Christmas food temptations… What to eat, what to drink and what to avoid during holidays

Christmas-Dinnerby Niki Voulgarakis
Dietician – Nutritionist

Every year from Christmas to Epiphany, the longest holiday season of the year, with many tables and festive meetings, put in food temptation even the most abstemious.

The average weight gain during this period is about 2 kilos which rarely lost and added to over the years.

Imagine that in just one decade, one can only get from these holidays 20 kilos!

Moreover, should be very careful those who suffer from a food-related illness, such as hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, gastrointestinal disorders, because the holiday menu is usually eating ‘bombs’ in salt, fat, sugars and alcohol.

Golden rules before the holidays
Try to start the festivities without excess weight.
This means balanced and / or low calorie diet, along with exercise, a few weeks before the holidays.
It would be even better if you follow the fasting of Christmas.
Do not ever skip meals.
The most likely is that you will be so hungry at mealtime, leading to consume more calories.
Give special attention to your breakfast to start your day.
Try to know what will be in the menu and plan in advance what you will eat.
When you arrive at the buffet or sit down at the table, take some time to see what is included, which of the foods you like and what is better to select.
Intermediate Christmas, New Year and Epiphany make sure to balance your weight with diet and exercise, so as not to accumulate weight.

Salads – Soups
It is a great solution to satisfy your hungry with fewer calories and filling your plate at a festive table.
It is a very good choice for a first course.
Choose simple salads, avoiding those who may have inside pasta, potatoes, nuts, croutons, lots of mayonnaise or other dressings – sauces.
Prefer those which have fruit such as pomegranate or orange or nuts, such as walnuts or pine nuts.
If the first course is soup, try not to eat bread or croutons together.

Main meal
If you have a choice, go for the lunch instead of the evening cries for food. Follow the golden rule ¼ of the plate protein (some meat), ¼ of the plate carbohydrates (rice, potatoes, stuffing) and ½ of the plate vegetables (raw salad or garnish grilled or boiled vegetables).
The usual meals is pork with celery or stuffed or with some sauce and the stuffed turkey.
Choose lean meat, eg turkey breast instead of pork and remove visible fat and skin.
Prefer to garnish plain rice instead of stuffing which is usually rich in calories or even better vegetables.
Avoid sauces and fried foods.
If you eat rice or potatoes, not eat bread together.

Sweets – Dessert
These days the desserts are many in number and variety. Honey cakes, buns, turnovers, pudding, soufflés, cheesecake, and of course the traditional pie…
The sweet, as is known combining high in sugar and fat, making calorie “dangerous” with regard to our weight.
If you want to eat some sweet, it’s good to have included in your nutritional plan to hold a little calorie “space” for this.
Eat a small amount slowly to enjoy it.
Prefer melomakarona or buns or better yet a light dessert, such as fruit, jelly or some variation of the classic sweet with yoghurt or sweeteners.

Drinks and accompanying
Avoid drinking too much alcohol at festive gatherings.
First it gives empty calories in the body, decreases the ability to control food intake, so we eat more.
Be careful at beverages that are high in sugar.
Also avoid savory accompaniments such as nuts, patatatakia, crackers, plain or with dips.
Prefer wine or beer to whiskey and other drinks which have high concentration of alcohol.
Dilute your drink with water or ice in order to drink less.
Avoid cocktails, which are calorically contaminated compared to pure drinks.
Prefer to put in your drink soda or better yet simple enough water or carbon, to prevent dehydration and hangover.
Prefer to put in your drink water or juice instead of soda.
If you want to eat something together, prefer cucumber, carrot, fruit and unsalted nuts

Tricks to avoid temptations
Do not go hungry in the call.
Make sure you have eaten before, a light snack, such as fruit, soup or salad, so you can control what you eat at lunch.
However, if you get hungry, drink plenty of water, shortly before eating.
Take a look at the food buffet or table and served with the least burdensome.
Select the simplest appetizers and/or food, which have less material, more clearly and less sauce.
Help yourself to a small dish or if it is large, half fill it with salad.
Eat slowly, touching your cutlery down before the next bite and take some time to others.
In this way you have time to realize satisfaction and enjoy better what you eat.
Once you finish your food, go away from the buffet or table politely.
Chew some gum after eating, to stop the extra snacking.
Between Christmas and New Year Detoxify!
Not with diets, but with light cuisine and full meals, which will be based on vegetables, legumes, fish, and fruit.
Avoid sweet temptations which are home.
Do not grieve for sweets left and left over and so you consume them, because in the end you will be sorry about your weight.
Keep the mood for dessert for only festive cries. Avoid alcohol, salt and lots of fat.
Seek to work out and to hydrate more these days.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year!!!

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