Christmas is less than 2 weeks away!
If your Christmas is anything like mine it involves at least 3 different family groups that must be
seen, with the whole day’s movements mapped out to a timetable that requires military-style
precision just to keep everyone happy. In short, busy and stressful.
It's also a time when holiday functions take up most of your weekends and overindulgence is commonplace, so it's no surprise that a lot of people finish the festive season a little heavier than they started. If you're sick and tired of the extra effort it takes to button up your jeans post-Christmas then read on for tips to avoid holiday weight gain.
1. Bring a healthy option to family events
Most family lunches split the food responsibilities across it's members, so when it gets to your turn offer to bring something healthy.
Healthy doesn't have to mean boring though. Try:
They’re all great healthy options that can still take pride of place in a Christmas buffet. Take responsibility for your food choices and be pro-active about healthy options.
Related Post: Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Feta, Pomegranate and Crispy Leeks
2. Offer to be designated driver
Christmas is a celebration; not only of religious tradition but for most of us it’s a celebration of our
loved ones and the joy they bring us. It’s totally fine to have a few drinks, but going overboard will not only add hundreds of unnecessary calories but will impair your ability to make healthy choices.
If you don’t think you can keep your drinks count to just a few, offer to be designated driver. That way people will understand why you’re not drinking and won’t badger you into having any more than you want.
If you're looking for a summer drink to replace booze (or add booze to if you're not the DD..) then try this recipe for honey-sweetened Lemon Iced Tea.
3. Squeeze in some exercise each day
Nearly all of us have at least some time off over Christmas, so use this free time to add in a few extra workouts. It doesn't need to be complicated - think:
Even if your time off is minimal or the weather isn’t really conducive to outdoor activities there are tons of quick, no-equipment workouts you can do in the comfort of your own home. Just look up 'no-equipment full body workout' in google and you'll find tons of options.
That way the extra food you put away over the holidays can be counter-balanced, so you’re less likely to suffer post-Christmas weight gain.
4. Don't go to a party hungry
Hunger does all sorts of things to our decision making skills. Just like grocery shopping, if you see lots of delicious options in front of you when you're hungry you're much more likely to overeat. And please - PLEASE - don't starve yourself during the day so that you can eat more at the party that night.
Make sure you're not ravenous before heading out to a Christmas do to ensure you don't eat everything in sight once you're there.
5. Fill up on fibre and protein
It's a given that Christmas party food isn't going to be the most nutritious meal you've ever eaten, and that's totally ok - healthy isn't about avoiding all greasy food, it's about enjoying some and knowing when to stop.
Indulge in a few of the greasy and sugary items, but make the bulk of your choices protein and fibre rich. Both protein and fibre will help keep you full, meaning you're less likely to overeat, and are likelyto be some of the more nutritious options available.
6. Make time to de-stress each day
We all know it – Christmas is stressful. Make time each day to take a step back from the chaos and
re-center yourself so you’re in the right frame of mind to make healthy choices.
Try taking a sunset walk, a hot bath with essential oils, reflecting on your thoughts by keeping a journal, some yoga first thing in the morning – whatever you need to help you keep a level head.
Stress places a terrible toll on the body - increasing your appetite, signalling sugar cravings and holding on to fat stores just to name a few - so make a concerted effort these holidays to not let yourself get too caught up in it all.
7. Stockpile healthy meals
If you've got a spare hour or two think about doing a large healthy meal prep. Making sure you've got lots of light, nutritious options around for those times when you're not at a party will help to balance out the heavy food being served up.
If you're not sure where to start:
Related Post: How To Meal Plan Like A Nutritionist
8. Don’t give up
There’s a good chance that most of us will fall off the healthy eating bandwagon over Christmas and New Years, but don’t fall into the trap of completely giving up and eating everything you want
because a small (or large) setback.
A few days of poor eating can easily be overcome by a consistent exercise and healthy eating regime, so if you find yourself scoffing down mince pies like there’s no tomorrow DON’T just give up and say you’ll try harder next time – try harder NOW.
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and a safe holiday season!
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