With the festive season upon us, we can easily end up overindulging. However there are some ways to hope you stay on track while still managing to enjoy Christmas. On average, we will put on 0.5-1kg over the Christmas period and this weight can be stubborn to lose! That is equivalent to eating an extra 300 calories per day. So a few drinks and canapés at a party or maybe a take-away on the way home after a night out, or perhaps a fried breakfast the morning after seasonal excesses!
- Firstly make sure you eat at regular intervals; Have a fibre rich breakfast like porridge topped with fruit to kick start the day. Skipping breakfast can result in us over compensating for calories later in the evening. Do not starve yourself at lunchtime because you know you will be eating out later! Have a warming bowl of vegetable soup or a wholegrain sandwich to keep you going during the day.
- Never go to a party hungry! We often eat faster and therefore more than we need when we are hungry – If you are going to a party straight after work, have a snack like nuts, fruit, soup or a yogurt with some fruit before you go.
- Our eyes are often bigger than our stomachs and studies have shown that the greater the choice of food on offer, the more calories we tend to consume…. So rather than trying a little of everything from the buffet, stick to a couple of smart choices. Also avoid standing right beside the food table or bar while you are talking. Easy access to food or beverages will be more of a temptation during any lulls in the conversation…
- Just say ‘No’ to food…. It looks delicious but I´m full’, ‘I already tried it and thought it was amazing’ ‘I ate before I came but thank you’ or the best option can often be “I’ll try some in a minute…” that way you aren’t saying no but not committing to eating it either!
- Quit while you´re ahead! Avoid the mentality of “I’ve already blown it so what difference does it make now”. When you are full, get rid of your plate and napkin and grab a glass of water.
- Choose smaller wine glasses, switch from pints to bottles and measure rather than pour spirits. Remember if you do overindulge in alcoholic drinks, drink plenty of water before you go to bed and keep more by your bedside, as rehydration is key to help reduce the effects of a hangover. However do try to be sensible. Avoid drinking too much alcohol…as each gram of alcohol is around 7 calories and remember alcohol offers no nutritional benefits at all!Have a glass of water between each drink…doing this will not only save you calories but help you drink less alcohol too.
- Be wary of the tin of chocolates! Just two small chocolates have the same amount of calories as a slice of bread! Step away from the tin, put the lid on the tin when done and put them out of sight especially when watching TV!
- Be realistic. Trying to loose weight at this time of year is both unrealistic and socially unpleasant! Food and tempting treats are everywhere aim for weight stabilisation.
- Above all, keep active. Anyone can survive the party season if they keep active and get fresh air. Don´t let the weather get you down, wrap up and get out for a brisk walk this will keep you fit over Christmas and help you burn of any extra calories you may have enjoyed over the party season.