You’ll enjoy Christmas a lot more if you are awake, and your brain is fully switched on. Use these tips and tricks to make sure you don’t miss a thing, and avoid that all-too-common Christmas food coma.
Food is a big part of the Christmas holiday. Not only is the Christmas meal a special family occasion, most of us also get things like candies, sweets, and chocolate as gifts. In short, this is the time of year where most people end up eating more than usual – a LOT more!
Eating a little too much from time to time is no big deal, but eating a huge amount of food can put you in a literal coma. After a very large meal, you’ll feel drowsy, lazy, and want to nothing but sit and watch TV, or even go to sleep.
Of course, you don’t have to eat yourself into a Christmas food coma, and here’s how to do it!
1. Take your time between courses
Because the Christmas meal is such a special occasion, most of us will enjoy not just a main course, but an appetizer and dessert too. There might even be more than three courses. I know that some of my family and friends have meals that contain several starters, main courses, and desserts adding up to seven or more courses.
To avoid all that food shutting your brain down with a calorie overload, make sure you take your time between courses. This will give your digestive system time to keep pace with the onslaught of food, and you should feel less overwhelmed as a result. Thirty minutes between your appetizer and main course, and an hour between main course and dessert should do the trick, as well as taking stress off the chef!
2. Don’t serve your meal “family style”
Putting all the food onto serving plates in the middle of the table all-but guarantees you’ll eat more than you should. As you finish what is on your plate, most people will keep on helping themselves to more and more food. After all, if it’s there in front of you, you might as well eat it!
Instead, portion out the food onto each person’s plates in the kitchen, and then serve each everyone their own food individually. This way, you can control the size of each portion, and prevent overeating. If anyone wants a second serving, they’ll have to ask for it, which is often enough to stop it happening in the first place.
You can also serve your meals on smaller plates to make them look bigger, which is another way to reduce food intake and prevent overeating.
3. Go easy on the booze
Alcohol can lower your willpower to eat sensibly, while increasing your appetite. A small beer or glass or two of wine shouldn’t cause much of a problem, but as your alcohol intake increases, so too will your food consumption. Alcohol can also leave you feeling very sleepy – another cause the post-Christmas food coma! Control your alcohol intake and you should find it easier to eat a little less.
4. Go for a walk before dessert
There is nothing like a brisk walk in the fresh December air to wake you up and put your Christmas food coma on hold. Make it a family affair by including everyone who is at the meal. You don’t have to walk far or fast, but you should get up and out after your main course and before enjoying dessert. It’s a great opportunity to let the kids blow of some steam before settling down to a relaxing afternoon or evening. It’s also a good opportunity for all members of your diners to mix, chat, and socialize.
5. Work out before your Christmas meal
If you have time, try and squeeze in a pre-Christmas meal workout. Exercising before you eat means that the extra calories you are about to consume are more likely to end up in your muscles and liver cells, and not in your fat stores. Also, oxygenating exercise will help wake you up and prevent that post-meal energy slump. You don’t even have to go to the gym – you can do a home workout instead, you can find my home workout routines here.