With Christmas fast approaching, many people find their calendars filled with social events complete with indulgent platters and tasty treats.
And while many avoid the temptation for fear of gaining unwanted kilos over Christmas, Australian dietitian Melissa Meier insists it is possible to indulge without the guilt.
‘What you do in terms of nutrition throughout the year leading up to December will have a much larger impact on your health compared to the few weeks leading up to Christmas,’ she wrote for Aldi Unpacked.
However, this doesn’t mean you can eat anything and everything until you until you are bursting at the seams.
‘As always, balance and moderation is key – I’m just saying there’s no need to feel guilty about enjoying a slice of pavlova, a couple of glasses of Champagne or a scoop of delectable Christmas pudding with your nearest and dearest,’ she said.
If revellers find themselves unsure how to strike the perfect balance, Melissa has shared her best tips for the festive season.
According to Melissa keeping portion sizes in check will help to avoid unnecessary kilojoules over Christmas.
An easy way to control this is to consume individually packaged sweets, bite-sized treats and mini cakes or pies.
‘Doing so will also encourage you to eat more mindfully, because you’ll be more likely to savour each mouthful, rather than eat spoonful after spoonful without a second thought,’ she said.
There are a variety of portion controlled Christmas treats Melissa recommends people purchase for their lunch or dinner table.
One such recommendation are mini pavlova’s as instead of people cutting huge slices of dessert they can consume mini nests that make portion control easy.
Another trick is purchasing individually wrapped chocolates so that those with a sweet tooth aren’t tempted to eat an entire block of chocolate.
‘Now for my second hot tip, “crowding”. To explain this theory, I’m going to use my all-time favourite party food: the cheeseboard,’ she said.
‘Typically covered in treats like creamy dips, antipasto meats and an array of cheeses, the good old cheeseboard is a party-pleaser – but can also be a calorie bomb should you go overboard.’
Thankfully Melissa’s solution isn’t wiping everybody’s favourites off the board – simply ‘crowd’ the board with more nutritious options.
Hosts can make fresh produce the focus by filling the board with chopped up vegetable sticks and fruit that is in season, such as cherries and stone fruit.
‘Opt for healthy dips like Deli Originals Topped Hummus with Pine Nuts or Deli Originals Traditional Greek Style Tzatziki Dip instead of the traditional high-salt creamy ones,’ she said.
‘When choosing a healthy dip, scan the nutrition panel and aim for less than 400mg sodium per 100g.’
People should also read the ingredients list and opt for something that’s vegetable or yoghurt-based.
You can’t have a cheeseboard without the cheese but you don’t need giant wheels and wedges as people can instead opt for smaller varieties.
‘Last but not least, wholegrain crackers provide a boost of fibre and slow-burning energy to leave you feeling satisfied,’ Melissa added.
– Daily Mail