Christmas celebrations are now in full swing, with the silly season being so much more than one day – with weeks of overindulging and partying ahead.
Trying to lose weight during this busy period may result in extra stress you don’t need. If this is the case for you, our recommended strategy is to focus on weight management, rather than on weight loss as it may result in much more achievable outcomes. Here are five useful tips to avoid the Christmas body blowout, and help you to avoid putting “Lose the Christmas Weight” at the top of your New Year’s resolution list.
One chocolate not twelve. I am almost convinced Christmas carols contain subliminal messaging designed to make us eat more chocolate. On a normal day a piece of chocolate may feel like a luxury, but at Christmas time we are surrounded by sweets and the packet is empty before you can say “Jingle Bells”. It isn’t just chocolate we have to worry about, there are copious amounts of puddings, cakes, cookies and alcohol. While we all love Santa, we don’t want to look like him so moderation is key.
Don’t give it, don’t get it. Ask your friends and family to give you non-food gifts this year. If you aren’t given that box of Cadbury favourites, then you aren’t going to eat it. It really is that simple.
Choose your cheat meal. There are 31 days in December, and when we add New Year’s Day there is a lot of opportunity for unnecessary feasting. If you choose Christmas Day as your day of treat-ful indulgence, follow your goals for the rest of the month. The difficulty is when you go from venue to venue, so keep your portion sizes small to avoid overeating.
Spend the holidays being active. If you have children, they are the perfect excuse to get moving. Choose active gifts for Christmas for when the temperature cools so you can play cricket in the back yard, work up a sweat in the garden, explore the neighbourhood or kick the footy at the park.
Hide the in between snacks. Salted peanuts and rich dips are easy to eat without even realising, keeping them out of sight will avoid the temptation. If you have ever said “I don’t want to eat these but I can’t stop because they are there”, you will know exactly what we mean. Have healthy finger food options available incorporating homemade dips (eg. Hummus, Tzatziki, Tomato Salsa) with wholegrain or plain rice crackers, celery and carrot sticks.
Christmas is not the time to feel guilty about your weight loss goals. If you can at least maintain your weight it will give you a kick start for the new year, and you will appreciate the extra effort when the decorations come down and everyone goes back into hibernation.