Christmas weight gain is NOT inevitable! Just because you are off work for the holidays and surrounded by lots of yummy (but sometimes unhealthy) food doesn’t mean you need to end the year regaining the fat you lost previously.
We’ve all made this mistake in the past but, with my help, I think we can make this Christmas different. Here are my top seven tips for avoiding Christmas weight gain.
1. Downsize your plates
Meals at Christmastime are often bigger than your usual meals. You’ll probably have a starter, a main course, and a dessert. It’s no wonder it’s so easy to gain weight!
Make Christmas meals less fattening by having smaller portions.
Don’t put your smaller portions on regular-sized plates, though – you’ll make them look less filling and not so appetizing. Instead, serve your smaller meal on a small-sized plate to make it look bigger than it really is.
This simple trick has been shown to prevent overeating so use smaller bowls and even smaller glasses too.
2. Keep the evidence
When it comes to things like wrapped candies, bottles of beer, or trips to the all you can eat buffet, it’s very easy to lose track of how much you have consumed. This can lead to accidental overeating – especially if you are distracted by the TV, friendly conversation, or simply the Christmas spirit.
Instead of eating mindlessly, make sure you keep the evidence of what you have eaten in sight, so you don’t lose track. For example, put candy wrappers in plain view, keep your empty beer bottles on your table, or use a fresh plate each time you visit the buffet tables. That way, the evidence of what you have consumed will be obviously visible, and that may remind you not to overeat.
Sugar Free Christmas Dessert Recipes
Healthy and Delicious, Sugar Free, My favorite Christmas Dessert Recipes here.
3. Drink a large glass of water before your meal
Water is calorie-free and filling – it causes stomach distension which means it stretches your stomach and fools your brain into thinking you are full. Drinking a large glass of water before you sit down to eat will prevent overeating. You’ll still enjoy your meal, but you won’t want to eat as much as normal. You can also drink water between courses, so you feel fuller, faster.
4. Sit next to a healthy eater
Peer pressure is a wonderful thing and knowing that someone may be judging your food choices could stop you from overeating, drinking too much, or making unhealthy food choices. If you go out for a Christmas meal with your friends, try to sit next to or opposite someone you know to be a healthy eater. This may be enough to help prevent you from eating too much or making fattening food decisions.
5. If you slip up, don’t binge
Despite your best intentions, you may slip up, and either eat too much or make unhealthy food choices; you are only human after all! Don’t worry about it – it’s normal. However, don’t make the problem worse by turning an inconsequential little slip up into a weeklong junk food binge.
Instead, acknowledge your slip up and then make sure your very next meal is healthy and low in calories. Don’t make things worse by continuing to overeat.
6. Fill up on veggies, veggies, and more veggies
Vegetables are staples of most Christmas meals, but many of us mistakenly go easy on them, so we have more space for fattening foods. Don’t make that mistake! Instead, fill your plate with veggies and only add small amounts of those foods you know to be fattening – anything deep fried, rich, fatty meats, potatoes, rice, pasta, and bread.
Vegetables contain a lot of water and fiber which are filling without being fattening so make them the cornerstone of your meals.
The best veggies are cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale and winter greens as they are particularly low in calories. A large portion of this type of vegetables will provide as few as 100 calories. Steam them, roast them, boil them, or eat them raw – it doesn’t matter. Just fill up on veggies to reduce the amount of food you want to eat.
7. Don’t neglect your workouts
Your gym may be closed during the holidays, however, if you skip your workout and eat more than usual, weight gain is almost inevitable. Just because your gym is closed doesn’t mean you can’t exercise. You’ll just need to be creative. Here are some terrific ways to exercise even if your gym is shut for the holidays.
- Go for a brisk walk or jog
- Clear the snow
- Play a team sport
- Do a bodyweight workout at home (coming soon …)
- Jump rope
- Ride your bike
- Do some gardening
- Follow a workout DVD (like 21 Day Fix) or YouTube video
- Play a game with your kids
No matter what workout you usually do, you should have no trouble finding an activity that elevates your heart rate and increases your metabolism for 20-30 minutes per day. Exercise not only burns calories, it makes you think more healthily too, and that may be enough to strengthen your willpower so that you eat healthily too.
Don’t become another Christmas weight gain casualty. You’ll only need to diet extra hard when New Year rolls around. Instead, do your best to maintain your weight so that your New Year’s Resolutions are not all about weight loss.