There’s no way to avoid the feasts and celebratory drinks of the festive season, but that doesn’t mean you have to ditch your healthy habits.
Between Christmas work parties, get-togethers with friends and family, edible presents and of course, the holidays - it can be a real effort not to go overboard with all the festive fun.
Thankfully, HelloFresh Head of Culinary and Nutritionist, Hannah Gilbert, has a few simple tips that can help you to start the New Year feeling a little bit more in control.
Plate up wisely
We all know that choosing a smaller plate is the best way to stop ourselves from overeating, but Hannah says it’s more important to focus on what you're putting on your plate.
“Aim for at least half your plate to be made up of salad and veggies, plus some lean protein and healthy carbohydrates, as these will help you to feel satisfied for longer,” she suggests. “If you want something less healthy such as pork crackling, don’t deprive yourself - put a small portion on your plate and enjoy it without punishing yourself for it.”
Trim the trimmings
While a Christmas feast may make some people nervous about falling off the healthy-eating wagon, Hannah says most traditional dishes aren’t that bad for you.
“Think lean turkey or chicken, fresh seafood, roasted vegetables, and salads,” she says. “The biggest pitfall for most of us is all the additional trimmings we add such as gravy, creamy sauces, and butter. Go easy on these and you’ll axe loads of kilojoules, without much sacrifice.”
Share your leftovers
No matter how hard we plan, we are all guilty of over-catering at Christmas, which means lots of leftovers.
Hannah says if you’re hosting Christmas this year, have some takeaway containers at the ready so you can send your family and friends home with a taster from the day.
This way, your guests will have a treat for Boxing Day and you won’t feel the need to eat all the leftovers.
Fill up before you dress up
Apart from massive feasts, cocktail party food is often on the menu and is generally unhealthy and not very filling. So, Hannah suggests having something to eat before you arrive at a party where you know only canapès will be served.
“A salad, light meal, or a healthy snack will keep you from being tempted to eat every canapè in sight,” she says. “When they do come around, try and go for the lighter options like veggies sticks and dips, nuts and fresh seafood.”
Keep your food choices fresh and seasonal
Christmas doesn’t just mean creamy potatoes and lavish desserts, there are lots of delicious, healthy foods to choose from.
“Stock up on all the fresh produce our beautiful Australian summer has to offer,” Hannah recommends. “Cherries, mangoes, peaches and raspberries are all in season over Christmas and the perfect nutritious snack to satisfy your sweet tooth.”