Christmas temptation doesn’t have to get in the way of your nutrition plan! CLIF Bar ambassador Anita Bean has just unveiled her Christmas eating plan. making sure you can enjoy all your festive favourites whilst getting the right balance of nutrition.
With the average person consuming around 6,000 calories on Christmas Day – nearly 3 times the recommended amount! It’s worth making a few dietary tweaks to avoid Christmas weight gain and undoing all your training gains.
If you’re going to a Christmas party, don’t starve yourself beforehand. Skipping meals or not eating may lead to binging later on. I’m currently training someone who would do this. He wouldn’t eat all day and once he broke the fasting cycle with his evening meal, he was in and out of the biscuit cupboard for the rest of the night! Try having a healthy snack with plenty of protein (such as eggs on toast or yogurt with fruit and nuts) about an hour before you go. This will keep you fuller longer and make it easier to resist the mince pies.
If you eat too quickly, you’ll consume a lot more than you need (or really want). Focus on eating at a leisurely pace, putting down your fork between bites and actually talking to your family and friends that are at the table with you. You’ll end up eating less while still being completely satisfied.
After tough workouts, your body needs carbohydrate to replace the fuel you burned and protein to repair and build muscle. This is a good opportunity to indulge in a festive treat. Opt for those that deliver health benefits like: Vitamin-C rich clementines, fibre-filled dried fruit and nuts or a protein-packed CLIF Builder’s Bar.
At the buffet, use the smallest plate available. That way you’ll feel fuller with less food. Choose the three to five dishes that are the most appealing. Fill your plate with small tastes of these things and skip the other items on the buffet (or fill the rest of your plate with leafy salad!).
Everyone knows that too much alcohol can lead to weight gain. I probably know this more than anyone as it’s my achilles heel. It’s not just the calories though! Alcohol slows fat-burning so when you drink alcohol your body goes into fat storage mode. It also increases levels of muscle-wasting cortisol and reduces levels of muscle-building testosterone. To avoid racking up unnecessary calories, avoid the sugary cocktails and sweet liqueurs. Opt instead for lager or wine with a lower alcohol content.
Bread, potatoes and pasta are great foods to fuel your workouts but, if you’re exercising less you won’t need as many carbs over Christmas. Put half your normal portion size of starchy foods on your plate and double the amount of colourful vegetables. That way you’ll get the benefit of all the extra vitamins and minerals from the veg.
Swap salty nuts that encourage you to drink more, for unsalted ones. I’m a huge lover of pistachios! Although these are a great source of slow releasing energy throughout the day, going for the unsalted version is encouraged. Swap sweets for satsumas (your waistline will thank you for it) and load up with veg crudités instead of tortilla chips.
Having said all of that, I always say to relax and let your hair down over Christmas! Hopefully there’s one or two things you can take away from this post. Have a great Christmas everyone.
*Disclaimer: This was a collaborative post with CLIF Bar. All words and opinions are my own.