Christmas is traditionally a time for overindulgence but our simple dieting advice can hep you prevent gaining the pounds.

Many of us gain unto 3kg over the holiday season. Follow our slimming tricks to dodge having to the start the New Year with that unwanted Christmas Gift:

Have a Really Big Breakfast:

  • Studies have proved the bigger your breakfast the fewer calories you will eat during the day – this rule is extra beneficial during Christmas will all the goodies. 
  • By stabilising your blood sugar levels with a healthy meal in the morning, you are protecting yourself from binge eating all the Christmas goodies that come your way during the day. 
  • Make sure you breakfast is loaded with wholegrain carbs, eggs for protein or low fat diary milk. This will keep you fuller for longer and stop the binging. To really load up, have cereal and egg based breakfast together. 

Get Outdoors and Get Active:

  • Exercise is the best way to stay slim and have fun with friends and family over the holidays. 
  • By getting regular medium level exercise daily you can burn off calories have fun and not even feel like exercising. 
  • Having a funny Christmas dance with the kids, back yard cricket, touch rugby or even a relaxed hike will do tremendous benefit to your health and keep the weight off, as will a nice cooling swim, not to mention the laughs and memories you’ll create. 

Ditch the Festive Fast Foods:

  • Those special Christmas coffees with flavours such eggnog and gingerbread can pack on a staggering 500 calories at a time. The Starbucks Peppermint Mocha Latte made with whipped cream and whole milk contains 507 calories, as does the same as a McDonald’s Big Mac. 
  • Consuming these festive foods everyday throughout December can add an extra 3,500 calories per week to your diet. 

Slow the Pace:

  • Chewing your food slowly 5-10 times slows down your eating, aids our digestion and allows our brain time to recognise what we’ve eaten.
  • By rushing and eating on the run it is easy to over indulge and eat unhealthy food.

Shop for Need not for Greed:

  • Make a realistic list of how much food you need for Christmas and avoid the large bulk packs and discounts. 
  • Christmas is also hard on our pockets. Don’t fall into the trap of spending a small fortune in the supermarket only to throw most of it away. 

Stay Hydrated:

Sip water regularly through the day. The more hydrated you are the fuller will feel and less you will consume.

Eat Before you Party 

  • Make sure you eat before heading to the party otherwise you will overindulge in all the festive food and wreck your diet.
  • When you eat choose something light and healthy and filling for example poached egg or beans on toast you will find it much easier to exercise self-control. 
  • Once there only ever fill your plate once.

Think Before you Drink:

  • Alternate your drinks with fizzy drinks, mocktails, or even water. 
  • By alternating alcohol and water your caloric intake will be halved. 

Choose Wisely:

  • Choose sensible meal options that will help you manage your weight.
  • Soup, baked or grilled fish, plus roast dinners without all the trimmings and fruit for desert will all keep you on track. 

Exercise Some Portion Control:

  • Christmas doesn’t mean you forget what a sensible portion size looks like on the dinner plate. 
  • Easy ways to remember your portions are the following:
    1. Pasta and rice = A fist-sized portion 
    2. Potatoes = One normal-sized spud 
    3. Protein = A palm-sized portion 
    4. High-fat foods (eg. cheese) = A thumb-sized portion 
    5. Vegetables = As many as you like. 

Sample Slimmer Spuds:

To make healthy roast potatoes brush on a little olive oil, sunflower or rapeseed oil. Avoid using lard or butter. By cutting the potatoes into larger pieces they absorb less fat than smaller ones. 

Go for Cream not Custard:

Custard contains more calories per serve than cream – even if you make it with skimmed milk. So you’re better off opting for a tbsp of cream after all.

Drive Instead of Drinking:

  • Nominate yourself as designated driver for at least one festive night out. It will stop you from drinking and consuming lots of unnecessary calories. 
  • You will save yourself from bringing on part food and fast food on the way home to sober up

Pass on the Cocktails:

Seasonal drinks are delicious but eggnog and mulled wine are laden with sugar. By sticking to white wine at 85 calories per glass, or white wine spritzers (made with half soda) at just 43 calories a go you will be doing your waistline a huge favour. 

A Walk in the Park:

  • A brisk walk will help clear your mind, energise your body and also assist in ensuring your digestion works properly. 
  • By adding a few short bursts of run or walking uphill or playing with the kids you will burn potentially 25-300 colories alls of which can only be great for you. 
  • Getting out and about also means less festive food. 

Plan Around the Binge:

  • By planning your week you make it easier for self to make healthy food decisions. 
  • Your can balance out any festive you’ve had by eating healthy and clean the next meal or the next day. The best food options during the festive season is soups and salads.
  • Do not pretend you will not over indulge, it is the season to. So plan your healthy meals and get rid of any guilt you might feel.

Plump for Protein Power:

  • Eating high protein diet helps to stabilise blood sugar levels and stops you from craving food. This also helps in reducing fat storage 
  • When your blood sugar is high you produce more of the hormone insulin, which encourages you to store fat. 
  • So incorporate high protein festive snacks, such as nuts, cheese, cold ham and turkey. 


Dodge the Stodge
:

  • Christmas dinners are not the only fat-laden comfort meals over the holiday season. For family get togethers, offer to cook or bring a dish yourself, create a tasty and healthy meal and know exactly how much fat it contains. 
  • Or suggest a meal out and stick to healthy menu picks, such as pasta or chicken with tomato-based sauces and grilled white meat or fish with veg. 

Crafty Christmas Calorie Burners:

  • Attending gym may be the last thing on peoples mind during the festive season but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of sneaky and effective ways to burn off that Christmas dinner: 
  • Shop off the pounds: A two-hour dash for that last-minute shopping burns 500 calories.
  • Cook up at storm: A whole morning preparing and cooking Christmas dinner burns 400 calories.
  • Be a lean cleaning machine: Clearing the table and washing up after family meals can burn 150 calories each time 

Give Something Back:

Christmas Day indulgence is understandable but try not to let that food pattern seep into the rest of the holidays. Gift most of your tempting treats, and send guests home with doggie bags containing leftover cheese and cake. You can also give some to the city mission and share it with needy people. 

Last Reviewed: 22/01/2021

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