Even if you have superhuman willpower, the festive season is a hard time to be watching your weight. Staying on track can seem so daunting, you feel like plunging yourself head first into the mulled wine and putting your sensible routine on hold until the New Year. The most common thing I hear about dieting at Christmas is “don’t bother”. However having lost my weight 10 years ago and successfully keeping it off, I have learnt the hard way that Christmas just can’t be about the indulgent eating any more.
Now I’m not saying we all need to turn into Scrooge and band Christmas, however Christmas day is only one day of the season – the mince pies, chocolates, party buffets and panettone start to build up well before the event, and linger for at least a weeks after. One of the least known things about dieting, and what explains why so many peoples weight “yoyos” is that your body is working against you. When you diet (any type of diet) your body picks up on the calorie drop and automatically will reserve any additional calories’ that you do eat into fat. This means that if you have a “cheat day” or “take a break” the pounds will pile back on faster than at any other time.
So here are some top tips to control your eating this Christmas season.
Everything about Christmas tells us to eat, drink and be merry. But do you actually need to eat yourself into oblivion? Around 10-15 percent of the population has SADs (Seasonal Affective Disorder), which can lead to comfort eating. I definitely feel the need to eat like I’m going into hibernation each winter. Be aware of what you’re eating, do you really want that mince pie? Or those Maltesers you sink while watching rubbish television?
When your eating a meal, if you’ve finished, get rid. If you don’t like it, get rid. One of the biggest wastes of calories is the picking at stuff just because it’s there. Don’t have boxes of chocolates out all over the house, where your hand just dives in as you walk past (each time you walk past, ha!)
Exercising doesn’t always mean you have to hit the gym. Christmas Day is so busy, so keep active with some cooking or cleaning up. On average you can burn 102 calories for every hour you spend cooking. The average Christmas lunch can take up to three hours to prepare, that could be 300-odd calories. Walk it off, start the tradition of a Christmas walk before lunch. Studies have shown that if you exercise in the morning you are more likely to make healthier choices in the day. If you do eat a little too much over Christmas, don’t through yourself off the wagon! Use that extra energy to get out and be active.
One of the keys to keeping weight off any time of year is meal planning. Whether you are going out or staying in, planning will help keep the weight off. Sit down and plan your week. So if you know you’re having a festive meal out one evening, make sure you have a healthy lunch of soup or salad during the day. Being realistic about the times when you know you’re going to overindulge allows you to plan sensible food choices before and after.
Finally, you must enjoy Christmas. Don’t approach it with doom and gloom feeling like you are missing out on everything. If you do slip, don’t let it ruin your day, don’t let it ruin your week either! Just try to make healthy choices as best as you can. Refer to your Christmas Recipes and get creative with your food so you can enjoy and savor every bite and look forward to the New Year without the Christmas weight hangover! Whatever you have done over Christmas we look forward to welcoming you back and helping you stay on course in 2019.
Alix has been in the industry for 15 years. During this time she was a trainer for 5 years within a skincare brand. She has honed her skills to deliver a professional treatment where the clients’ needs come first.
Alix believes in results driven treatments that produce exceptional outcomes. Alix specialises in our Medical Weightloss Therapy, where she can assist you to reach your goals.