When it comes to the holidays and Christmas time, many people use this time to indulge with friends and family. While it is okay to splurge a little, eating to your heart’s content on Christmas Day may be a slippery slope for some people; especially those struggling with maintaining a healthy weight.

Instead, there are a number of things you can do to ensure that not only is your Christmas Day meal delicious, but nutritious as well.

Go easy on the alcohol

For many, alcohol consumption goes hand in hand with Christmas lunch. While it is okay to have a drink or two, don’t go overboard. Depending on your drink of choice, you could be consuming hundreds, if not thousands, of calories just on alcoholic beverages. 

Try to keep tabs on the amount of alcohol you have on Christmas Day. If you want to have a few drinks, opt for lower-alcohol drinks or make your own spirit mixers that are matched with zero sugar sodas.

Reduce your meal size

You’ll likely have a bit of a family tradition where everyone eats a huge portion of food only to fall asleep an hour or so later. Instead, fill your plate with a standard-sized meal and wait 20-30 minutes after eating to see if you’re still hungry. Chances are, a normal portion of food is enough to make you feel satisfied.

Choose healthy snacks before your meal

Many families will have crisps, biscuits, cheese, cold meats and anything and everything in between for a pre-meal snack. Instead, have some healthier snacks available for you and your family. A platter of seasonal fruits not only look amazing, but they’ll also taste fantastic, too. There is no doubt that your family won’t miss the junk-food-style snacks if they have fruits to snack on such as fresh berries, watermelon, mango and so on. 

Choose mindful eating

It may seem like you’re not in the Christmas spirit if you don’t indulge in every food that’s handed to you, but it’s important to eat if and when you want to. Before you reach out and grab that bowl of chocolates or treats, think about it. Do you really need to eat it? Being mindful of what you eat and how much you eat can help you stay on track with your fitness and health goals.

Switch your foods for healthier alternatives

There are a number of different recipes and foods available to help you stay eating healthy, even at Christmas time. If you’re willing to take the time to assess what you are serving on Christmas day, you’ll be surprised to see how many healthier alternatives are available.

For example, a trifle is often made using full-fat cream and extra sugar. Use vanilla yoghurt instead of cream to cut back on calories. Depending on your personal dietary requirements, simple swaps like this may be ideal for you.

Christmas doesn’t have to mean “unhealthy”. You can enjoy your time with friends and family and indulge in some foods and drinks you wouldn’t normally, but it’s always a good idea to keep your health goals in mind. With mindful eating and healthy swaps, you’ll be able to have an enjoyable and healthy Christmas meal this year.