My top 10 Christmas tips & tricks to avoid overindulging
And a little gift for you…. If you don’t have time to read this guide right now, jump straight to the bottom of the post and download the free bullet point summary of my top 10 Christmas tips and tricks.
Spread some Christmas kindness and share it with your friends while you’re at it!
And of course, don’t forget to pin it.
Yep it’s that time of year again when we’re surrounded by the temptations of the ‘silly season.’ You have parties to go to with your friends. Christmas break-ups, work do’s and New Year’s parties. Not to mention the big feast on Christmas Day itself.
Do you have a plan/strategy for how you’re going to deal with it all? Or do you just throw caution to the wind and worry about the damage afterwards?
Here’s a little statistic that I’d like to share: the average weight gain for the holiday season is about ½kg or 1 pound. Which might not sound like much, but research shows that most of us don’t lose it, so that keeps adding up year after year.
And for people who are already overweight, it’s worse, it’s a little over 2kg’s or 5 pounds.
Moderation and common sense are key
I generally don’t like rules, but if I had any, this would be #1: ignore the old fashioned dieting “all or nothing” mindset!
Living a healthy lifestyle is all about enjoying the food you eat and nothing being off limits. There are some foods you eat more of and regularly and some that you eat less of and less often.
And when you have a treat or special occasion, it’s all part of your plan, so you enjoy the food. There’s nothing to feel guilty about.
It can take time to get out of the ‘diet’ mentality, so I’ve compiled a list of tips below to help.
My top ten tips:
Don’t fast or skip meals before a party or big meal. Planning to ‘save’ your calories will only lead to being starving hungry and over-eating. If you’re going out for dinner, eat breakfast and lunch as normal and healthy snacks such as fresh fruit, nuts and raw veggies. If you’re attending a party with finger food, eat your dinner as normal before you go so you’re not making decisions based on hunger and a growling tummy.
When you do decide to have an indulgent dessert, don’t want to go overboard. Use the ‘three bite’ idea — have a small amount, take your time to really savour each mouthful and enjoy it without feeling guilty.
The calories in alcohol can add up pretty quickly, and who doesn’t love a glass of bubbly to celebrate good times with family and friends? My two favourite alcohol related strategies are simple. The first is to be the designated driver, which means that you either won’t drink or you’ll only have one as you’re driving. Number two is to alternate between alcohol and water. Have a beer/glass of wine followed by a glass of water, and repeat. This not only halves the amount of calories you consume, it’ll keep you hydrated and help you feel better the next day!
The polite refusal technique is a simple yet very effective way to deal with ‘food pushers.’ You know, the people who you feel obligated to take food from. Say something along the lines of “thank you for offering, they/it look/s amazing. I’m too full to enjoy one/some right now, so can I take it home/try some next time?” You’re saying no without hurting their feelings. Just remember to be genuine: smile, refuse politely and offer a compliment.
Make sure you always have a healthy snack in your handbag. Shopping and running errands can be very time consuming and it can be easy to give in to less nutritious food court temptations, unless you’re prepared. Same goes for road trips. Plan ahead, take your own healthy food and then the only reason to stop at Maccas is for coffee!
Stay hydrated. Thirst can often feel like hunger, so keep up your water intake. If you feel hungry in between meals, have a glass of water first. If you’re still hungry ten minutes later, then enjoy a healthy snack.
Have fruit and veggie snacks on hand if you’re tempted to nibble while preparing food.
Be the one who brings the fruit or veggie platter to parties, and you know there’ll be something healthy for you to nibble on. Others will appreciate it too, even tho they may not say so!
Stick with your regular exercise routine as much as you can, it’s easier to do it than not to! Don’t cancel a session because you’re busy, or have a party or dinner to attend. Do a shorter session, or change the time. You’ll feel a lot better about that dessert, too! Make sure you’ve got your exercise scheduled in and then re-adjust if necessary so you stay consistent. Remember something is better than nothing to stay in the habit.
And last but not least, allow yourself a splurge here and there and treat it that way. It’s okay to indulge sometimes, in fact it’s normal! Just get back to your ‘normal’ straight after. You can even do a little bit of extra exercise, if that makes you feel better – just don’t do it as punishment.