Christmas holidays and the new year is the prime time for most people to put on weight in the last part of the year. We’re bombarded with food and it’s very difficult to say no or even just resist having a bite before soon the whole box of chocolates is gone! (gasp) This post covers some of my tips to keep excess weight off during the festive season.
Foods To Watch Out For
There are certain foods which simply seeing or tasting can trigger us to eat more of them. Consuming an excess of energy will result in weight gain. The foods which are usually the culprit over Christmas are:
- Small bits of chocolate here and there (such as those from advent calendars)
- Gingerbread men
- Mince pies (perhaps one, two or three too many)
- Big roast dinners
- Sweets everywhere
- Excessive drinking of alcohol
You can certainly enjoy all of this, but it does require a fair amount of self-control. Fortunately, there are strategies which you can put in place to help mitigate excess weight gain.
5 Tips To Keep Weight Off During Christmas
#1 – Fast
Fasting remains a powerful tool to help reset inflammation, insulin and other hormones within the body. When you’re fasting, you’re not consuming many calories (if any). It also helps to work up an appetite for your next meal. I suggest trying to use a method of fasting called time-restricted feeding to condense your eating window to 8 hours a day (or less). This usually means skipping breakfast, although on the day of your Christmas meal you could try to abstain from eating altogether until that big meal when you know you’re really going to fill yourself up.
Eating all your food in a short amount of time will help to stop you from overeating the sweet and indulgent stuff like chocolate which is why it can be effective. Also, if you try and eat 3,000 calories in 6 hours compared to eating 3,000 calories in 14 hours you’ll probably find it much harder to do.
#2 – Exercise
Another weapon at your arsenal when it comes to keeping weight off during Christmas is exercise. When you exercise you expend more energy which helps to put you in a greater caloric deficit meaning you can eat more food (in terms of energy/calories) without gaining weight.
Having a greater muscle mass will mean you expend more calories at rest whilst doing exercise such as going to the gym or doing cardio like running, swimming or cycling will help to burn off those calories. It doesn’t need to be too intense either. You can go for an hour run at an easy pace instead of running hard for 30 minutes and you’ll probably have expended much more energy.
#3 – Avoid Chocolate and Sweets
Chocolate and sweets are the hardest things to avoid at Christmas (perhaps along with mince pies). These foods are so tasty that the moment you take a bite out of one, you want to eat the rest. That whole box of chocolates is gone within minutes.
If you can avoid chocolates, sweets and perhaps mince pies, then you’ll be stopping yourself from eating a whole lot of excess calories which contain very little micronutrients. Keeping them out of the house is the best way to do it, but since this probably isn’t feasible I suggest trying to keep them out of sight or giving them to others who will appreciate them more than you.
#4 – Limit Alcohol
Alcohol is another one many adults consume during the festive period. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with indulging every once in a while, you may find yourself going out on more nights than anticipated and having one (or more) too many drinks. It’s quite easy to forget that drinks contain calories and alcohol is no exception.
Trying to limit how often you go out for pub meals and drink is the best way to try and limit alcohol since most people don’t tend to drink too much when drinking at home.
#5 – Fill Up On Vegetables and Meat
Vegetables and meat are a great way to start your meals since vegetables will fill your stomach up with volume and meat will provide the nutrients your body needs to help you feel full and satiated. After eating these foods, you’ll probably find less of an urge to eat other foods such as chocolate, sweets and mince pies since you’ll already be feeling full.
Thanks for reading, I hope you found this post useful! It’d be great if you could share it with others and I hope you have a Merry Christmas!