The silly season is almost upon us and so is the Christmas tide of food. The festive season doesn’t mean you have to end up looking like Santa though. Be the wise man at your next Christmas party who knows how to eat and be merry without looking like a pudding.
Australians gain one to two kilograms on average over the Christmas period. That doesn’t sound like much but it’s weight that’s rarely lost afterwards. All that consumption before Christmas can give you fat chance of keeping to your New Year’s weight loss goals.
Planning before your next party is one of the best strategies to avoid weight gain. Look at your calendar and when you have a long Christmas lunch think about what you’re going to eat that day. Make sure your meals beforehand are small and light so you don’t exceed your daily energy needs.
Remember, skipping meals or starving yourself is not wise. This generally just leads to overeating. Try to have a healthy snack before your party that has a low glycaemic index such as fruit or yoghurt so your gut will feel full. Also, drink plenty of water.
Plan to stand away from any buffet table or revolving door where the food emerges. This removes you from the temptation to absent-mindedly nibble while deep in conversation. Not all Christmas parties are full of people we love to spend time with. Chat with someone interesting as a food distractor.
There’s always going to be that one persistent person who makes you feel bad for not hoovering white Christmas like they do. Stand your ground and insist you need a drink first or you couldn’t fit another delicious morsel in. Worst case scenario might mean you take the food and hold onto it.
Eat slowly and enjoy! Try to choose the smaller food options and use common sense to choose vegetable sticks over candy canes. It’s great if you can surround yourself with like-minded people who are a good influence rather than those who eat all the pies and make you feel precious for showing restraint.
Alcohol is one of the biggest reasons for weight gain over this season. It adds loads of kilojoules to your diet when you have numerous parties each week. It also makes you let down your healthy eating guard so you consume more while drinking and then the following day to aid your recovery.
Sipping on drinks and alternating with sparkling water helps slow your pace. There’s always going to be the events where you want to treat yourself but just be mindful that being merry is one thing but decorating your office toilet with regurgitated eggnog isn’t going to bring joy to the world.
Exercise is going to be your shepherd during this challenging eating period. Try to keep it up no matter how much of a cracker your previous evening was. This is going to help you metabolise alcohol and food and make you want to eat nutritious food again instead of reaching for gingerbread.
Enjoying a couple of silent nights in can help balance out this crazy party season too. Remember if you do act like a turkey and over consume don’t become incensed and racked with guilt. A few nights of good eating and a Virgin Mary instead of Bloody One will bring you peace, love and joy.