A five-day reset meal plan to undo the Christmas lunch bloat in time for NYE

Dietitian Melissa Meier shares her easy reset meal plan to help reduce bloating and get back on track. 

By the time Boxing Day rolls around, a lot of people feel like they’ve been eating for Australia for the last few weeks. Bloated… sluggish… clothes that are a little tighter than they were mid-November. You know the feels.

Although it can be mighty tempting, the days between Christmas and New Year shouldn’t be a week of detoxing to get you ready for that New Year’s Eve party dress. Instead, if you’re feeling a little worse for wear, I’d encourage you to simply focus on eating humble, healthy, wholefoods, rather than starving yourself for a week while you feel guilty about all the festive fodder you ate in the lead up to the big day. If you’re wondering exactly what that looks like, here’s my top five dietitian-approved tips.

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1. Fill you plate with plants

Think: fruit, veggies and legumes (like beans, chickpeas and lentils) – AKA all of the foods you probably haven’t eaten enough of lately. They’re light in calories but packed with good nutrition, including fibre to keep you feeling full.

2. Choose wholegrains

When it comes to celebrating, we’re often faced with refined carbs. Melt-in-your-mouth crackers to accompany the delicious cheese board… Pastry-packed appetisers… White bread on the side of your main meal… and although these foods are delicious, they leave you feeling pretty lethargic.

Instead, make the swap to wholegrains like wholegrain bread, long grain brown rice and dense grainy crackers. They’ll help to balance your blood sugars and keep you feeling satisfied.

3. Eat mindfully

The silly season can turn into an eat-anything-because-it’s-on-offer scenario, but it’ll pay to be a little more mindful around food, especially with all of those leftovers around. Try your best to zero in on your hunger and fullness scales, and enjoy Christmas treats only if you *really* feel like them.

4. Drink lots of water (and minimise the booze)

Alcohol is super dehydrating and jam-packed with calories, so a teetotal reset, even if only for a few days, will do your health a world of good. Do your best to drink lots of water – and if plain water doesn’t cut it, try infusing it with fresh fruit and herbs.

5. Move your body

Not a nutrition tip per say, but a healthy habit that’ll clear your head and make you feel on top the world in no time. The best part? Because you’re (probably) on holidays, you’ve got a little extra time to try new things and get started on a new routine.

A 5-day reset meal plan

With all that being said, you might still be wondering what a healthy day-on-a-plate could look like post-Christmas. So, without further ado, here’s my dietitian-approved meal plan that’ll leave you feeling good from the inside out. No guilt, detoxes or silly fads in sight.

Day 1

Breakfast: half a cup of natural muesli, a small tub of plain yoghurt and half a mango

Snack: one small skim flat white and a handful of cherries

Leftover Christmas lunch: ten prawns with lemon, baked veggies (pumpkin, cauliflower and one small potato) and a green salad

Snack: four wholegrain crackers with a slice of cheese, hummus and cucumber

Dinner: homemade fried rice with long-grain brown rice, two eggs and lots of veggies

Day 2

Breakfast: half a cup of natural muesli, a small tub of plain yoghurt and half a mango

Snack: one small skim flat white and a nectarine

Lunch: salad made of half a cup of cooked quinoa, tuna, leftover roasted veggies and salad leaves

Snack: hummus, baby cucumbers and cherry tomatoes

Dinner: homemade burgers made of a small wholegrain bun, a lean beef patty, a slice of cheese and salad

Day 3

Breakfast: omelette made of two eggs, cherry tomatoes and spinach, served with two slices of wholegrain bread

Snack: one small skim flat white and a handful of cherries

Lunch: salad made of half a cup of cooked quinoa, chickpeas, leftover roasted veggies, salad leaves and feta cheese

Snack: one small tub of yoghurt and a nectarine

Dinner: grilled salmon with a lentil salad, served with a small grainy bread roll

Day 4

Breakfast: half a cup of natural muesli, a small tub of plain yoghurt and a passionfruit

Snack: one small skim flat white and a snack-size packet of roasted chickpeas

Lunch: one wholemeal wrap filled with leftover Christmas ham and lots of salad

Snack: smoothie made of a cup of milk, one ripe banana and a handful of almonds

Dinner: two tacos made of 100g lean beef, char-grilled corn, black beans, homemade tomato and red onion salsa and a quarter of an avocado

Day 5

Breakfast: half a cup of natural muesli, a small tub of plain yoghurt and a passionfruit

Snack: one small skim flat white and a handful of cherries

Lunch: sandwich made of two slices of wholegrain bread, a handful of BBQ chicken and salad

Snack: four wholegrain crackers with ricotta cheese

Dinner: store-bought falafels served with hummus and salad

Melissa Meier is a Sydney-based accredited practising dietitian. You can connect with her on Instagram @honest_nutrition.