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Cheat Your Way Through Christmas Events


Is it possible to party your way through the holidays and still lose weight? Or at least not gain any weight?

Believe it or not, the answer is a resounding "Yes!

You’ll be surrounded by decadent food and drink from now through to the New Year, but with a bit of strategic planning, it is absolutely possible to indulge in your holiday favourites in December without producing a waistline bulge in January.

If you regard the pleasures of holiday food and drink as being worth any number of pounds you may gain, you can stop reading now.

But for those of you who want to savour the good stuff without packing on the pounds, here's how.

The key is to negotiate. Be selective, thinking ahead to what's really worth it to you. What holiday foods and drinks are most appealing, those things that you look forward to all year long?

At Christmas events, keep the emphasis on body and weight-friendly lean proteins (such as salmon, turkey, ham, pork), veggies, salads (go easy on the dressing, remember it is very high in fat), broth-based soups, and low-calorie beverages and cocktails (anything made with no-calorie mixers such as water, soda, diet soft drinks, just make this a Christmas habit and ditch them in January). It's hard to overdo these things, since they're low in calories and good sources of appetite-quashing protein or fibre, or they provide a great deal of volume for few calories.

Nearly everything else - the high-calorie starchy sides (think quiche, pizza, blinis, crisps, chips, potatoes, turkey stuffing), desserts (triffle, cheesecake, fudge), chocolate and cocktails (Brandy Alexander’s, frozen daiquiris, eggnog) - falls into the "negotiate" category. Loaded with fat and carbs, these Christmas favourites can easily pack 450-plus calories into a single serving.

Although it may seem strange to lump Brandy Alexander’s together with sweet potato casserole, as far as calories per serving go, they're about the same. So make sure these treats are really worth the nutritional trouble. Treat yourself to a few standout items that you unapologetically relish, no matter how high the calorie content, and have just a small sampling of the other calorie-packed Christmas options - or skip them altogether.

Easier said than done? To help make it easier to maintain your resolve over the next four weeks, here are six key guidelines to keep in mind


1. Don't go hungry, starving yourself in anticipation of a big event

Ensure you eat something, a healthy snack, every four hours or so throughout the day. But pass on the cereal bars and crisps and processed snacks that provide processed white carbs with little nutritional value that will throw your blood sugar off kilter. Instead, reach for foods high in protein and/or fibre that will keep you feeling satisfied for longer. Take an oat cake and a snack sized cheese along while you're Christmas shopping and running errands. Snack on crudités and hummous or yogurt dip while preparing for a drinks party or Christmas evening or dinner out.


2. Stay on schedule with exercise

Incorporate some type of activity on most days. Not only can it help to keep your head in the right place (you may think twice before over-indulging if you put the effort into working out earlier in the day), it can also help to offset calorie-rich Christmas holiday food and drink.


The average 150-pound person burns about 600 calories per hour of moderate-to-intense cardiovascular exercise - enough to work off a few cocktails or that slice of cheesecake.


3. Get a good night's sleep

It can be tough during the busy holiday season, but sleep deprivation takes its toll on your energy levels and can also impact your hormone levels, leaving you feeling starving hungry the next day.


4. Weighing yourself

Weigh yourself twice weekly through the holiday period. This can be a great reality check, a gauge of how well you're balancing the indulgences of the season. Remember this is all about damage limitation so return to weekly weigh-ins when January rolls round.


5. Don't torture yourself

Even if you were diligently selective in your choices of food and drink, it's likely that those foods had more salt and carbs than your typical diet, both of which can result in fluid retention that will be reflected on the scale the next day. So if you have multiple events in a row, wait a day or two before you step on the scales.


6. Keep the focus on people

If you feel your resolve starting to weaken, and you're eyeing up those hors d'oeuvres that weren't the least bit enticing earlier in the evening, stop and remind yourself to take the focus off food and turn it back to the people around you. Because the food will still be there and if it's not, it really doesn't matter. People are what's really important, so spend your time and your energy really listening to what's happening in the lives of your family and friends.


Need more motivation to skip the not-so-worth it food stuff? Keep in mind that although research shows average Christmas weight gain to be just four pounds, the fact that it's an average means that some of us gain more. Worse still is the fact that we don't seem to lose it. The Christmas weight stays with us, and can be a significant contributor to that gradual weight gain over time that so many people experience.


To address any excess Christmas weight gain call or email Anna for your free consultation.

Tel 0845 533 5302

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