Christmas is creeping up very fast and deep down we probably all want a healthy Christmas. I think we get excited over the Christmas festivities, but also know in the back of our minds it can be the time of year when food, drink and waistlines spiral out of control – often with the acceptance of “I’ll start again in the New Year”! Have you ever had a healthy Christmas? Are you worried about surviving Christmas? Are you worried that you won’t be able to control your weight?
Now, I’m not going to tell you to not drink, eat great food etc., but answer this, “Is the Christmas period a couple of days, or a couple of weeks?”
This really could make a big difference to not just your health and waistline, but how much work you may have to do come January 1st…and the following weeks/months! Plan a goal or target for the New Year NOW so you can keep your mind on this goal during the Christmas Holiday.
It’s coming up to that time of year again where you will be visiting family and friends and taking part in the traditional aspects of Christmas such as work parties, Christmas dinners 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 trying so hard over the past few months 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 a Scrooge by avoiding parties just because you might give into temptation! You can still enjoy yourself while still having a healthy Christmas!
Imagine I said you’d never have to go on a ‘diet’ again? All you had to do was eat healthily and add some exercise into your lifestyle! Would you believe me? It is true and it is the best way to run your life. You don’t want to start another year saying, “I’ll do it this year”, do you? You want to say, “I’m going to finish it this year, I’m never dieting again and 2013 is MY year”.
These Top 10 Tips will help you get a healthy Christmas period without putting on too much or maybe even continue to lose weight. By following these tips I’m sure that when you jump on that scale you will continue to have a successful weight loss journey.
1. Let the people know that you want a healthy Christmas
If you are spending Christmas with family and friends, let them know that you are trying to lose weight and that you are 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 healthy eating plan 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. There is no reason to be embarrassed about saying you are trying to lose weight and eat healthy.
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 and snack more until 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, 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. Try to stick to your main goal and you will have a healthy Christmas.
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 meet-ups 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 an 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 wanting a healthy Christmas and trying to lose weight 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, don’t open them straight as you will more than likely start nibbling on them!
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, low calorie drinks. Make sure to check your food diary for your alcoholic calories.
By using these tips I hope that it allows you to have a great Christmas while at the same time continuing to lose weight and meeting your weight loss goals. If you manage to still put on a couple of pounds then don’t worry or quit your weight loss journey completely and just be glad that it wasn’t too excessive like it could’ve been had you eaten more. Remember I’m always available so please drop me an email if you are thinking that you are struggling.
Christmas is a fantastic period full of magic and joy but do remember that it does pass very quickly. Try not to let a few weeks destroy your hard work over the past few months. Continue to enter everything into your food diary. You can still enjoy all that Christmas brings and trying to stay planning ahead will make things so much easier for you. Don’t let excuses get in the way of a healthy Christmas.
Things to avoid:
- Opening tins of sweets/biscuits – You will help yourself until they are gone!
- Opening a bottle of wine just for yourself – you know it will all get drank in one evening!
- Not Exercising – Keep to your fitness plans. If it’s wintery outside continue with the videos on the site or your own workout DVDs. Let the kids join in too 🙂
- Forgetting the BIG picture. Remember why you started your journey and stick to it.
Things to do:
- Stock up on fruit & Veg – If you find you need to nibble or you have friends over then make some fruit or veg plateaus
- Plan your meals over Christmas
- Go easy on the alcohol
- Add everything into your diary
- Keep to your exercise regime
- ENJOY YOURSELF
Make your Christmas a Healthy Christmas – Set your GOALS NOW
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