Christmas and weight loss don’t normally go hand in hand. Usually, we wait until we’ve eaten and drunk too much then vow to lose weight come the New Year. Why wait? For those of you who are already on the weight loss train, don’t have an extended stop at binge town before getting back on board. Here are some tips for everyone – regardless of whether you’re losing weight or watching calories or just those wanting to enjoy the season without the remorse…
Tip 1 : Drink lots of water regularly throughout the day. As well as keeping you hydrated, water is great for people watching calories – sometimes we think we are hungry when we are actually thirsty and water can actually fill our tummies and avoid those cravings. So drink up!
Tip 2: If you’re going to lots of functions this time of year, try and stand away from the food table if you find the nibblies too tempting. If you sit right in front of it, you might find yourself ‘eating mindlessly’ where you keep eating and not even be aware how much you’re actually having. PLUS… standing and talking burns more calories than sitting down anyway so mingle mingle mingle
Tip 3: If you keep active in the lead up to Christmas and the holidays, it won’t be as hard in the New Year as if you had a big break and started again from scratch. So keep doing your workouts, and if you’re pressed for time (as everyone is this time of year) you can still do a lot of work in 30 mins.
Tip 4: Stop the saboteurs! If you want to lose weight, it can be extra tough this time of year with people pressuring you because ‘it’s Christmas’, they might say ‘just have a bit’ or ‘It won’t matter’. But if it matters to you, stay strong. Sometimes people make comments to justify their own lack of self control. So, don’t let others sabotage your fantastic efforts at losing weight, you can do it.
Tip 5: 5 minutes is all it take to eat breakfast of a morning. Breakfast is super important, because it’s the first chance you get to re-fuel after a long time of fasting. This will set your metabolism cranking for the rest of the day, and avoid the mid-afternoon crash when you’re having Christmas drinks and around lots of tempting high-calorie snacks. Eating something in the morning is better than nothing at all – so if you can’t stomach a bowl of cereal or some eggs, try a piece of fruit.
Tip 6: Do something active on Christmas Day with the family – play a game of cricket, have a swim, or go for a walk. You’ll feel heaps better and more energized.
Tip 7: Lots of leftover Christmas food and nibblies? You can make a lot of really healthy meals with leftover meat, seafood and veg. (Think wraps, salads, omelettes etc) As for the lollies and cakes, if you know it’s too difficult to keep them in the cupboard, give them away, or yes, throw them out!
Tip 8: Slow down! Being mindful is great for our bodies and minds. We tend to think and act a thousand miles a minute, especially when it’s very busy. Take a few minutes to be aware of what is happening (who is talking, what they are saying, what can you see, smell, taste and hear etc). This means your heart rate will slow, your breathing will slow, you will be less stressed and more present.
Tip 9: Goals – we’ve all got them. Sometimes it’s the old ‘I wish I could do that’ or ‘I should’ve done that’. Be specific with your goals and visualize what you want. Write them down and put them somewhere to keep you on track so you don’t forget what you’re working towards. You don’t have to wait until the New Year, start right now.
Tip 10: Be sure to drink between your alcoholic beverages. It’s easy to miscalculate how many drinks you’ve had and how many calories if you drink one after the other.
Tip 11: Extra tips to avoid overeating at Christmas: eat a mint or brush your teeth, cover your food with a napkin (or lots of pepper!), eat slowly, drink lots of water, wait 20 mins and see if you still want more, go outside and distract yourself (maybe talk to Nanna or play with the kids).
Tip 12: Merry Christmas! Enjoy yourself, have fun. Remember that as well as about food, Christmas is about spending time with loved ones. So as well as relishing delicious food, also relish the company, the sharing of stories, laughter, your Dad’s bad jokes, the children’s innocence, the inevitable tension and perhaps a tiff or two – it’s what Christmas is all about!!