Surviving the festive season!
The festive season can be challenging when it comes to weight loss. Over indulgence during the festive season can easily put on 3-8kg. The weight gain occurs because we consume larger food portions, more alcohol and do more snacking on the wrong foods. We also tend to move less and drop all of our good habits. The extra kilos are much harder to get off than they are to put on, so be careful over Christmas.
At Christmas time for most people it is unrealistic to try to lose weight; it is more realistic to aim for a goal of weight maintenance, here are some useful tips to ensure that you maintain your weight and health and good habits:
- Don’t just drop all of your good habits for the next four to six weeks, Christmas functions are in full swing. If you start overdoing it now and continue until well after New Year’s you will undo all of your good habits. Don’t make Christmas 2012 something you have to spend much of 2013 recovering from – is it really worth it?
- Choose the parties/functions where you will allow yourself to indulge, don’t go crazy at every function, limit the days you indulge a little to Christmas day and one or two other selected parties, this will limit the damage that you can do to your waistline and your health!
- Alcohol is often a source of calories and carbs where people come undone. Beer and pre-mixed drinks are the worst offenders. Instead of a glass of wine, try a wine spritzer (with soda water). Spirits with soda water (instead of cola) are a better option and rotating an alcoholic beverage with water is good for both the waist line and your liver, helping to avoid a hangover from dehydration!
- Which is the biggest meal today? Change your eating habits accordingly. If you are going out to a big three course lunch then have what you would normally have for lunch for dinner, a chicken salad would be perfect.
- The key is to be selective and choose the healthier option most of the time, like small portions of fresh berries and nuts in place of pudding, or kebab sticks over party pies, raw vegies over fried spring rolls. At a cocktail function with trays and trays of finger food, avoid all things deep fried in favour of vegies, fruit, nuts and seeds and fresh seafood like prawns. A small amount of fresh items such as sushi, rice paper rolls and sashimi would be good too (don’t overdo it on the rice).
- You will often see me at these kind of events nursing a herbal tea or a plain water/mineral water to keep my hands and mouth busy – it works! (I always take a small snack of pecans/pepitas etc in my handbag just in case there is no suitable food for me).
- Don’t starve yourself all day it will cause you to overeat at the party.
- Limit high carb items. It is important to enjoy yourself however some foods are going to be much harder to work off and recover from as they drop your energy and make you continue to crave sugar (eg pudding, cake, pavlova, trifle and chocolates etc). Be mindful of what you are eating and make a conscious decision to choose quality foods that will nourish and naturally energise you.
- Stay positive. If you over indulge, don’t give up, just get back into your usual routine immediately!
- Most importantly, don’t drop all of your good habits, keep exercising! You may miss a few days but don’t miss weeks! It takes a while to create to habits, do you really want to have to do it all over again next year!
- When you think about it, allowing the calendar to dictate that this week or this day I don’t need exercise and should poison my body with sugary foods and overeat until I am sick is very strange!
- Of course if you are one of our clients you will be eating a great balance of protein, fat and carbs so shouldn’t be hungry or craving anyway. This gives you the freedom to choose what you would like to eat because you are in tune with your body!
With some sensible planning, go ahead and enjoy the Festive Season, it is not about missing out – it is about choice!