Each person celebrates Christmas and New Year’s differently. Nevertheless, one the main challenges for everyone is the family dinner. In order to both enjoy the meals and the holiday without worrying about overeating, LIDO dieting expert Alise Kindzule offers several pieces of advice.
When preparing meals for the Christmas dinner table, it is worth replacing salt with pepper, garlic, basil, ginger, cardamom or nutmeg. Salt keeps liquids inside the body, which can lead to a bloated belly. Instead try using seasoning that contribute to metabolism. It is simple to prepare hearty dishes – use lean meat and whole-grain flour for pies. Don’t add bacon to sauerkraut and try cooked duck or roasted turkey instead of pork. Use oil or yoghurt for sauce base. Put a plate with small cheese and lean meat, dried fruits and nuts on the table. It is best to cut sweets and confectionery products into small pieces – 20% of all calories are consumed with sweets.
Many decide not to eat breakfast or even dinner on Christmas day, hoping that the meal in the evening will compensate for that. Getting by on snacks for the whole day only increases the possibility of overeating in the evening. Never approach the dinner table on an empty stomach. LIDO dieting specialist recommends eating at least a banana or a wholegrain cookie one hour before the main meal.
We often want to try a little bit of everything on the table. However, Kindzule notes that it would be best to choose no more than three dishes. You can try a couple of other meals after two or three hours. A cup of warm tea with ginger, honey or lemon can help speed up digestion. We often confuse thirst for hunger. Try taking your mind off food by playing a game or entertaining yourself. Try going outside – it can help distract you from food.
The amount of food we can eat depends on the visual decoration of the festive table. It should be clean and beautiful. It has been researched that people eat a lot more if the interior is cluttered, heavy or messy. The more you think about creating a festive atmosphere by using different decorations, candles, napkins, all kinds of Christmas accessories and slow, calming music, the more guests will be motivated to behave and stick to their manners, not focus on eating.
If you do end up overeating, Kindzule recommends avoiding any hunger strikes after festivities. Just focus on eating more fruits, vegetables and drink ginger, caraway or peppermint tea, which will help the digestive tract to start functioning normally again.