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How To Cheat Your Way Through Christmas Events

09.12.2015

Q: Am I able to enjoy myself throughout the Christmas holidays and still lose weight, or at least not gain any?

A: Yes, definitely!

 

From now until the New Year, it is inevitable that you will be surrounded by copious amounts of food and drink, but with a pinch of strategic planning it is completely possible to somewhat indulge in your favourite treats throughout December and not struggle to get into your clothes come January.

However, if you regard the pleasures of holiday food and drink as being worth any amount of weight gain, you can stop reading now!

For those of you who want to savour but keep track of your weight, we don’t mean that you are able to eat anything and everything and magically not see a shift in weight, it is simply about negotiation and being selective.

To get you started, here are the do’s and don’ts of foods and drinks that will make your weight maintenance that much easier throughout the next 4 weeks…

 

GO AHEAD

  • Lean proteins, such as salmon, turkey, ham and pork
  • Pile high the veggies and salads but go easy on the dressings that could be high in fat
  • Broth-based soups
  • Low calorie drinks and cocktails – anything made with no calorie mixers such as water, soda water, diet soft drinks. But be sure to ditch this come January!

These things are hard to over-consume as they are low in calories and are good sources of protein and fibre that will quash your appetite and leave you feeling fuller for longer.

 

BE WARY OF

  • High calorie starchy sides such as quiche, pizza, crisps, potatoes and stuffing
  • Desserts such as trifle, cheesecake, Christmas cake etc.
  • Cocktails, such as eggnog and liqiours with high sugar content

These things fall into the ‘negotiate’ category. This means that they aren’t off limits; you simply need to weigh up if it’s worth the nutritional trouble. In essence, treat yourself to a few standout items that you will unapologetically relish, and have only a small taste of the other calorie-packed Christmas goodies, or perhaps skip them altogether.

 

If this seems easier said than done, then here are 6 guidelines to help you through the Christmas period:

  • Don’t starve yourself in preparation of a big event.

Eat throughout the day as if you don’t have a big party or event to attend later than night. By this we mean, eat a healthy snack every 4 hours of so throughout the day. For example: an oatcake and a snack-sized cheese, or vegetable crudities with hummus. Anything high in protein and/or fibre will help you feel fuller for longer and therefore less likely to devour a Christmas buffet that evening.  Turning up hungry at a 'do' is a recipe for disaster because inevitably this means your hunger will take over and you will find yourself consuming foods that you may regret later.

 

  • Maintain your exercise schedule.

Aim to exercise most days, as this will focus your thoughts towards what you’re choosing to consume, (i.e. you may now think twice about that second helping of pudding!)

 

  • Get enough sleep.

A lack of sleep will bring down your energy levels and cause a change in hormones, both of which will leave you reaching for the crisp bowl the next day.

 

  • Step on the scales.

Weight yourself twice a week throughout the Christmas period as this can be a great reality check. This is all about damage limitation, which means that if a couple of lbs have crept on, you can quickly and easily do something about it, rather than facing the scales come January and feeling as though you have an impossible mountain to climb.

 

  • Don’t torture yourself.

Nothing good ever comes from being too hard on yourself, this means that even if you are selective and careful with your food and drink choices over the Christmas period, you may still increase in weight as you are rarely surrounded by that amount of food and temptation at any other time of the year. The foods that you have lying around are probably also higher in salt and carbs than your body is usually used to – this can result in fluid retention, which will be reflected on the scales the following day. So if you have multiple events in a row, wait a day or two before you step on the scales. 

 

  • Focus on people.

If you begin to find that the temptation of the foods you are surrounded by is becoming stronger, simply take a step back and remind yourself to turn your attention to the people around you. They are what’s really important, so spend your time and energy listening to what is happening in their lives and forget about the food and drink. 

 

Would you like to find out more about our Power Up & Motivate With Positive Nutrition Workplace Wellbeing Initiatives? If so call Anna on 07778 218009 or email Anna to arrange an informal chat.



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