have one turkey dinner with a dessert over Christmas, and I almost never drink alcohol before 5:30 pm, as I would go to sleep too early if I did. The only ‘extras’ I have over Christmas are a few slices of Stollen, and some luxury nuts and raisins mix from M&S.
    Because I am not a fan of Christmas, it is usually ‘situation normal’ in our house by the 27th. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete. x

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