While the holidays are undoubtedly a time to eat, drink, and be merry, excessive feasting and over-indulging can have an adverse effect on your body’s health, and you might find yourself saddled with a few extra pounds by the time the festivities draw to a close. Turkey with all the trimmings, wine, Christmas pudding, cheese, chocolate, and mince pies – it’s hard to avoid or resist any of these items during the holidays. However, with some careful planning, portion control, and a bit of will power, you can make sure you enjoy the season while remaining holiday slim. Above all, remain realistic; do not try to lose weight during the holidays – instead, focus on maintaining your present weight.

breakfastDo not skip breakfast:

Skipping breakfast is the biggest mistake you can make if you are trying to stay slim during the holidays. Going without breakfast means making yourself vulnerable to mid-morning hunger pangs, and more susceptible to caving and giving into the temptation to eat something sugary, fattening, and laden with calories. Even if you do not feel hungry, have bowl of some sort of fibre (bran, oatmeal) so you remain full and equip your digestive system to handle any rich food that might follow during the day.

natural foodsOpt for fresh, natural foods:

In addition to being unhealthy, processed foods are high on calories, so stay away from anything that isn’t fresh or natural. Luckily, turkey is a healthy meat, given its low fat and high protein content – make sure you try to get a portion of the breast, and eat it without the skin to make it diet-friendly. In addition, have salads, vegetables, and potatoes (boiled, not roasted) on the side, and refrain from having sauces like sweet cranberry or creamy horseradish.

Drink prudentlyDrink prudently:

Try to stick to fresh fruit juices – alcohol tends to contain a fair few calories and can lead you to eat more in a state of intoxication, while soda and fizzy drinks are nothing but sugar and calories. If you do drink, select red wine over white (it contains less calories and chemicals). In addition, you can also have champagne, which in fact has an anti-oxidizing effect on the system.

ChocolateChocolate – dark over milk:

Chocolate is an inevitable part of the holidays, and it would be unrealistic to expect yourself to stay away from it completely. Try to have tiny portions of chocolate, and choose dark chocolate over milk chocolate as it contains less sugar.

datesCurb the urge to snack:

Holidays offer a variety of tempting snacks which might lure you towards overeating and foil you plans to stay slim during the holidays. Counter temptation by making sure there are no snacks like chips, chocolate or salted peanuts lying around, and substitute these with dates and dried fruits – the latter contain natural sugar, as opposed to refined sugar. Dates, in fact, have the ability to lower the fat content in the body, so they make for an excellent holiday snack.