It’s easy to pile on weight during the holiday season with all the extra food and drinks about and the sometimes endless round of social events where we are expected to eat those “occasional treats” laden with calories, and do so almost every weekend for more than a month while the festivities last!
Even if we just gained 1Kg of weight at Christmas after 5, 10 or 20 years we would eventually find ourselves overweight. And so often it’s not just 1 kg of weight (around 7,000 calories of excess) that we put on over Christmas, but much more than this. And we all know getting the weight off can be a challenge. So don’t put it on in the first place! But how?
Here are 6 tips to help avoid putting on unhealthy weight this Christmas as you socialise at your social events:
1. Avoid all soft drinks, cordial and fruit juices:
The sugar in soft drinks accounts for a lot of calories that we often don’t recognise, especially since there is no other nutritional value in the product. You can so easily exceed not just your sugar intake but your calories intake for the day in one sitting.
Say ‘no’ when the soft drinks and fruit juices are passed around, opt instead for a sparkling water!
2. Fill up with fresh fruit:
It goes without saying that fruit is good for you and we usually don’t eat enough, often because it is so very filling and we never get around to over doing it! A tip for staving off unnecessary calories during the holidays is to simply eat fruit whenever possible! Whether it’s a dessert, or snack in-between meals, you cannot go wrong with eating fruit.
Sometimes it might be a good idea to have some fruit BEFORE you go to a social event so that you are not as hungry for the unhealthy offerings. Fresh fruit will fill you up, prevent you eating unhealthy things and is so very good for you with it’s nutrients.
3. Avoid junky pre-dinner snacks:
While it might be hard to do it is important to avoid eating pre-dinner snacks, when it is basically junk food or calorie loaded delicacies. Whether it’s a bowl of potato chips or tempting lollies – simply avoid them. Opt instead for a low-calorie snack and drink up the water to fill the social void. If hunger might overtake you while you are waiting for dinner – and there are no healthy options to nibble on – simply make sure you have eaten some fruit or veg before arriving so that you can wait and chat for hours if you need to!
4. Go for vegetables:
When you are eating your main course, remember that vegetables are a great option for filling your plate and eating without guilt. Go ahead and have seconds, but take sparing portions of meat and non-vegetable dishes that are often calorie bombs that you don’t need. So long as the vegetables are not loaded with sugary sauces you will not go wrong!
5. Skip the sauces:
Generally, your holiday food will have plenty of nutritional value and taste without sauces. Try not to indulge in any add-ons since they will only bring you hidden calories in the sugars and fats that you don’t need. Many sauces will also bring you extra salt that does you no good.
6. Avoid the alcohol:
Finally, keeping out the unnecessary calories during Christmas can be easily done by avoiding the alcohol. Not only is the sugar content high, as with soft drinks, loading on the calories, but alcohol comes with other problems that are going to make it hard for your body to cope metabolically as it digests the Christmas fare.
Many tips for the holidays are common weight watching tips for throughout the year, but they are especially important to remember when you face the barrage of social events at Christmas, where over-consumption is the norm.
How do you stay healthy over Christmas? SHARE WITH US in the comments below.