Nutritionist Lucy Hyland

Healthy Eating Tips for Christmas

December 22, 2023
Posted by Lucy


Christmas time is a time for celebration and enjoyment and certainly about food. Eat well and cook well over the Christmas period and remember a few basic tips:

1) Firstly, watch those portion sizes. We tend to eat out a lot of the Christmas period and so we lose control of our ability to choose our serving size. When ordering a main course, always ask for extra vegetables or salad. When you look down at our plate, the simple rule is half the plate should be covered with vegetables and the other half with a mixture of your meat and potatoes. Another tip is to order two starters and share your dessert!

2) The Christmas treats do not tend to have much fibre in them. This leaves us sluggish and piling on the pounds. If you are going to be out and about for the day, start with a fibre rich breakfast. Not only does this kick start you metabolic rate but will keep you full for hours. This reduces the chances of you going for the mince pies or chocolate box at 11. Once great fibre rich breakfast is porridge with blueberries and nuts sprinkled on top. Also, at lunch, opt for the brown breads in the bread basket.

3) Keep hydrated. This is essential over Christmas as people tend to drink more alcohol, both during the day and in the evenings.During the day, keep hydrated with 1.5 litres of water. Try switching your teas and coffee for herbal teas that also help to keep your fluid intake up. Keeping yourself hydrated will also help with the hangovers.

4) Speaking of hangovers, look after your liver over the holidays. Simple things like trying to eat as many green vegetables, such as broccoli, Kale, spinach and cabbage, help the liver to carry out its detox functions. Along with high fibre foods, Foods such as turmeric, rosemary and green tea can also help.

5) Enjoy yourself. Christmas is a time for catching up with friends and family and socialising. Relax and enjoy it, try to get as much sleep as possible and enjoy the treats that Christmas has to offer. Banning yourself from all your favourite food might help, so enjoy these in small portions. To counter act these, eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetable, choose lean meats such as chicken or fish when out eating and look at wholegrain options at your meal times, such as brown rice, pasta or breads.

Christmas is full of healthy ingredients - turkey being a great protein source and lean meat, cranberries being full of anti-oxidants and Vitamin C and green leafy vegetables such as Brussel Sprouts filled with liver assisting nutrients.

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