Embrace the joy of Christmas feasting with loved ones while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Our Christmas dinner hacks empower you to enjoy the best of both worlds, ensuring that your holiday season is not only indulgent but also mindful of your well-being, helping you steer clear of any unwanted weight gain.
How To Stay Healthy During Christmas
Christmas feasts with friends and family bring joy, but too much indulgence can affect your well-being. Check out these friendly holiday tips on how to prepare Christmas dinner with healthier choices to keep yourself feeling fantastic!
Starting your day with a nutritious breakfast reduces the likelihood of unhealthy snacking mid-morning or overindulging at lunch. Optimal choices like overnight oats, porridge, or oat-based muesli, known for their cholesterol-lowering properties, contribute to a healthier morning routine.
Do slow and mindful eating.
While Christmas often invites indulgence, consider this: the initial bites of a dish bring the most enjoyment, and satisfaction tends to diminish with continued eating.
Go for smaller portions during the festive season, relishing the delightful flavors and aromas. Don't hesitate to go back for more if needed. Eating slowly and mindfully aids in avoiding overindulgence, allowing time for your brain to register that your stomach is full. Enjoy your meals with mindful delight.
Make healthy Christmas food swaps.
Go for heart-healthy rapeseed or olive oil when roasting, ensuring moderation in quantity. These unsaturated fats provide a crisp finish for your turkey and potatoes, unlike the saturated fat in butter. While these oils offer excellent results, be mindful of overall calorie intake due to their high-calorie nature.
Use nut stuffing instead.
Steer clear of high-saturated fat stuffing options by opting for a nut stuffing that not only pairs deliciously with roast turkey but is also rich in heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Including walnuts in your stuffing brings a bonus of omega-3 fats.
Be wise with the turkey.
Choose the lean, high-protein, and B vitamin-rich white breast meat of turkey for a healthy Christmas dinner, minimizing fat intake by avoiding the skin.
To cut down on fat intake, especially in turkey or goose, it's wise to remove the skin before serving. Before cooking, puncture the skin to facilitate fat drainage, and use a roasting pan rack to prevent the bird from sitting in fat throughout the cooking process. These simple steps ensure a leaner and healthier holiday meal.
When preparing gravy from the meat juices, skim off the fat and enhance flavor and nutrients by incorporating vegetable cooking water.
Cut big the potatoes for roasting.
While roast potatoes are a Christmas lunch staple, be mindful of their high-fat content and consider limiting your intake. Introduce a healthier alternative by incorporating boiled potatoes into your meal. If you choose to roast, go for larger potato chunks to decrease the amount of fat absorbed, allowing you to enjoy this festive side with a reduced fat impact.
Pile high the veggies.
Take advantage of Christmas to showcase a diverse array of vegetables. Arrange bowls filled with carrots, parsnips, red cabbage, peas, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts on the table, allowing everyone to customize their plate. Aim for a generous portion of vegetables, covering about a third to half of each plate, and consider serving them first to ensure a plentiful and colorful holiday feast.
Have a break from big meals with soup.
Take a breather from hefty Christmas meals with a satisfying bowl of soup. Go for non-creamy versions to keep it low-calorie while enjoying a filling and long-lasting satisfaction.
Go for plant-based alternatives to dairy cream.
Shake up your holiday desserts with dairy-free options like soya and oat cream, found in stores. Give them a go to lessen the saturated fat in your Christmas treats.
Steer clear of creams with coconut or palm oil—they pack in high levels of saturated fat. Enjoy your guilt-free indulgence.
Choose skim milk for sauces and custards.
Choose a healthier twist by preparing bread sauce with skimmed milk—add a clove of garlic for an extra burst of flavor.
When serving Christmas pudding, consider making custard with skimmed milk as a lighter alternative to brandy butter or double cream. Enjoy the festive flavors with a nutritious touch.
Have fruit-based puddings instead.
Boost your fiber intake and stabilize blood sugar levels by adding fruit-based puddings to your Christmas feast.
Go for convenience by including canned or frozen fruits like raspberries, which you can easily stock up on before the festivities. Treat yourself to a delectable Christmas dessert that satisfies your sweet tooth while being mindful of your health. For a lighter option post-meal, keep a fresh fruit salad in the fridge throughout the holiday season.
Skip the can of assorted chocolates or biscuits and go for healthy snacks instead. Decorate with nuts in their shells and a nutcracker for a festive touch—cracking them open slows down snacking. A handful of nuts is not only heart-healthy but also aids in appetite control.
Indulge in sweet treats like dates stuffed with peanut butter and chocolate or enjoy the crunch of cinnamon and brown sugar popcorn for a tasty, high-fiber snack alternative.
Easy on the cocktails and choose healthy Christmas drinks.
Prioritize your health by moderating alcohol intake during Christmas as it can impact blood cholesterol and pressure and contribute to weight gain. Plan by determining a comfortable limit and keeping only that amount in the house. To pace yourself, alternate alcoholic drinks with water and ensure a variety of non-alcoholic alternatives are available.
Transform wine into a refreshing spritzer by adding soda water or diet lemonade. Consider crafting a healthy seasonal punch with a mix of warmed orange juice, grape juice, and a dash of mixed spice, and adorn it with orange slices—a delightful, festive drink for welcoming guests and creating a wonderfully festive atmosphere.
Take a walk after eating a meal.
How to stay fit during Christmas?
Prioritize heart health by incorporating exercise into your Christmas day agenda. Taking a stroll in the fresh air after a hefty meal can enhance digestion and leave you feeling energized rather than sluggish. Make it a worthwhile addition to your festivities, promoting overall well-being during the holiday season.
Don't throw away the leftovers.
Don't discard leftovers. Instead, transform them into a delectable post-Christmas meal. Second-time-around flavors can be even more delightful, so savor those dishes as an eco-friendly, budget-friendly bonus. Consider boiling the turkey carcass to create a nutritious and flavorful stock for future meals and soups.
Baleaf Is One With You This Holiday Season
#wemovetogether in the spirit of giving, gratitude, and abundant feast this holiday season. Give yourself the gift of love for life through mindful eating and exercising.