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Cheat Your Way Through Christmas Events

01.12.2014

Q. Is it possible to party your way through the holidays and still lose weight? Or at least not gain any?

A. Yes, of course it is!

 

You’ll be surrounded by decadent food and drink from now through to the New Year. But with a pinch of strategic planning, it is absolutely possible to indulge in your holiday favourites throughout December without producing a waistline bulge come January.

If you regard the pleasures of holiday food and drink as being worth any number of pounds you may gain, you can stop reading now.

But for those of you who want to savour the good stuff without packing on the pounds, here's how.

The key is to negotiate. Be selective, thinking ahead to what's really worth it to you. What holiday foods and drinks are most appealing, those things that you look forward to all year long..

 

GO AHEAD

At Christmas events, keep the emphasis on body and weight-friendly foods and drinks.

  • Lean proteins - such as salmon, turkey, ham and pork.
  • Pile high the veggies and salads, although go easy on the dressing, remember it is very high in fat.
  • Broth-based soups.
  • Low-calorie beverages and cocktails - anything made with no-calorie mixers such as water, soda, diet soft drinks, just make this a Christmas habit and ditch them in January.

It's hard to overdo these things, since they're low in calories and good sources of appetite-quashing protein or fibre, or they provide a great deal of volume for few calories.

 

BUT BE WARY OF

  • The high calorie starchy sides - quiche, pizza, crisps, potatoes and turkey stuffing.
  • Desserts - trifle, cheesecake and fudge etc.
  • Cocktails - Brandy Alexander’s, frozen daiquiris and eggnog.

All of the above fall into the "negotiate" category. Loaded with fat and carbs, these Christmas favourites can easily pack 450+ calories into a single serving.

Although it may seem strange to lump Brandy Alexander’s together with sweet potato casserole, as far as calories per serving go, they're about the same. So make sure these treats are really worth the nutritional trouble.

Treat yourself to a few standout items that you unapologetically relish, no matter how high the calorie content, and have just a small sampling of the other calorie-packed Christmas options - or skip them altogether.

 

Easier said than done? To help make it easier to maintain your resolve over the next four weeks, here are six key guidelines to keep in mind..

1. Don't go hungry or starve yourself in anticipation of a big event.

Ensure you eat a healthy snack, every four hours or so throughout the day. But avoid cereal bars, crisps and processed snacks. These processed white carbs with little nutritional value will throw your blood sugar off kilter. Instead, reach for foods high in protein and/or fibre, keeping you feeling satisfied for longer.

For example: Take an oatcake and a snack-sized cheese while you're Christmas shopping. Or snack on crudités with hummus/yoghurt dip whilst preparing for a drinks party, Christmas evening or dinner out.

 

2. Stay on schedule with exercise.

Incorporate some type of activity on most days. This will help to keep your head in the right place (you may think twice before over-indulging if you put the effort into working out earlier in the day) - it can also help to offset calorie-rich Christmas holiday food and drink.

The average 150-pound person burns approximately 600 calories per hour of moderate-to-intense cardiovascular exercise - enough to work off a few cocktails or that slice of cheesecake!

 

3. Get a good night's sleep.

It can be tough during the busy holiday season, but sleep deprivation takes its toll on your energy levels and can also impact your hormone levels, leaving you feeling ravenous the next day.

 

4. Weigh yourself.

Weigh yourself twice weekly through the holiday period. This can be a great reality check, a gauge of how well you're balancing the indulgences of the season. Remember this is all about damage limitation so return to weekly weigh-ins when January rolls around.

 

5. Don't torture yourself.

Even if you were diligently selective in your choices of food and drink, it's likely that those foods had more salt and carbs than your typical diet, both of which can result in fluid retention that will be reflected on the scales the next day. So if you have multiple events in a row, wait a day or two before you step on the scales.

 

6. Keep the focus on people.

If you feel your resolve starting to weaken, and you're eyeing up those hors d'oeuvres that weren't the least bit enticing earlier in the evening, stop and remind yourself to take the focus off food and turn it back to the people around you. People are what are really important, so spend your time and your energy listening to what's happening in the lives of your family and friends.

 

Need more motivation to skip the not-so-worth it food stuff?

Research shows average Christmas weight gain is 4lbs - the fact that it's an average means that some of us gain more. Worse still is the fact that we don't seem to lose it. The Christmas weight stays with us, and can be a significant contributor to that gradual weight gain over time that so many people experience.

 

Find out why your health and wellbeing depends on your acclimatising to the winter months..

If you are part of a company and would like to find out more about our healthy eating services please call 0845 533 5302.

If you are an individual and are interested in our 12 week online healthy eating programme you can find out more - here. When you're ready you can login to My Healthy Eating Programme using the login button at the top and entering the code VIP10 into the register now box. The cost of the 12 week programme for an individual is £49.99 and we have corporate rates available upon request.



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