Avoiding sweet things this Christmas

Christmas is just three days away. So now is the time for everyone to comment on how quickly the year has gone and start wondering what 2016 holds for them. But before we start wishing next year away, hadn’t we better focus on this next week first? I don’t know about you but this is definitely my favourite time of year!

We all probably associate Christmas with different things based on our family traditions but I can guarantee that we all regard Christmas as the time of year for sweet things. Whether it is a mince pie on Christmas morning, Christmas pudding after lunch or a slice of Christmas cake in the evening, we just can’t escape it.

That’s all before we have even thought about chocolate! So if we want to limit the amount of sugar we have this Christmas, is it even possible? Of course there is always abstinence. Simply say no. But that takes a serious amount of will power and you might end up succumbing to a late December binge.

So then you have to think about moderation. Eat what you like, just not to excess. Like I’ve mentioned before though, you are going to find it increasingly difficult to monitor your intake over Christmas when so much is made at home.

Well what about substitution? Is there some way that we can replace the sweet things that we enjoy at Christmas for better alternatives? This way you can eat along with everyone else and you don’t feel rude for having to say no all the time.

  • Chocolate – When you switch from milk chocolate to dark chocolate, not only are you decreasing the amount of sugar that you are eating, but you are also cutting down the fat. So the higher percentage of cocoa, the better.
  • Cake – Christmas cake is always going to be rich and sugary, you are aren’t going to escape that. But there are things that you can do. If you really can’t say no to even a small slice, then just think about leaving the icing. That way you aren’t consuming extra sugar and essentially empty calories that provide you with almost no nutritional benefit whatsoever.
  • Pastries – I don’t know what it is like in your house over Christmas but it never feels quite like home unless you can smell baking! But the nature of pastry is that it is going to have lots of flour and probably a good deal of butter. Neither of which are going to beneficial in large quantities. My advice? Well try opting for a wholemeal pastry if you can and do some digging for a recipe that doesn’t require a lot of the butter.

So you don’t need to feel helpless at this time of year. At the end of the day it is a time to relax and enjoy yourself with the people in your life. Not a time to be stressed and frustrated with yourself because you loosened the leash. Going to either extreme of eating absolutely everything, to eating very little of most things isn’t going to work here. As with a lot of things, it is about getting the balance between the two right so that you manage to enjoy yourself without undoing all the hard work that you have put in.

Ollie Lawrence
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