As I write the title of this blog post, I can’t help but think, why would anyone be focused on weight loss during the one time of the year that is all about celebration, indulgence and pure deliciousness?!
I think of my sister who loves a little trifle at breakfast; the chocolate-coated almonds that get passed around before lunch; and my Mum’s crispy skinned potatoes.
However, there are people who have worked so hard in the lead up to this ‘silly season’ to move their weight in the right direction that Christmas can be an anxious time for them. They do not want to regain the weight they have lost and certainly do not want to feel as though they have lost their focus and control in a blink.
So, here are my top tips to help you not gain any weight over Christmas, and to exit the silly season in the same shape you began it (who knows, you may even lose a little!).
1. Make water your #1 drink of choice
It’s hot here in Oz during Christmas and it is easy to sip through a whole lot of soft drinks, spritzers, juices and punches to rehydrate… instead, prioritise water (sparkling or still) as your go-to drink… and enjoy just one or two ‘special drinks’.
Also read: How Much Water Do You Really Need to Drink?
2. Make friends with salad
This doesn’t mean a Christmas meal of ‘rabbit food’ but rather, make at least half your plate salad or steamed vegies. In doing so you are boosting your nutrition and also lowering the total energy (calorie load) on your plate.
3. Avoid the nibbles
If you’re nibbling on chocolates, chips, dips and nuts before meal times, you are simply adding to your overall energy intake for the day. Rather than spoiling your meal, skip those unnecessary extras and focus on the delicious meal ahead!
4. No guilt allowed
Even with a focus on not gaining weight and trying to stay in control, it’s important that you allow yourself to savour and enjoy a little dessert or an extra roast potato if that’s what you really desire! What’s important is that you have a little and that you do NOT feel guilt afterwards. Go into Christmas with a plan and stick with it.
5. Keep busy
Rather than standing around and saying no to all the food that is being passed around, get in the kitchen and help out. Help prep a delicious salad, top up the water jug, help set the table, pick up the wrapping paper, wash the dirty plates… you get the picture! Keeping busy is a sure fire way to avoid mindless eating and you’ll be helping out the host at the same time!
Bonus tip: stay active!
Get as much movement in as you can – even a quick twenty minute walk or Express Workout will have your mind and body ready to enjoy the celebrations. When everyone is on the couch for that post-Christmas lunch rest, get your sneakers on and get out there. Better yet, invite the family to play some backyard cricket or throw the frisbee around.
Also read: The Best Ways to Stay on Track on Holidays
If you are consistent with your health-focused approach in the lead up to Christmas, you will be OK.
One ‘indulgent’ meal in a week won’t suddenly lead to weight gain, in the same way as one ‘healthy’ meal won’t suddenly lead to weight loss. It is what you do consistently, across the course of the week that is most important. So head into Christmas with the confidence that you will not undo all your hard work.
From all of us at 12WBT, have a very merry Christmas… and enjoy! After all, it’s the most wonderful time of the year!