11 Tips to Avoid Weight Gain this Christmas
11 tips to take on for the Christmas break to avoid feeling a little heavier in the new year!
1. Avoid over-eating
It’s the festive season, I know! But overeating is not a great feeling, and if done over many days it may cause some weight gain. To start with, avoid serving yourself large portions, and after your meal, when you are eyeing off that second helping or the sweets across the table, just say to yourself “I’ll wait another 20 minutes, and if I still want that second helping, I will have it then”. Chances are that your cravings will die down as your body has enough time to feel full and satisfied.
2. Keep exercising
Just because it is the Christmas break, don’t break from being active. It’s summer outside, and you may even have some time off, so use some of it to get out and be active each day. Go for a walk, jog, do some exercises at home or at the gym. Or join a fitness class – group fitness is a great way to enjoy fitness! If you do eat a little too much over Christmas, don’t beat your self up! Use that extra energy to get out and be active.
3. Eat your veggies
Try to fill half your lunch and dinner plates with mixed veggies or salad. Aim to include three different serves of veggies for lunch and three more for dinner. Vegetables are filling, low calorie, full of nutrients that we need, and high in fibre to keep our digestion moving.
4. Slow down when you eat
Don’t scoff your Christmas meal down too fast. Chew your food, enjoy it and take your time. Your body needs time to digest and feel satisfied; eating too fast may cause you to overeat.
5. Watch your alcohol intake
It is a very social time of year where you may find yourself around alcohol more often. If you enjoy a glass of wine or a beer, then go ahead. But you must know that alcohol is high in calories (very similar to fat) so if you do choose to drink, you need to moderate it and not let it get out of hand where you may make bad food choices.
6. Drink more water
Drinking water helps to keep you hydrated and helps to keep your body and digestion functioning the best it can. Often when you are feeling peckish, you may be dehydrated and just need a glass of water.
7. Avoid too much salt
A little salt is not bad for you, but too much may make you consume more of the drink you are drinking (which is bad if it is sugary or alcoholic). There is a trend of subconsciously consuming more of a food if it is salty, so go easy on the salt and processed foods which are high in salt.
8. Make some healthy dishes
Make some healthy options. Christmas in summer makes it easy to make fresh salads to choose from, cook some fresh seafood, include chopped up vegetable sticks on your cheese boards, serve some fresh summer fruits for desert. Be creative!
9. Be picky with deserts and sweets
We all know Christmas cake and sweets are quite high in calories, so when it comes to deserts and sweets, be selective. If you do choose to indulge, make sure that you serve yourself a small portion. If you know you cannot control how much you have, cut off a smaller piece, enjoy it slowly and savour the taste.
10. Don’t let Christmas run for a month
Often over the festive season people can “switch off” and write off their good healthy habits. Enjoy Christmas and the New Year, but don’t let it run until the end of January! One festive day will do no harm, but a few weeks may. Keep your food intake and choices under control, and keep up your daily activity or you will be welcoming February with a couple more kilos, which are hard to lose.
11. Relax, and get your sleep
Take the time out to relax over the festive season. It is supposed to be a Christmas break not a Christmas stress. Enjoy time with your family and friends, read, go for a walk, and spend some time outdoors. Sleep is so important for many things but research suggests that losing sleep can tend to make people eat more and gain weight. Aim for at least seven hours.