Christmas is a time for joy, a time for laughter, family, games and indulging in some of your favourite treats! The advent calendars are half empty (or half full, depending on your outlook on life), the plans are being made for the big day, and the treats are being bought to enjoy over the festive period.
There is no question that after a tough old year, we all deserve to relax over the holidays and enjoy some delicious food and drink, but there are a few clever shortcuts that could easily save you some calories and make that trip to the gym in January less painful. Let’s jump right into it.
Light beers and lo-cal cocktails
Who doesn’t enjoy a good drink with family and friends over Christmas? From Eggnog to Bucks Fizz the festivities go perfectly with a tasty tipple but it may be easier than you think to make some smart swaps over the next few weeks. If you fancy it, you could swap your favourite tonic for its slimline sister, but the changes can still be exciting and fun! Everybody loves getting into the cocktail-making spirit over Christmas, but did you know that a Margarita contains less than a third of the calories compared to a Pina Colada?
With beer, you can exchange your usual favourite for the light version (Coors, Budweiser and Heineken are all tasty and could save you some pennies), while Rosé wine with its lower alcohol content tends to be better for you than its red or white alternatives. Essentially with alcohol, and everything else on this list, you should go ahead and enjoy yourself with your usual choices if you are happy. But if you’re after a guilt-free tipple, there are plenty of options that could benefit your body in the long run.
Resist that extra roastie
Christmas food is the best food of the entire year. Yorkshire puddings, gravy, mint sauce, loads of veg, and the good thing about your classic roast is that it is a pretty healthy meal. With broccoli, peas, sprouts, parsnips and all the other good stuff that you can add to your dinner on 25 December, along with a lean meat like turkey you can go wild on the meat and veg. If you’re looking to cut back on one ingredient to make a difference, roast potatoes may be your best shout, or try making them without using too much oil or fat.
The desserts and chocolate is where people can really get stuck in, and we are not one to tell you to stop enjoying the Celebrations (we always leave the Bounties in the tub anyway), but just pick out the best ones and leave your family to fight over the rest. You can also swap the classic salted peanuts for cashews and consider switching your crisps out for lentil chips, PopChips or even baked crisps. Luckily, the market is now flooded with healthy alternatives, making it easier than ever to make healthier choices even at Christmas time.
Keep the family fun active
2020 has been a hell of a year for many reasons but one positive to come out of the past 12 months has been an increase in home workouts. From Joe Wicks and his daily PE lessons to Yoga with Adriene, we’ve all been able to have a go at some form of exercise from the comfort of our living room floor, and there is no reason to stop at Christmas! It can actually provide entertainment for the entire family, after all, who doesn’t want to see their nan dancing along to a dance workout? Added to that, given the whole lockdown thing, we’ve all become pretty good at walking this year and, with or without a dog, a Christmas Day walk is a great idea to clear your head, and get some cold air into your lungs.
There are also a whole host of fun games that can get you up and moving, from hide and seek or musical chairs with the kids to simply having a competition with your older brother on who can do the most press-ups, with family around, you can always find that extra bit of motivation. Even grabbing a ball and getting down to the local park for half an hour can be enough to boost the endorphins.