I love Christmas time. Spending time with friends and family members is so special in our fast paced lives. On the other side of the coin, the Christmas Season is also known as weight gain season . On average, North Americans gain anywhere from 1 to 5 lbs of excess weight between the beginning or December and the New Year. The problem is, most people won’t lose this extra weight in despite New Year’s Resolutions Weight Loss diets that promise a quick fix. Year after year by the end of the Christmas season, most people gain two extra pounds . Now, 2 pounds every year might not sound like a big deal , but over a 10 year period that add up to carrying an extra 20 pounds. This is one of the reasons that people struggle with weight gain as they age! I would like to share a few ideas to help you celebrate Christmas , or other festivity, without gaining a pound. Here is my Holiday Survival Guide:
1) Lots of Colour
When choosing your holiday meals make sure you put lots of colour on your plate. Green, yellow, red vegetables look beautiful, are great for you and fill you up with very little calories and plenty of fiber.
2) Eat regular meals and snacks!
When we have a party to go to, so many people skip meals to save up for the party to come. Doing this causes your body to go into a “semi starvation” mode which causes weight gain. Also, when we arrive a a party starved we tend to over indulge. Keep your regular meals during this season and would recommend having a protein based snack an hour or so before your event. This will keep your blood sugar even, your mood happy and you will be much less likely to eat and drink more than you want to.
If you can’t make it to the gym for your regular workouts get in some exercise, even if it’s only 30 minutes. Taking yourself for a brisk walk with a friend or your dog will improve your energy . If you can make it to your gym, think about booking a 30 minute appointment (instead of an hour) with your personal trainer over the Christmas Season. This will give your extra motivation in a minimum amount of time..
4) Choose your alcoholic drinks wisely
Alcoholic beverages can add a lot of calories quickly. Stay away from sweet mixed alcoholic drinks and stick to a dryer red or white wine or light beer. A good quality vodka with a twist of lime and sparkling water is another choice with less calories than darker spirits. Another idea is to have a glass of water with a twist of lime or lemon between your drinks. It will keep you hydrated as well.
5) Eat slowly and enjoy the company of others
Research has shown that it takes 20 minutes for your brain to know you’re full. Really focus on enjoying your food and those sharing it with you. Taking smaller bites and really chewing your food is better for your digestion and your waistline. Focus on putting your fork down between each bite. Enjoy the conversation around you and soon you will realize you are full!
6) Start Light
When it comes to what to pick at a party or buffet, load your plate up with salads and veggies before you add the richer food. You will feel so much better with this one small change.
I wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and holiday season.
Holidays are a time to celebrate, Enjoy and I hope you find these tips helpful!
Blessings of the season,