These days there are far more than 12 days of Christmas, as the party season seems to get underway from the beginning of December. A lot of damage can be done to your waistline in just a few short weeks, so here are some tips to help you make it through the festive season, so that you don’t end up in trouble at your next wedding dress fitting!
Blow Out the Bubbly
Brits probably knock back more fizz in December than at any other time of year. If you’re partial to a glass of bubbly, keep it to a minimum, as it’s full of sugar and just two small flutes contain around 4 teaspoons of sugar, blowing the idea that it’s the best drink if you’re dieting. In fact, the smart choice is red wine, as a standard 175ml contains around 0.3g of sugar, 5 times less than sparkling wine.
Junk the Juice
White spirits such as gin and vodka contain virtually no sugar, which is great news for your waistline, but watch out for sugary mixers which can do a lot of damage. Just 150ml of cranberry or orange juice, for example, will add the equivalent of 5 teaspoons of sugar to your drink, about the same as a giant chocolate chip cookie. Tonic is a better option as it contains about a quarter of the sugar and soda water contains no sugar at all.
Cancel out crisps
Crisps and tortilla chips are packed with refined carbohydrate and salt, a naturally addictive combination which can be made worse as some brands contain monosodium glutamate which activate pleasure sensors in the brain. This explains why it can be so hard to stop once you’ve started, and if you keep dipping your hand in the bowl it can soon add up to over 500 calories! Nibbling on nuts, such as almonds or cashews, is a much smarter move – nuts are full of protein which will fill you up much more effectively than crisps, so you’re less likely to get the munchies later on. They’re also a great source of healthy fats which are vital for glowing skin and shiny hair.
If you find it hard to resist the canapes that are on offer at a party, having a snack before you go out will help to curb your appetite so that you don’t overdo the treats on offer. Opting for a fat-based snack such as full-fat houmous or guacamole will do you a lot of favours – fat takes longer to digest in the stomach and can help to slow down the release of alcohol into your system, preventing the build-up of toxins in the liver that can lead to a hangover.
Jackie is the author of The Right Bite (Nourish Books £6.99) which is full of handy tips for smart food choices when you’re out and about.