Merry Christmas everyone!
I love Christmas – but I always gain a few pounds during the holidays. And you know what? That’s OK. Still, I decided to make this list of tips on how to make it through Christmas without gaining a lot of weight:
How to make it through Christmas without gaining weight
1. Don’t stress about it
If you constantly think about what you can’t eat, you’ll be constantly thinking about food. You’ll either end up eating it anyway (and feel bad about yourself) or you’ll have a miserable Christmas. Just – relax.
Decide that you’ll be on weight maintenance mode during Christmas so you won’t have any pressure to lose weight during the holidays.
2. Make good food choices beforehand
OK, you’ll have to eat something even at Christmas so when you decide what you’ll be preparing, make those decisions so that you’ll have balanced meals at Christmas too:
Don’t forget about the good fats and remember to add a lot of fruits and vegetables. Both turkey and ham are great sources of lean protein.
Keep yourself full of healthy foods! It will be easier to stay away from chocolate and other Christmas treats.
3. Make good choices during dinner
As families get together during the holidays you might find yourself in a situation where you haven’t exactly chosen what’s for dinner. When you take your plate, the best choice is to first build the base with a lot of vegetables, especially the non-starchy ones like carrots or Brussels sprouts.
4. Watch the portion sizes
Christmas food isn’t necessarily unhealthy, it’s usually the amounts of food that we worry about. Take a plate and have a little bit of everything. As long as you keep the portion sizes in check, you’ll have nothing to worry about.
If you are visiting family members who you know will be offended if you don’t go back for seconds, then make it your strategy to have two platefuls of food during dinner. They’ll be upset that you take just a small plateful first, but will probably be happy when they’ll see you go for seconds. This is perhaps silly advice, but sometimes we need to get psychological with relatives…
And if you are full before you’ve finished your plate, it’s OK to not completely clean your plate.
If you are really worried about overeating at Christmas dinner, then you could have a little appetizer beforehand: have some fruit such as an apple, some soup or just a big glass of water.
5. Have three meals a day
Those days around Christmas are easily spent grazing: eating savory and sweet treats in turns, all day. It becomes a horrible circle.
Or then you decide to skip breakfast in order to save the calories for lunch or dinner. It might not be a good idea: You could end up eating a lot more later in the day when you get hungry.
Try to focus on eating three proper meals a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. That way it is easy to control portion sizes and have a clearer picture of all the things that you have eaten during the day.
Also, brush your teeth after each meal. You are less likely to snack when you have that clean peppermint taste in your mouth.
6. Don’t go overboard on alcohol
Obviously, it isn’t nice for the rest of your family if you drink too much – but it isn’t nice for your waist either. A glass of wine at Christmas dinner is certainly fine, but alcohol does have a lot of calories so it is wise to remember portion size when it comes to alcohol as well.
7. Christmas isn’t just about food
Though sometimes it feels like it is 🙂 It is about spending time with your loved ones. Take nice walks together, watch a classic whole family Christmas film (Home Alone, anyone?) or play board games.
8. Stay active at Christmas
If you love exercising – and even if you don’t – there’s really no reason to not do some form of physical exercise during the holidays. Go for long walks in brisk air, do some yoga or stretching. If you want you can try to get 10 000 steps a day even at Christmas – that’s a great goal! Many health clubs are also open at Christmas time.
Do indulge at Christmas!
Good food is an important part of Christmas and the moments that you spend with your family at Christmas dinner table will make wonderful memories. Eat good food, slowly, and make sure you enjoy it.
Remember that when it comes to dieting and losing weight it isn’t really so much about what you eat between Christmas and New Year’s eve but more about what you eat between New Year’s eve and Christmas!
Have a wonderful Christmas with your friends and family! Take care 🙂