How to avoid Christmas weight gain (and still indulge)
We all want to have fun at Christmas, but no one wants to put on weight. So what's the skinny on staying slim over the festive season?
1. Always eat a healthy breakfast
A healthy breakfeast will set you up to eat well for the rest of the day. Choose filling, healthy options such as porridge, wholegrain toast or greek yoghurt with seeds and fruit. People who eat breakfast also eat less than other people during the day.
2. Keep moving
Forget the gym (unless you really love going); instead, make activity fun. Go out with the family for a walk after lunch (its better at burning fat than high intensity running), get on the dance floor at parties, grab 15 minutes to do a home workout, go for a swim in your downtime. The exercise won't just burn calories, it will help to reduce stress, too.
3. Eat mindfully
If you're going to indulge over Christmas (and you should!), make sure you are really enjoying your food. Savour every bite and flavour. Put your knife and fork down between mouthfuls to give yourself some time to chew slowly. You'll enjoy it more, plus your brain will have a chance to let your body know when you're full.
4. Be prepared
Have healthy snacks to hand all day. Don't leave home without them! Keep some in your bag so you don't feel tempted to reach for a mince pie every time you're peckish. Keep bowls of them at home, too. Festive treats aren't all about chocolate truffels or a chunk of blue cheese – try tangerines or walnuts for a healthier Christmas treat.
5. Sleep well
Get your shut-eye and your waistline will benefit because a lack of sleep can lead to weight gain; when you are sleep-deprived, your body produces more of the stress hormone cortisol, which increases your appetite.
Resist the temptation to stay up all night every night watching netflix, and try to stick to set bed and wake up times. Open your curtains as soon as you wake for some morning light to keep your body clock regulated.
6. Eat before you go out
Fill up on some healthy food before you head out to a party – that way, you won't be desperate to eat, and less likely to make a dive for too many of the fried or sugary treats on the buffet table.
7. Watch your drinks
Alcoholic drinks and cocktails contain hidden calories, and you may be drinking more than usual this Christmas. So, keep things low-cal and choose gin or vodka with slimline tonic and drink water between each alcoholic drink.
8. Don't pick at food
For example, if you're at a buffet, put any food you're eating on a plate. This will help you keep track of your nibbling and avoid the mindless eating we all succumb to when there's food EVERYWHERE.
9. Enjoy the Christmas feast
Eat healthily most of the time and let go on Christmas day to avoid feeling guilty when you're trying to enjoy your food.
But if you really want to avoid too many extra calories on the day itself, fill up on the healthy Christmas dinner options such as vegetables and lean turkey before you go for the more indulgent options on offer.
10. Learn to say no
If you don't really want to eat something, say no. Never mind if Auntie Brenda's spent hours making the cake, or if you're faced with a huge trifle and a persistent host at the buffet table. Once you get used to saying no, it's easier than you think.
11. Know when it's over
Christmas season ends on 1st January – at a stretch. Keep eating like you're Santa in training any longer than that and you've gone too far...
If you would like to talk to us about your health and fitness goals simply book a complimentary consultation at http://roguefitness.ie/fitness-personal-training-cork/comp-pt-session.
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