Six food swaps for a healthier Christmas

Nov 28, 2019

If you’re trying to lose body fat, Christmas can be a really tough time. There’s so much temptation on the shelves, from mince pies and cheeses to selection boxes and beers.

But is it possible to still enjoy Christmas while losing weight?

At Reform Fitness we’re not about cutting foods out. We know if you spend your Christmas watching everyone else scoff treats while you sob into your lettuce, you’re just going to be miserable. And what is the point in that?

If you’re trying to lose body fat over the Christmas period, fear not. Here are six simple swaps for a healthier Christmas:

1. Party food spreads

Oh the party food buffet, what temptation! There are some simple swaps you can do to make healthier choices when it comes to Christmas parties. Swap crisps and dips for crudités and fresh tomato salsa. Don’t go in heavy on the beige food. Grab some salad to accompany your treats. Look for protein foods over carbs – think pigs in blankets or chicken wings over breaded nuggets and goujons. And for a sweet treat, try fruit skewers dipped in a dark chocolate fondue.

2. Know your nuts

Nuts are a popular Christmas snack, but make sure you pick the right ones. Firstly, nuts are predominantly a fatty food and as such will be higher in calories – so watch your portions! If you single-handedly chomp through a sharing bag of salted KP peanuts you could be putting away hundreds of calories without realising. Opt for a small handful of plain nuts – and avoid any with sweet or chocolate coatings.

3. Alcohol

Christmas does seem to be the season for drinking – and many Christmas favourites contain a lot of hidden calories. You might be eating well, but if you’re washing it down with a pint of beer and a Bailey’s, you could be undoing the rest of the hard work. If you must drink, opt for clear spirits – gin, vodka, rum – with a calorie free mixer such as diet lemonade or slimline tonic. And why not enjoy and occasional glass of red wine instead of a pint of beer for an antioxidant boost?

4. Be wary of coffee shop drinks

That large black forest gateau double hot chocolate with whipped cream and a flake you look forward to during your Christmas shopping? That could easily be costing you upwards of 4-500 calories. Be wary of these extra sweet drinks and if you fancy a treat, why not have a filter coffee with a side of pouring cream, dusted with cinnamon? Way less calories, some good fats, and you still get a dose of festive spice.

5. Christmas dinner swaps

We all tend to stuff ourselves silly when it comes to Christmas meals. But a full roast dinner doesn’t have to be that unhealthy. When it comes to your Christmas dinner, load up of veggies and make sure have a good helping of protein on your plate. Try and go easy on the roast potatoes (limit to just a couple), gravy, and sauces such as cranberry or cheese sauce. Also remember portion control – you don’t have to go nuts and pile your plate sky high to have your fill and enjoy your meal.

6. Don’t be too hard on yourself

When all is said and done, the festive season is there to be enjoyed. The main thing to remember is the 80/20 rule. If you’re eating well 80% of the time, it gives you more flexibility to enjoy the other 20%. Try and base your training sessions around meals where you might be pigging out, and don’t feel you have to dip into the chocolates every day of the holidays. It’s all about balance, after all.

Want some more tips for a healthier Christmas? Check out the Reform Fitness Facebook page where we’ll be posting daily tips throughout the festive season!