Christmas Leftovers: Getting Back on Track - Achieve Oxfordshire
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Christmas Leftovers: Getting Back on Track

Christmas is just around the corner! Whilst it is a time for festivity, food and family, the eating can easily run away with us. Today, Frauke is here with some advice on how to best to deal with Christmas leftovers.


Every year it’s the same. Part of the joy of Christmas seems to be the indulging in the delicious excess of foods. A recent study has found that the average British person consumes over 6000 calories on Christmas day alone!


But this occasional over-indulgence is not so much the issue – it is okay to enjoy Christmas Day and all the beautiful foods we associate it with. It is more how we continue to eat afterwards and how quickly we turn back to ‘normal’ that can really help turn our Christmas experience from one of continued over-indulgence to one of occasional food bliss.

Key to this can be to think through how we transition back to more normal eating, starting with the Christmas leftovers.



Practical tips for dealing with Christmas leftovers:

It is easy for our bodies to get used to too much. So, thinking of practical ways can really help us get back to a more normal way of eating while still savouring the odd slices of Christmas cake or cheese that are still around. A helpful way of doing so is to create a healthy, tasty alternative and think about what to do with the leftovers.


Put chocolate and candied nuts out of sight and replace with a fruit bowl

Out of sight really can be out of mind. Unopened packages can be stored away. These might make some good presents over the next few months or could even cheer up colleagues in the New Year if we bring them in for a treat. Having some healthier alternatives around may encourage us to pick up a piece of fruit instead of more chocolates and candied nuts.



Reduce your intake of processed sugar and alcohol

Our bodies can quickly adapt to what we give it. And if that happens to be too much sugar, sugar is exactly what we will crave. So why don’t we think about limiting our refined sugar intake and alternating with eating a piece of fruit or something savoury?

Instead of drinking the empty calories in alcohol, why not try a non-alcoholic alternative? Heated apple juice boiled with a spice mix or even a fruit tea boiled with cinnamon and cloves can be a nice alternative winter drink.



For the top up shop: limit yourself to only buying what you really need

Most of us tend to over buy for Christmas and the Christmas leftovers can easily be transformed into meals for the next few days. We tend to have lots of meat leftover. If we can bulk this out with extra veg, not only are we making use of leftovers, we are adding in the nutrients and vitamins that we need to get back in balance. Eggs can also be used to make a host of wholesome foods by combining them with veg and the more indulgent Christmas leftovers.

So, when you head out for your top up shop, do you really need anything more than fruit, veg, eggs and milk?


Everyone loves a good fruit salad or baked apple

How about introducing fruit salad as a dessert for Boxing day? This tends to be a very welcomed dessert after a full on day of indulgence. It is refreshing and comes with plenty of vitamins. You could always add a dollop of Greek yoghurt for some added protein.

Alternatively, a baked apple makes a great healthy dessert which you can make in 4 easy steps!

  • Remove the core
  • Replace the core with some chopped nuts, raisins and a little honey or some mince meat
  • Bake at 180 degrees for approximately 30 minutes
  • Serve with Greek style sugar free yoghurt (or a little custard)


Eggs are a great way to top up the protein

Have you got eggs in the house? There are  whole host of ways you can use them to turn leftovers into foods. They are full of protein which helps us to feel full and stop us reaching for the snacks before dinner.

You could have a wholesome breakfast such as eggs and grilled bacon. Or use them as an omelette and add extra veg in.

Bubble and squeak is the British version of  a Spanish omelette and can transform a multitude of leftover veg. Serve with a bit of bacon for flavour and either roasted or mashed potatoes for a filling meal.


Turn your leftover turkey into some great meals

There are heaps of ways in which you can use this great and rather lean meat. BBC Good Food as created a ‘top 10’ ways of using leftover turkey. the majority of those recipes are easy to make and quite healthy. Whether it’s turkey casserole, soup or noodles, I’m sure there is something for every taste.



Think of fun things to do with the family that don’t involve food

Actually getting ourselves up and moving or out and exploring can be a really good way of breaking out of the food focused cycle that Christmas has become. Why not think about some fun games – outdoor or indoor that you might want to do? Plan a road trip and create some family memories.


Whatever you do, PLANNING is key.


As with most things, unless we plan we are most likely going to revert to default.

Therefore, having a few ideas up your sleeve of how you want to tackle the leftovers can really help you be on top of the game. Make this Christmas be one that counts –  in memories rather than calories.



Looking for some extra support? Visit our Get Started page to find out more about how we can support your weight loss journey with one of our free programmes.