How to navigate Christmas without all the weight gain
Depending on what source you use, the average person finds themselves with at least a couple of pounds of Christmas weight gain. And it can take weeks to remove this added weight.
If you’ve been working hard to eat healthily and keep a healthy weight, then Christmas can be tough to navigate. You still want to have a good time and join in the festivities, but you don’t want Christmas weight gain to undo all your hard work to unravel.
This blog is designed to help you find your way through the festive period without the weight gain that so many people experience.
Tip #1: Plan
It’s what you eat day to day that makes a difference rather than special occasion eating. So plan your meals as much as possible, cook things in advance and put them in the freezer.
Getting some protein at each meal can help with blood sugar management, metabolism and weight loss. This is because protein helps you feel fuller longer and uses up a bunch of calories to absorb and metabolise it.
Look at the festive period and start meal planning any meals and snacks that you’re having at home. Check there’s plenty of protein and veggies first and minimise the heavy carbs.
Could you have eggs for breakfast?
Can you manage a salad at lunchtime so that you’re not tempted by sausage rolls and sandwiches?
Keep a tub of full fat Greek yoghurt in the fridge as a breakfast, snack or dessert option.
Keep evening meals simple, outside of the key days e.g. a combination of meat, fish or tofu with veggies. Put a tray of chicken and veggies in the oven or get the slow cooker out.
Now plan any social gatherings:
Could you take a dish so you know there’s something you want to eat?
Could you host, putting you completely in control of the food and drink?
Have something higher fat/lower carb, like a small handful of nuts, to eat before you go out so you’re not ravenous when faced with the buffet table.
Tip #2: Think (ahead)
Mindless eating and drinking can be a root cause of Christmas weight gain. We make over 200 food decision on an average day and at Christmas time this is so much higher.
We can get ‘decision fatigue’ if we don’t think ahead about how we want to eat. Decision fatigue makes it’s easier to just consume the food and drink that’s readily available than it is to resist it.
If you’re going out to a restaurant or pub, look at the menu online and decide what you are going to eat in advance.
Think of an answer for if you get offered something you don’t really want.
Think through “if this happens, then I’ll do this…”
Keep tempting snacks and chocolates out of sight so you’re not having to resist them every time you see them.
Tip #3: Enjoy/Eat (mindfully)
With so much going on over the festive period, it’s easy to mindlessly consume way more than we need, putting us firmly on the Christmas weight gain path. One way to tackle this is try to be aware of what you’re doing.
Don’t feel guilty if you’re eating something indulgent and don’t let it make you feel like you’ve blown it which can lead to a major binge.
Put the food on a plate; can you add fruit or veg to your food to increase the nutrition? Even if you’re splurging – have some blueberries with the Christmas cake or some cucumber slices with the sausage roll.
Choose smaller plates where possible and if it’s buffet style, fill your plate and then move away rather than standing by the table grazing. Get chatting to people.
Put on the table the food you want to eat more of, such as green veggies and put away or leave in the kitchen the food you don’t want to eat too much off.
Steps to avoid the Christmas weight gain
Plan any meals and snacks that you’ll be having at home. Make sure you’ve got protein and good fats as a priority.
Make your home environment work for you – put temptation out of sight and stock your freezer, fridge and cupboards with healthier (but still delicious) alternatives.
For those meals out, try to check the menu first or take a dish with you for damage limitation.
Don’t rely on caffeine and sugar to get you through the festive period. Stress is an added factor for Christmas weight gain so plan that in along with an early night (or two!) and some time to yourself.
And remember, it’s not the special occasion eating that will lead to Christmas weight gain, it’s the day to day eating over the two week festive period.
The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this blog. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this blog. Midlife Menu Ltd disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this blog.