Avoiding holiday weight gain may sound as feasible as Santa fitting down billions of chimneys on Christmas Eve, but we promise there are logical strategies to stay on track. Many of us experience weight gain during the festive winter months, but packing on a few pounds in December is far from inevitable.
PLAN PLAN PLAN!
None of this is a surprise, you know it’s coming. Plan to help yourself stay on track.
Use a calendar . Use different coloured pens if possible .
Write down all the events/parties that you are aware of happening in advance.
Select the ones you will be drinking at and the ones you won’t be drinking at and identify them on the calendar.
Make a note to pre prepare foods on those days for the following days
Make appointments to exercise. Put set times for this where possible. Research shows you’re more likely to keep this if you make the appointment even with yourself.
Do not tell people you are “on a diet” or “watching what you are eating” .
Those weaker more negative people will try and bring you down with phrases like” don’t be boring/dry etc” or “sure everyone puts on weight at Christmas” Just politely decline offers of bad food, mince pies or chocolates ect, or say “I’m full” Most people will accept that.
Try “NO ROSE DECEMBER” Everywhere you go you will see chocolates such as roses or quality street. In the bank, the credit union, the café etc. Try and resist these. You will be surprised at the amount of un noticed calories you consume in this way over the festive season.
If you go drinking, be prepared. Have plenty of water to drink on your night out, drink water before sleep and drink plenty of water the next day. Have an isotonic drink ready to go for the following morning to help recover y.
Have your meals pre prepared for the day after a party. Have a healthy breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks ready to go. You are more likely to choose these if you don’t have to prepare them
Choose at least one event to be the designated driver at. Choose the event you really are only going to as you have to show your face, or the one you’re least interested in attending but are going more so out of politeness.
Keep your normal routine as much as possible. Go to bed at your normal times where possible, get up early enough. Staying up late and staying in bed longer leads to bad eating and a slower metabolism.
Eating out or eating at parties.
Don’t skip breakfast or lunch to make room for later but chose wisely. Choose protein, it will keep you fuller longer. Fill up on fibre too, lots of veg.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day and before you go out
If eating in a restaurant , choose your food online during the day before you go. Do not go there starving hungry, you will make poor food choices.
Do not eat the bread or bread sticks if already on the table
Choose either 1 or 2 courses, not 3. If there is a soup option this is usually better for starters. Do not choose pasta, noodles or rice options. If possible ask for baked or boiled potato and extra veg. The fibre in the veg will fill you up more.
If eating buffet style choose proteins not carbs. Choose plenty of salad, but not potato salad or pasta salad.
Wait before going back for second, have a drink of water and a chat with friends, you’ll be surprised how quickly that hunger will pass.
Log everything, use myfitness pal app or similar or just write everything you eat and drink down. This will make you more accountable and you’ll be shocked at how much you are actually consuming and it will help keep you on track.
Eat something before going to parties, especially buffet style ones, you’ll eat less if you’re stomach isn’t rumbling with hunger.
When people gift you food such as Roses, tins of biscuits or cheeses regift them immediately
If possible do not drink at all! If this is not acceptable to you then be selective of what and when you drink. When we drink our goals and targets go out the window. We will eat irresponsibly . we will make poor food choices and probably hit the chip shop on the way home undoing weeks and months of hard work
Also alcohol will lead to dehydration, which leads to water retention in the days after your drinking session, which leads to weight gain on the scales which can demotivate you.
The day after can often lead to more poor food choices such as pizza, crisps, Chinese etc. so use your pre prepared meals.
Keep exercising as you usually would. The longer you stop the harder it will be to restart.
Do some physical activity every single day. This will keep your metabolism ticking over and you will feel better for yourself for doing so.
You don’t have to go to the gym to exercise. You can workout at home in your living room, with little or no equipment. Just use YouTube.
You’re on holidays so you should have even more time to exercise than normal. So where possible on top of your workout get in an extra walk in the mornings or evenings. This will help you sleep better too.
Do extra exercise on the day of parties etc rather than trying to do it the day after as you just won’t physically or mentally be in the right place to do so.
If travelling to visit family or friends, plan your exercise around this. Get up earlier on the day you travel and workout. If staying a few days/nights buy a day pass to a local gym . if possible do this online in advance of traveling.
Gym Manager & Personal Trainer