The 5 top Christmas most remarkable healthy food swaps
Intermittent fasting is the current trend in the world of nutrition, and it can be simple as delaying your breakfast, if you last ate at 7pm the night before then stretch out your breakfast until 9am or even later to avoid feelings of bloat. Opt for a less sugary breakfast (which feeds the bad gut bacteria) instead enjoy salmon and eggs (no bread) as the Christmas diet is often filled with sugar! This will help you to manage the impact whilst still participating in the festivities. This blog will outline how intermittent fasting can reduce the effect of Christmas. How to reset the festive binge using intermittent fasting.
Halt impact of the sugar train!
Probiotics and prebiotics will not be as effective in prevent the bloating associated with Christmas if you have a lot of sugar in your system. Bloating is created by excessive sugar and alcohol consumption and the simple answer is that it won’t go until you stop the sugar train.
If like me you crack open your first box of Quality Street in October or have been eating mince pies since early November, your brain is very receptive and eagerly awaiting its next sugar rush. You are quickly on a sugar binge! Be kind to yourself, understand that it is your biology and chemistry that craves the sugar food and you do not have to avoid all sugar, but in corporate it with other foods. Where possible try to avoid starting the Christmas festivities before Christmas begins and try to make a few swaps across the period such as protein in your breakfast and swapping crisps for nuts so you can still enjoying sugary treats too whilst limiting the impact of the sugar train!
Delay your Christmas
Sugar like alcohol is a drug. Sugar passes the blood brain barrier in the brain and hits the ‘feel good’ receptors in the same way that A class drug does. Sugar included starchy carbs like mince pies, Christmas cakes, yule log, biscuits. Your brain and your body absolutely adore simple processed sugars like that and once you start there is no going back. Your body and mind will scream for more. And that is exactly what the festive season is all about, so go with it. Trying to stop yourself once you have started is very difficult once everyone else around you is in full swing. For a healthy attitude towards Christmas period be kind to yourself, understand that it is your biology and chemistry that craves the sugar food.
Simply consider delaying the start for as long as possible
Knowledge is power
Knowledge is power so be aware that your body prefers an easy to digest sugar path. Understanding your body and working with it rather than trying to fight the sugar urge. If you are continuously eating sugar, your body will want more. If you can make a few swaps throughout your day with more protein and fat, like cheese and nuts rather than Christmas cake and mince pies, you will feel more satiated. I am not suggesting you give up and go crazy, I am suggesting that once you have made a conscious decision fuelled by knowledge of your own body you are going to be able to relax and enjoy yourself which is far better for your mental health. If you know your body and are equipped with Christmas swaps, you can stop the guilt of eating sweet treats by mixing these in with alternatives and listening to your body for when to stop.
Put a date in the diary when you will end the Christmas festivities
Read more Why Diets Don’t Work
Don’t provoke your inner teenager
Mental health and diet go together. You know that when life becomes stressful the easiest thing to reach for is comfort in the form of booze and starchy food. Everybody women in the world does it. You are not on your own. Chocolate has saved me and millions of women from punching someone! The festive period is the best time to feel anxious, overwhelmed because you push all your ‘perfect’ buttons. The Little Miss Perfect that resides within all of us, wants everyone to get on, food to be delicious, your house perfect, the decs all looking like Good Housekeeping and your outfit to look stunning. Guess what? Something is going to give. Your inner teenager is not very keen on ‘Little Miss Perfect’ she is a bit annoying and finally the inner teenager will give up and eat half a dozen biscuits because she is justifiable annoyed.
Don’t provoke your inner teenager let things go, if Aunty Mabel is being difficult go for a walk.
Make your own mince pies
There is a video on YouTube at the moment where a 3 year old boy is making doughnuts, he sneezes more than once into the bowl and eats and licks everything that goes into the mixture. When he does complete the task he then eats most of the donuts he has prepared – the kitchen is frighteningly messy. This is the season about chaotic family sneezing and having fun! Spending time making your own mince pies allows you to have fun and enjoy sweet treats while knowing what is going in them. Less trans fats and more home made love! Make your own trifle add more fresh fruit and less synthetic cream as this helps you to incorporate ‘real foods’ where you know exactly what is in them.
You’ll have fun and someone else can clear up.
Christmas food swaps
Keep the Christmas treats but incorporate food swaps before, during and after Christmas so you can halt the sugar train and lessen the impact. Start your day with a protein and fat breakfast – salmon and eggs are perfect rather than croissants and pastries.
- Instead of crisps that have been fried in trans fat choose nuts.
- Eat cheese rather than a pudding.
- Swap brandy butter with creme fraiche
- Turkey is higher in protein that ham or chicken
- Cheese straws rather than olives
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