02 Dec 10 Simple Ways To Prevent Christmas Weight Gain
Are you keen to prevent Christmas weight gain? If so, we’ve got the practical strategies you need to help you strike the balance.
Being surrounded by mince pies and tubs of chocolates makes it easy to over-indulge over the festive period. But, if you want to start the New Year feeling fresh, energised and ready to start a new chapter, read on…
10 WAYS TO PREVENT CHRISTMAS WEIGHT GAIN
DON’T DO YOUR FESTIVE FOOD SHOP TOO EARLY
Supermarkets often have offers on Christmas foods weeks before the festive season. It can be tempting to take advantage of these offers but ask yourself – if you buy it now, will it last until Christmas? Or are you likely to get tempted and tuck in before?! If you know you might struggle to resist, order in advance and have your shopping delivered just a few days before Christmas. This way you’re still organised ahead of time but you won’t have temptations lying around for weeks.
SEE CHRISTMAS AS A SERIES OF EVENTS, NOT A MONTH OF GORGING
Admittedly there might be a few more celebrations than your average month, but where many people run into trouble is through constant, daily gorging. Enjoy yourself when it’s time to celebrate and in between those times, aim to maintain your usual healthy lifestyle as much as possible. Fill your plate with lots of vegetables, protein-rich foods and healthy fats at each meal. Then when you head to your get-together you can enjoy a couple of drinks and a few nibbles. Give yourself permission to relax and enjoy celebrating with those you love.
Eat mindfully keeping an eye on your portion sizes, eating slowly and chewing thoroughly. Savour each mouthful and recognise when you are starting to feel full. Food is much more enjoyable when you eat this way. Make mindful decisions about when to indulge and what you’re really going to enjoy rather than eating certain foods just it’s Christmas. Before eating a treat take a moment to ask yourself ‘is this worth it?’ If it is – go for it. But if you find yourself eating for the sake of it, walk away.
SCHEDULE RESTORATIVE TIME
Christmas may be positioned as fun family time, but it can also be overwhelming for many. It’s important to take restorative time out for yourself when you can. This might mean going for a walk in the countryside or a park, meditating, or simply sitting quietly with a book or magazine. When we don’t do this we can quickly become depleted and end up turning to food for comfort.
OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND
A good tip year round, but especially at Christmas – keep the treats out of sight. If there are always treats in your eye line, it’s a whole lot easier to be tempted and end up mindlessly picking. Store treats away in a cupboard and only get them out when you make the conscious decision that you want to enjoy them. And when you’re finished, put them straight back in the cupboard.
MAKE SECRET HEALTHY SWAPS
When cooking, there are a few things you can do to make dishes healthier without compromising the flavour. Often, simple tweaks can be made to traditional recipes to make them healthier. It’s very easy to end up eating a lot of sugar at this time of year. Make healthier versions of classic Christmas favourites, such as mulled wine sweetened with xylitol instead of sugar. It’s great to use xylitol as a substitute for sugar in recipes like cranberry sauce too – no one will notice the difference. There are lots of ways we can make traditional dishes healthier when we really think about it.
Christmas doesn’t have to be an all or nothing experience. Maintaining your usual exercise regime can be a helpful reminder that balance is key. Exercising first thing in the morning can be a good idea, before you have the chance to talk yourself out of it. On the upside there’s a good chance the gym will be empty! If you aren’t a gym person, take some long walks in the countryside with friends or family. Keeping active can really help prevent that groggy, sluggish feeling from creeping in.
GET YOUR Z’S
When you haven’t slept enough, levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin are increased, and levels of satiety hormone leptin are decreased – not a helpful combination for keeping your appetite in check! The festive season can keep you up late but make time for a lie in, or take a nap, to catch up on sleep. This will help avoid overeating due to tiredness and in turn, help to prevent Christmas weight gain.
CONSIDER A MAINTENANCE GOAL
Unless you have a weight loss programme already firmly established, you might want to consider setting a maintenance goal instead. It can often be more realistic to focus on maintaining your weight at this time of year, rather than losing. This will give you some freedom to enjoy yourself without feeling overly restricted, or that you’ve failed, making you more likely to rebel (and head straight for that tub of Celebrations without a second glance). Keep an eye on your weight rather than avoiding the scales altogether. Focus on practicing the art of moderation and …
MAKE A PLAN FOR JAN
Set a date for when the celebrations end and life returns to normal. This helps prevent any Christmas habits creeping into daily life. If you’re keen to prioritise your health and wellbeing in the New Year, take some time to consider what that looks like for you. Don’t be tempted by faddy detoxes or crash diets that provide no long-term benefit and could even have detrimental effects. Building long term, sustainable habits is key. What can you commit to in 2023 that will support you? Dedicating time to meal prepping each week? Finding a friend to exercise with regularly? Writing your intentions down can help you get clear on your goal and help keep you accountable.
WORK WITH US
If you feel you could benefit from some support in striking the balance over Christmas, we can help. It used to be the case that at this time of year, people would put off seeking help with weight loss and health optimisation until January. In the last couple of years, we’ve really seen this change. More people are aware of how an excessive Christmas only leaves them feeling sluggish and bloated come January and they’re keen to avoid that. If this sounds like you, you can click this link to book a complimentary call. We can talk through your challenges and establish whether one of our Intelligent Weight Loss Programmes is right for you.