The festive season is upon us once again. It’s time for parties, rich foods, overeating, excessive drinking and large doses of TV. At least, that is what most people do during the holiday season.
All this excess takes a toll on your body and unfortunately the majority of people do not increase their exercise to counteract the additional calories consumed during this time (unless you count dancing on the tables at Christmas parties!).
However, with a little careful planning, Christmas doesn’t have to mean weight gain, a muffin top and tight-fitting jeans come the New Year. You don’t have to overindulge to have a fun and festive Christmas.
Why not set yourself a challenge to see how much fun you can have this Christmas without packing on the pounds? Below you will find some tips and ideas to get you started.
And if it does go wrong, and you do see the scales start to budge, at least you know you can always lose weight and get back into shape with a cleanse from Isagenix Australia!
A study undertaken by The British Dietetic Association found that an average person can put on up to half a stone over Christmas (Source: The Huffington Post & original study by The British Dietetic Association). Even if you don’t put on that much, losing it can still be hard work. The American College of Sports Medicine suggests that it is only safe to lose 1 – 2 lbs in weight each week, so if you have piled on just 5 lbs it could take you over a month to return to your pre-Christmas weight. Is it worth it?
Christmas Without Gaining Weight
- Plan ahead to avoid getting caught out – Without planning ahead, it’s easy to get caught out at Christmas time and unintentionally eat more than you normally do. For example, if you know you have the office party coming up, make sure to eat well during the day, snacking on plenty of fruit, veg and nuts during the afternoon so that you don’t arrive starving hungry and hit the buffet. Similarly, if you know you are headed out to a restaurant to eat, have a look at their menu online prior to arriving. You can select some of the healthier options so that you don’t make an impulse choice on the evening and end up overconsuming. Preparation is key.
- Get outside and get active – When it’s cold and the daylight hours are shorter, we don’t always feel like heading outside to exercise. However, some of the best things about the winter season are frosty morning walks/runs through the fields, crispy cold, sunny afternoon strolls by the ocean, ice skating, snowballing, sledding and skiing to mention just a few. What fun!
- Enjoy nutritious, hearty winter foods to fill up – Make your own healthy soups, stews and casseroles. Use in-season root vegetables, lentils and pulses to make them filling and nutritious. Beans are a great healthy and cheap protein source. Add them to your stew for the ultimate comfort food. You can take your leftovers to work for lunches. It’s time to clean up your diet!
- Slow cook lean meat – If you are a meat eater, slow cooking means that the meat falls off the bone and melts in your mouth. Use lean meats and trim visible fat to reduce the saturated fat content. Choose organic and free range wherever possible.
- Eat in-season – Root vegetables are in season at this time of year so enjoy carrots, yams, honey-roasted parsnips and potatoes. Also enjoy juicy nectarines at Christmas and delicious raw nuts which you can crack yourself!
- Make your own punch – Get creative and make your own healthy fruit punch. Juicing fresh fruit and vegetables is an excellent way to support your body to eliminate toxins. You can make it ‘Christmassy’ by adding festive ingredients to the mix like ginger, cinnamon, spices and tangerines.
- Be conscious when you are eating – Watch out for ‘mindless eating’ at buffets or in front of the TV. When you are not concentrating, you can really overeat without realising it. Instead, sit at the table to eat and fill your plate with salads, vegetables, crudités and healthy dips like hummus. For Christmas dinner on the big day, try having just your main course at lunchtime, then you can have dessert much later if you still feel like it. This is preferable to just cramming in three courses ‘because it’s traditional’!
- Watch the amount of alcohol you are consuming – Calorie wise, champagne or vodka with fresh lime and soda are good choices. However, beware not to overindulge or you will be more likely to overdo the food as well – plus, you will be too hungover to work out the next day! Make sure to keep hydrated by alternating an alcoholic drink with a big glass of water, ideally with fresh lemon in it.
- Dance, a lot – Dancing is actually a really good way to burn calories, not to mention boosting your serotonin, so don’t be afraid to get up there and join in at parties!
Have Fun This Christmas!
Use these tips to help you enjoy the Christmas season and give yourself the gift of heading into spring looking svelte and feeling great.
Ask yourself what else you can do to stay in shape this holiday season, and then commit to doing it. You can still have lots of fun, and you will thank yourself come the New Year when all your friends are moaning about how much weight they have put on and you are still the same shape you were before the holidays!
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