The holiday season is always a tricky time for anyone that takes healthy eating seriously. You’ve worked hard for the previous eleven months, now you’re worried that all of that is undone by a month of binge eating!
Well, the good news is that you can still enjoy the holiday season while eating sensibly. This can lead to excellent weight maintenance, meaning you don’t stray from your weight loss goals. So, here are a few tips to help you get started:
1. Don’t Eat Too Quickly
It takes a while for our body to signal that it’s had enough food. As such, you can overeat when you’re too fast. Take some time after finishing your festive dinner before deciding to have any more. You’ll be surprised how full you feel, saving a good few hundred calories!
2. Be Picky
Many companies host parties where the food is provided by catering. People often skip a meal just so they can eat more. I'd suggest you eat normally throughout the day and don’t go crazy and eat everything you see. Be smart and budget your calories, so you only eat your favourite foods.
3. Avoid Drinks
...when possible. I am aware completely skipping them is not an option for many. Just keep in mind that drinks also contain calories, especially the seasonal ones around festivities. I don't only mean booze either, your favourite winter spice caramel latte with cream on top in your favourite coffee shop will l probably take up a main meal's worth of calories.
4. Eat Before a Drinking Alcohol
If you know you are going to be out with friends or colleagues and there will definitely be a few drinks too, don't go with an empty stomach. The alcohol can make you even hungrier, leading to eating far more late night than your body needs.
5. Fill Up on Veggies
Veggies are your best friends. We all love roast potatoes and all the extra trimmings, but they’re high in calories and not a lot else. So, fill up on green veggies instead. Vegetables are an excellent source of fibre, which makes you feel fuller for longer. As such, this stops any cravings for snacks and party food!
6. Cook Your Own Meals
It might be convenient to let your partner, parents or the local restaurant to feed you with their yummy meals. Unfortunately, they likely don’t cook for weight loss! Instead, cook your own meals and offer to cook for the family. Now, you control the ingredients and nutritional content of your meals!
7. Socialise at Parties
Don’t stand right next to the buffet at parties. This tempts you into eating more than you need. Try and be more social, talk to everyone. Go around the place and make new friends. It distracts you and prevents needless calorie consumption.
8. Bring Healthy Snacks
Are you not in control of what snacks will be available at social events? Take your own and make sure they fit your lifestyle. Have a few portions in your bag wherever you go, so when you need something for convenience you will less likely reach for the processed stuff.
9. Make Shopping Lists
Never go food shopping without a list. Grocery stores seem to have offer for festive food all the time. If it's not Christmas, it'll be Valentines. Then it will be Easter and so on. There are too many things to tempt you! With a list, you can get in, get out, and avoid buying loads of unhealthy snacks that you’ll no doubt consume in minutes.
10. Stay Active
Obviously, a key part of weight loss revolves around burning calories. You can do this without being anti-social and hiding in the gym! Start dancing at parties or suggest a lovely family walk after Christmas dinner.
11. Plate Up Your Own Food
Ask your parents if you can plate up your own Christmas dinner this year. It lets you pile your plate up with as much food as you need - without going over the top. A lot of extra calories are consumed by eager parents piling our plates up like mountains!
12. Focus on the Festive Season
Put your focus on things that actually matter this festive season. Spend time with your family & friends, enjoy the banter at gatherings, play games, go shopping- enjoy yourself! Stop thinking about food, and it no longer seems like an issue. At the end of the day, it's all about spending quality time with your loved ones. Don't let your fitness goals get in the way but also keep the above points in mind and don't let Christmas undo the progress you made over the year!
Do you need help or advice to plan your next festive season better? Feel free to get in touch!
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