Ah the festive season, full of gift giving, family time and lots of delicious food. One not so great aspect of the festive season is the weight gain, which we all seem to fall victim of. Weight gain during the holidays has become incredibly normal due to the encouraged overeating, sedentary behavior and the consumption of calorie rich foods. If you are sick of the Christmas bulge and want to make a change this year then we can help you with these 10 easy to follow tips!
Eat Before Celebrating
What a lot of us tend to do is skip breakfast or lunch in order to save ourselves for the big Christmas feast that is approaching however, this is not the best idea. By not eating until the afternoon you put yourself at risk of binge eating later on therefore if you have a Christmas lunch with your family, make sure you eat a health breakfast beforehand.
Try and be Active
This year make Christmas a little different with the family. Instead of sitting down all day indulging in food and beverages, incorporate some type of physical activity that can involve everyone. It can be as easy as going down to the beach for a swim and walk or playing a quick game of cricket.
Watch Your Portion Sizes
Lets face it, we all over eat during Christmas and it is hard not to when all of your favorite high calorie foods are right there on the table. This year lets change it up a little bit and make a conscious effort to watch our portion sizes. If your confused on what the right portion sizes are, click here.
Instead of having all high calorie foods, try and incorporate some healthier options this year and make the spread 50/50. Foods to enjoy can be vegetable sticks, pretzels, brown rice crackers, hummus, avocado dip, sushi, and rye bread sandwiches and fruit salad with yoghurt. Foods to try and limit include creamy dips, pies, sausage rolls, chips, lollies, candy canes, chocolates and cakes (we know… all the good stuff)
Get Plenty of Sleep
Inadequate sleep has been linked to lower metabolism and increased hunger hormone levels, which ultimately leads to weight gain. Sleep deprivation is also very common during the holidays so ensure that you make a conscious effort to get enough sleep. We recommend turning all devices off one hour before wanting to go to sleep.
Try Lower Stress Levels
Those with high stress levels also have high levels of cortisol, which may increase weight gain. Although the holidays can be incredibly stressful; trying to pick the right presents, getting everything ready for the family gathering and money factors, try and keep your stress levels down to reduce the chance of weight gain. We recommend listening to calming music, taking a warm, candlelit bath and not putting excessive pressure on you during the festive season.
Fiber is your Friend
Fiber is an important nutrient as it keeps you fuller for longer and is linked to reduced total calorie intake, therefore having an adequate amount of fiber can help you beat the holiday bulge. Foods with fiber include barley, rye, berries, pears, melon, broccoli, carrots, sweet corn, peas, nuts and seeds.
Slow It Down
We all tend to do everything a little too quickly because it is almost like we are always in a damn rush. Well we need to stop, especially when it comes to our food. The quicker we eat, the less time the body has to register fullness therefore we end up overeating, which will lead to weight gain. So try and relax, savor each bite and really find those flavors.
Sneak in Vegetables
This year try and sneak a heaping of vegetables into as many dishes as you can. You can do this by mixing pureed vegetables into baked goods or casseroles or cutting them very small and putting them into your pasta or potato dishes. By adding vegetables you are increasing fiber levels, which will help make you feel fuller for longer.
You Can Say No
If you are full, you are full. Although your relatives may encourage plate after plate, it is OK to respectfully decline if you are full. Give your body the time to register if it is actually still hungry.
So there you have it, 10 easy to follow tips to help you beat the Christmas bulge. You can thank us later when your jeans still fit in January!