When it comes to Christmas, it’s the endless nights out before and after which can sometimes take its toll on our health goals. We give you some ideas for surviving eating out during the Christmas period, or anytime.
Our top tips for surviving eating out during the festive season
Think about your night out. Perhaps enjoy a light meal before the event or maybe bring something healthy along to share.
Look over the menu
If you have a few functions on and let’s face it the festive season is full of eating out functions, then it is worth while looking over the menu ahead of time and making the best choices before the influence of peers and alcohol come into play. Don’t forget to ask for your Dietitian’s recommendations if you are struggling with best choices or ask the restaurant relevant questions ahead of time.
Keep Portions controlled
Perhaps opt for 2 entrees or a main meal. Ask the restaurant to make you a fruit salad for dessert or consider sharing a dessert with a partner, friend or colleague.
Keep up your water intake. Drinking water (sparkling, tap, mineral or soda) is an excellent way of reducing your total food intake. It is calorie free and filling!
Eat your Vegetables!
Choose vegetables to accompany dips and always add a side salad or steamed vegetables with a main meal. Ask for the dressings and sauces to be served on the side.
Keep yourself legal
Keep your alcohol to 2 standard drinks for a female and 4 for a male. I know, I know I am a party pooper…. Try drinking some lovely sparkling water in between, in a special wine glass.
Socialise socialise socialise!
Talk talk talk, tis the season! And drink your sparkling water in a lovely wine glass and don’t hang out near the food table. Take a small plate of your best choices and leave the area before the temptation for more hits.
The Law of Compensation
Whoops! Overate last night? Do not weight yourself the next day. Most of that weight gain is fluid from salt and alcohol. It is never too late to make amends. Compensate with increased exercise the next day, drink more water and reduce the eating of high calorie foods. Do not miss meals to compensate as this will only continue the overeating and guilt cycle.
Managing Home Parties, BBQs And Family Functions
- Lean BBQ meats such as steak, pork fillet or chicken breast/ tenderloins, avoid sausages and chops, try rissoles made with lean mince and grated veggies, or kebabs.
- Tossed salads with no-oil dressing, fat free mayonnaise, or lemon or vinegar, instead of cream and oil based dressings.
- Make pasta and potato salads with reduced fat evaporated milk, low fat yoghurt or extra light sour cream.
- Choose grilled corn, onions cooked with spray oil, or 4 bean mixes
- Have plain bread without butter or margarine, or use lower fat versions.
- Avoid pastries and creamy sauces when choosing dishes, or smaller serves.
- Get active and participate in backyard cricket or turn up the music and start dancing. You will be the life of the party…
- Learn how to stop at one, which means learning how to say no thanks and sound like you mean it! It only hurts for a second, and then the temptation is gone.
- Arrange a healthy appetizer like veggie sticks and bread sticks with low fat humous, tzatziki or salsa dip. See my recipe for meze platter.
- Try a platter of our beautiful Queensland summer fruits for dessert or maybe be a little naughty and include sorbet on the menu.
Meze/ Antipasto Platter
This healthy platter can be taken to any function or supplied as a starter to any meal or offered in the afternoon with drinks. This is a splendid example of a guilt free platter that is quick and easy to serve to family and friends. Enjoy!
My favourite foods to include on a platter…
- Cheeses – fat reduced feta, baked fresh ricotta, jarlsberg lite cheese, bega 50% less fat cheese, coon extra light cheese, bocconcini
- Fruit Jam – Quince, fig
- Dips – fat reduced humus, tzatziki, salsa, phillidelphia extra light cream cheese with favourite additive – smoked salmon, smoked oysters, pesto, fresh herbs
- Dried fruit – muscatels grapes, apricots, mango, pear, figs
- Fresh vegetables- cherry and grape tomatoes, cucumber, celery and carrot, grilled eggplant, capsicum
- Pickled vegetables- gerkins, cocktail onions, artichokes, green and black olives
- Fresh fruit – strawberries, grapes, figs, pear, apple
- Bread (sourdough, fruit bread) crackers (jatz lites, rice crackers)
- Smoked salmon, shaved lean leg ham, roast beef/veal/pastrami, almonds, macadamias, walnuts.
Most importantly enjoy your social events and have a safe and blessed time with your family and friends. Merry Christmas and Happy New year from the Tree of Life Team.