Christmas can easily be a time of overindulgence. There’s all those parties, dinners, brunches and cocktails not to mention the scrumptious desserts.
For all its many joys, Christmas can be a tricky time when you’re trying to manage your weight. You don’t want to undo months of hard work on healthy habits in a seasonal binge of eating, drinking and being merry.
Apparently, we tend to gain about half a kilo between mid-November and mid-January. That sounds quite small really. The problem is that we don’t usually lose it afterwards. That little bit of extra weight gained every Christmas adds to a pattern of annual weight gain (as does every other holiday).
If you are keen to manage your weight, it is important to be careful over Christmas. So, follow these 8 tips to keep the weight off in the holiday season.
1. Choose a few things to really enjoy
It’s Christmas, after all, so don’t deprive yourself of all pleasure in food. What’s special to you about Christmas food? Whether you love the turkey, the Christmas pud or the barbecue prawns, do enjoy your food. You could even modify a few classic Christmas recipes to reduce their calories.
No, you can’t have large and frequent portions of every Christmas delight without consequence. But you can mindfully enjoy a few treats. It’s good for the soul.
2. Use a smaller plate
A smaller plate heaped with food on it creates a more satisfying impression than a large plate with only a morsel on it. It also helps you control your portion sizes, which is a big win for weight management during the holidays.
3. Serve your own food
Try to serve yourself whenever possible because you know how much of each type of food is suitable. It means you can easily take bigger serves of vegetables or salads and smaller portions of protein and carbs.
4. One trip to the buffet
It’s easy to eat far more than you think if you’re grazing from a buffet-style Christmas lunch. The solution? Go once and once only. Fill up your (small) plate and enjoy each bite. Then don’t go back.
5. Have an active holiday
A sedentary lifestyle contributes to weight gain, especially if you’re also overeating.
In Australia especially, Christmas doesn’t need to be spent huddled inside the house munching another plate of mince pies.
Build in time for daily exercise. You can use this to escape the family or to spend extra time with them! The holidays are a great time for swimming at the beach, touring the zoo with the kids or enjoying a bushwalk.
6. Think about your drinks
Alcohol is packed with empty calories so limit your drinks, especially if you’ve had bariatric surgery which changes your ability to handle it. And soft drinks are packed with sugar which thickens your waistline.
Instead, drink more water to help manage your weight. It helps you avoid dehydration in our hot holiday weather. It also helps you feel full and burn more calories.
If you’re middle-aged or older, then studies show that drinking a glass of water before each meal can help reduce your appetite and therefore your calorie intake, leading to better weight loss.
7. Weigh yourself regularly
Weighing yourself each day helps keep you on track. It strengthens your resolve and helps you see the impact of your choices (whether positive or negative).
8. Buddy up
We all do better when there’s someone in our corner. If your partner or friend is also watching their weight over Christmas, then buddy up to support one another. You could message one another on a daily basis to share your triumphs and temptations and remind one another of why you’re doing this.
How Life Weight Loss Centre can help
We know the holidays can be a difficult time for weight management.
If you’re an existing Life Weight Loss Centre patient who’s already had bariatric surgery, remember that we offer:
- Unlimited surgeon consultations
- Unlimited telephone-based support
- A total of up to 7 individual dietitian, exercise physiologist and psychologist consultations (why not schedule some to help you get through the holidays?).
If you’re not a patient and you struggle through the holidays, then why not book a consultation in January and make it your New Year’s Resolution to achieve a healthy weight?
All information is general in nature. Patients should consider their own personal circumstances and seek a second opinion. Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks.