Avoid That Dreaded Christmas Weight Gain
Losing the Christmas load isn’t easy. Here’s how to avoid piling it on in the first place.
If you ate just one mince pie every day on top of your daily meals in the Christmas lead-up without compensating with extra exercise, you would be up to a kilo heavier by the end of December. That makes it easy to see how holiday weight gain happens. So it’s no surprise that evidence shows keeping basic lifestyle habits on track during the holidays is likely to prevent excessive weight gain, otherwise any extra helpings could still be clinging to your thighs and stomach in March.Remember,One-off indulgences do not cause weight gain; weight gain is caused by gradual, sustained increases in calorie intake – an extra biscuit here, a large glass of wine there, and so forth.
Know the facts
The average turkey dinner contains more calories than the average adult needs in an entire day (for many, it’s almost double the amount they need in a day). When i say turkey dinner i mean all the trimmings, stuffing, roasted potatoes, gravys, sauces etc.It can also contain the amount of fat grams required for an entire week.
Eat More Veggies
Fill up your plate with colourful veggies -they are less calorie dense but will keep you filled up
Remember, it takes the stomach about 15-20 minutes to signal the brain that it is full. By then, we’ve usually overeaten, especially during the holidays. Eat slowly, savoring every bite.
Yes, you can gorge yourself like a gluttonous pig, but you don’t want to! You have the right to eat to your heart’s content — and then some. You can pile your plate as high as your chin and dig in! You CAN eat until you make yourself sick. But, is that what your WANT? Make this decision before you fill your plate.
Want to taste it all? Then do just that; taste it. Just because you want to enjoy all of the foods served during your family’s dinner doesn’t mean you need a full serving of each dish. Take enough to allow yourself one or two bites of each item. Serve yourself slightly larger portions of low fat items and turkey.
Don’t go to parties hungry
A common mistake is overindulging on high-fat pastries, chips and dips while waiting for the “real” food to arrive. Avoid overeating at cocktail events by ensuring you do not arrive at an event starving. Have a filling snack 60 to 90 minutes before you go, such as an apple and cheese and wholegrain crackers or a handful of nuts.
Don’t ditch the exercise
Make it a priority to maintain gym commitments, regular walks and take the kids to the beach or park to compensate for the extra food you’ll be eating.
Don’t overindulge too early in the season
Try to differentiate “special” occasions from run-of-the-mill drinks with acquaintances. This way you can indulge when there is a truly special occasion but keep on track with good habits for the weeks beforehand.
Don’t buy too much food
Cupboards stocked with excessive amounts of snack food, chocolates and sweets are a recipe for disaster. Purchase only what you need and try to avoid large boxes of chocolates.
Make sure you always have a glass of water in your hand. Your hands and mouth will be occupied and it will help to fill up your stomach a bit so you don’t overeat.
Don’t hang out by the food
If you park yourself in front of the hors d’oeuvres, you just may graze yourself an extra 300 – 1000 calories before you even sit down to dinner. If you must eat before the meal, pick a few low-cal items, put them on your plate, and move far, far away from the food.
Don’t skip dessert
Don’t skip dessert. If you deprive yourself, you may be setting yourself up for greater temptation. Eat dessert, but take a small portion. Again, savor every bite.
Practice your refusal skills
What will you say when you are subjected to peer pressure to eat? How will you handle comments like, “I worked so hard to cook this!” and “Is that all you’re going to eat?” Practice your responses. If you don’t feel comfortable telling people that you are trying to trim up, perhaps a health-related excuse will be more comfortable. Who’s going to argue with “I want to reduce my cholesterol so I don’t have a heart attack.”?
Control alcohol intake
The festive season should not be seen as an excuse to forget your personal limits with alcohol.
Alcohol provides “empty calories” and no nutritional value. Every drink should equal a serving of carbohydrates. If you feel pressured to drink too much by your family, make other holiday arrangements!
One day’s worth of overindulgence has the potential to balance out one to two week’s worth of workouts. (Think about it this way: 3,500 calories equals one pound.) Remember all of that hard work and sweat? Make sure it was worth the effort. Think of all of your progress and hard work while you are serving out your portion sizes on your plate. Try to have at least 3 – 4 alcohol-free days over the christmas week, drink plenty of water and avoid high calorie mixers such as juice, soft drink and flavoured drinks.
Don’t Let Christmas run until January
Get back on track with your usual diet and exercise habits by January 2 or, before you know it, February will be here and the extra Christmas weight will be with you for the rest of the year
Don’t fall into the “all or nothing” attitude to dieting
Rather than mentally writing off the next four weeks in terms of your food intake and activity patterns, think like a fitness person. Enjoy good-quality, tasty treats in controlled amounts, but balance them with nutritious foods including salads, seafood and fresh fruits. Look as the time off over this period as an excuse to move your body more too! Get Active
Spend time with your loved ones and appreciate what christmas really means rather than treating it like a no holds barred 4 week buffet.