Want to avoid looking like Santa this festive season? You’re sailing on eating right and exercising daily, then boom — the holidays are here, just waiting to put a kink in your routine! Food is everywhere. Spare time is nowhere. Add to its emotions and stress of the season and you’re sure to have a recipe for weight gain. Here are some tips for a healthy Christmas:
- Quality over quantity
Learn to avoid mindlessly accepting whatever is offered and instead hold out for the snack you value the most, and have just a few.
For me, it is opting for the top quality baked fish and avoiding deep-fried momos and would not waste the calories on them.
- Eat slowly, then enjoy- Move away
Ms Paul’s weakness is salted nuts and can easily have the double quantity of what is prescribed.While the fat in nuts is the healthy unsaturated type that doesn’t clog up your arteries, when it comes to your waistline, calories are calories. She admits once she starts eating nuts, she finds it hard to stop.
Solution? Have a taste, eat it slowly and really enjoy it. “Try to chew your food well, concentrate on the flavour you’re getting and appreciate the goodness.” And then move away from the source so you can’t keep eating more than your fill.
- Beware the buffet
People look at a buffet as though it’s their last meal on earth. Walk around with my plate and eye everything off first. Then go back and just take a bit of what I really like. Ask yourself ‘do I really want this?’ And think about how much exercise I’d need to do to make it work”.
Avoid the trap of thinking you have to get your money’s worth If you don’t let it go to waste, it will end up around your waist.
- Watch your drinks
Alcohol plays a big part in Christmas weight gain. Learn to say I am going to have three drinks tonight and that is my limit and spread them out. Diluting wine with ice or mineral water and making every second drink a non-alcoholic one. Opting to be the nominated driver might also work to force some to stick to their drinking goals.
- Keep up some activity
There’s still time to clock up an exercise credit in the days between now and December 25. Any extra kilojoules you can burn now can help reduce the calories left by those you’ll take in at Christmas. A brisk walk in the cool early morning is an inspiring start to the day, while a post-dinner stroll can also be magical.
- Make sure you log!
Logging food and exercise keeps us accountable, but it can be slightly more burdensome, and maybe even a little bit scary this time of year with all of those tempting holiday party hours oeuvres, desserts and cocktails around.
- Earn your treats before you indulge.
Treats aren’t really enjoyable if they just leave you feeling guilty afterwards. Eat healthy the day before heading out to that holiday party or work up a sweat before sitting down for a big holiday meal.
- Listen to your tummy.
Our bodies have an amazing ability to regulate food intake if we actually listen to them! If you overindulge at a holiday feast, hold off on eating until you truly feel hungry again. Don’t eat just because there’s only one slice of pie left on the table, or because your Christmas brunch begins at 10 AM, sharp. If you’re not hungry, sip on some tea or coffee while everyone else digs in, and make yourself a small plate later. It’ll be there when your tummy grumbles!
- Just say no to food pushers.
Food pushers are the people who seem to believe that their holiday celebration isn’t complete until you give in to their food weaknesses. You know them — the co-worker with a jar of candies, mom and her apple pie, the friend who won’t let you leave without a plate of cookies. It’s OK to politely say ‘no thank you.’ It won’t hurt your relationship.
- Just do it.
Schedule your exercise time. Not only will you feel better about the indulgences that come with the holidays, but exercise also will help relieve holiday stress. Take something out of your schedule if you need to, but not exercise.
- Share the love.
When going to a holiday gathering, bring a healthy dish that everyone can enjoy without feeling guilty.
- Snack before the party.
Avoid going to holiday parties on an empty stomach. Eat a light and healthy snack, such as one with protein that will keep you feeling full, before heading out. This will help you avoid overindulging later.