Well, it’s that time of year again! The time for gathering with friends and family to celebrate Christmas. A time for reflection and looking back at your year, a time to look ahead to the year to come. It’s also a time of year that can potentially derail a persons health and fitness goal. From mid December to mid January, on average, a person will gain almost 3kg of bodyweight.
Excess calories are rife this time of year. Don’t allow yourself to become a part of this statistic this Christmas by following some simple steps to avoid the ‘Christmas bulge.’
Avoid going hungry to parties
Eat something light before the party to reduce your chances of snacking on high calorie party food like chips and dips, mini quiches and party sausage rolls. Try having a small tub of yoghurt, or avocado and tomato on rice cakes.
Eating just because food is offered
Even though there is plenty of food on the table, you do not have to eat it. This is the time you really have to exercise your power muscle and put that mindfulness cap on. Tune into your body’s hunger cues and check if you are actually hungry or are you still full from the last thing you ate? Ask yourself if you really do feel like eating. If, however, your will power is weak and you know you will want to try everything, use an entrée plate instead. That way you are sure to eat less.
Crowd your plate with healthy foods
Choose one ‘naughty’ item to put on your plate, then crowd it with vegetables. Think roasted or sautéed veggies or any kind of salad. This way you are not missing out on a treat but rather focusing on what healthy things can you include that’ll keep you feeling full.
Eat what you love, not what you don’t
Christmas is often synonymous with eating whatever is put in front of us, regardless of whether we really like it or not. Don’t really love that Turkish delight your neighbour always gives you? Stop eating it. You wouldn’t normally eat for the sake of it, so don’t let Christmas be the exception. Simply save your calories for something you do enjoy. Eat (and enjoy) the foods you love. The rest can be left, it’s better off in the bin than on your waistline.
Burn it to earn it
Lastly, but most importantly… EXERCISE! It goes without saying, but in the same way that you shouldn’t abandon healthy eating habits, nor should you abandon your exercise commitments during the holidays. Aim to stick with your usual training routine. In fact, that should be the minimum. You may even consider some extra movement through the week to utilise the energy from extra calories consumed. Getting involved in a challenge like the RFT 28 Day Movement Challenge to help motivate you and keep you on track over the Christmas/New Year period could be the best way to ensure you don’t become one of the statistics of weight gain during this tricky time of year.
At the end of the day, be sure to enjoy yourself. Christmas is a time to spend with family and friends and food can certainly add to its enjoyment. But remember Christmas is one day not a four-week binge into the New Year.