Christmas is all about sharing food and parties, but for some of us this can bring lots of stress. If you are trying to lose weight at this time of the year, it can be hard to keep weight loss going during Christmas. I have shared my last weight loss journey a while back, and weight loss and gain is part of my life. Today I am sharing my top 5 Tips to Prevent Weight Gain Over Christmas and New Year.
Here is the picture taken at Christmas, at Maxwell’s kindy party in 2012, which turned the tide for me and started my weight loss journey again at the end of 2012. I have always battled weight. I have gained a lot of weight with each of my 3 pregnancies and lost a lot of weight afterwards. This last time I used an app to manage my calorie intake, exercise and healthy eating, to lose the weight. I have stayed fairly steady the past 2 years, although I have put a few kilos on again. I am now using the app again, to try and lose about 4 kilos. Christmas is a tough time to do that, but by following some key steps you can continue your weight loss plan at Christmas and still enjoy some treats of the season.
Habits take a while to build. I had always been a gym junkie and then started running which I was loving, but eventually my knees stopped me and I started just walking. In the end it was not enough, and I have returned to the gym. This is partly to help my 16 year old who is overweight – we have given him a gym membership for Christmas – and I have joined with him. The other thing that is easy to slip into is kidding yourself that you are “just having a little bit” or that you “deserve a treat” or that a food is healthy so it is cool to have, but you just have too much of it. I am like that with nuts, peanut butter and dark chocolate (which I had given up until recently) and bacon! It is fine to enjoy most things in moderation, but portion size is key. At Christmas a good goal is to try to not put on weight, rather than lose it, so if you do lose during the Christmas week then – bonus!
So here are my 5 Tips to Prevent Weight Gain Over Christmas
- Keep portion sizes down – if you want to have a mince pie, cut a half and eat it with some sliced mango and a handful of cherries, rather than eat a whole pie. Have a few slices of turkey and ham and leave the crackling for someone else.
- Choose your treats – instead of having the pretzels, and the nuts, and the trifle, and the cake, and the mince tart, and the chocolate bar – decide which is your absolute favourite and go for that one, rather than nibble on all of them, or restrict yourself from everything.
- Keep your exercise up – weight loss is all about calories in vs calories out. Make sure you exercise most days across the holidays. If you are away from usual routines there are plenty of things you can do without fancy equipment like walk, jog, use a chair to do sit to stand exercises, leg lifts, push ups and bicep curls with tin cans of food! Use your natural surroundings if you are away – eg if you are at the beach, walking or jogging on the sand is a fabulous workout, a bench can be used for sit to stand exercises, leg lifts and push ups!
- Use an app to track calories – use an app like My Fitness Pal, to track your calories so you know where you are at – allow yourself to go over the allotted calories per day on Christmas day. Work out how much over you are prepared to go and it will help you in choosing your treats.
- See food differently and be mindful when eating – this takes time but it is a lifelong habit that helps maintain weight loss. See healthy foods like fruit and dairy as treats – a fruit salad with some creamy natural yoghurt and a sprinkle of nuts is a delicious treat. Don’t obsess about the shortbreads, cakes and sweets of Christmas. You are not missing out if you don’t gorge yourself on food, in fact you are honouring yourself and you will feel so much better for it.
Do you struggle with weight loss and is Christmas hard for you when it comes to food?