It’s coming up to that time of year again where you are visiting family and friends and taking part in the traditional aspects of Christmas such as Christmas dinner where you are almost expected to eat lots and drink excessively.
This can be an absolute nightmare if you’re trying to lose weight. It is especially bad if you’ve been achieving lots during the months of October, November and December and now you don’t want to go backwards after all that hard work you’ve put in. But at the same time you don’t want to come across as being an Ebeneezer Scrooge by avoiding parties just because you might give into temptation.
That’s why we are giving you our Top 10 tips to help you get through the Christmas and New Year break without putting on too much or maybe even continue to lose weight. By following these tips we’re sure that when you jump on that scale in early January that it won’t be too much of a shock.
1. Let the people know that your on a diet
If you’re spending Christmas with family and friends, let them know that you’re trying to lose weight and that you’re serious about it. This might make them less inclined to open unnecessary food whilst you’re around and you’ll be less likely to give in to temptation. It is especially important to let the person cooking the main meal know that you’re on a diet and tell them any preferences you have before the day. This might allow them to use healthier alternatives or alternative cooking methods such as steaming food rather than cooking it in fats and oils.
2. Don’t start drinking too early in the day
Everyone likes a drink at Christmas and sometimes we end up starting way too early in the day. The problem with this is that it can boost your appetite, making you eat far more later once the main meal comes. It is best to avoid drinking until you can have a drink alongside your main meal.
3. Eat slowly during your meals
Whilst eating your Christmas dinner make sure that you eat slowly. By not eating too quickly it gives your belly time to send the messages to your brain that you are full up. There is about a 20 minute delay in this message and by eating slowly you’ll stand a much better chance of not eating too much before that message arrives.
4. Eat normal sized portions
When going up to the buffet or dishing up food, eat the same as what you would at any normal meal. Don’t overfill your plate just because it is Christmas as this will make you feel obliged to eat it all. But also don’t under-fill your plate as that makes it more likely that you’ll go back for a second helping.
5. Talk rather than eat
Bars and night clubs know that when they play the music way too loud that it stops you from talking too much and makes you drink more. So reverse this to your own benefit at Christmas parties and family meetups by becoming a social butterfly. By talking, dancing and having fun rather than keeping visiting the food area you’ll eat less as if you’re talking then it’s harder to eat.
6. Stick to the smarter foods rather than deserts
Fill yourself up with the smarter foods such as the vegetables in the main meal and avoid the high carbohydrate foods such as bread rolls and potato. This will make it less likely that you will feel like a overly sweet dessert or Christmas snacks after the main meal. Basically decide which foods are the better, smarter foods for you and stick to them if possible and fill yourself up.
7. Keep exercising
Stick to any exercise routine you had before the holidays and plan it around you Christmas schedule. This will help to remove any excess calories that you’ve taken on if you overeat. If you are with family then why not go for a short walk together or if you have access to video games like the Wii where movement is involved and get the whole family involved. Get moving for fun rather than just sitting there watching the usual Christmas films that get put on every year.
8. Freeze leftover food
There is a natural urge to extend the Christmas fun for as long as possible and sometimes that means that we end up over eating on not just one day but for a few or even several days afterwards. So if you have leftover food, why not freeze it so that it is not lying around and causing you to get tempted to overeat. Try sticking to one or two days of christmas food only.
9 . Avoid presents of food
If you can let your family know that you’re dieting before Christmas you’ll be less likely to receive any presents that are food or drink based which don’t fit well with your weight loss program. If you do end up getting given presents which are food, it might be best to give those away during January to others who’ll appreciate them more.
10. Become The Designated Driver
Being a designated driver will be a very easy way to avoid drinking alcoholic drinks with excess calories and give you an easy excuse to use. Plus you’ll be doing a favour to anyone who is currently not dieting and wants to drink. If you can’t drive or can’t have this as your excuse then why not change some or all drinks for alternatives like cranberry juice or water.
By using our tips we hope that it avoids you being classed as an Ebeneezer Scrooge and allows you to have a great Christmas while at the same time continuing to lose weight and meeting your weight loss goals. If you use our tips and still put on a couple of pounds then don’t worry too much or quit your diet completely and just be glad that it wasn’t too excessive like it could’ve been had you eaten more.
If you have any tips that you use to help continue weight loss during the holidays then please let us know your top tips in the comments below so that others can use them.