Burn it to Earn it over Christmas – Round 1
So here’s an interesting fact, just one mince pie every-day in the lead up to Christmas can equate to two pounds in weight gain – ouch!
One-off indulgences do not cause weight gain; weight gain is much more gradual – an extra biscuit here, a large glass of wine there, so it’s no wonder that it can be a struggle to keep on top of calories,
Some of us have that “all or nothing” Christmas attitude to dieting, and I’ve been there myself. But rather than mentally writing off the four weeks around the festive season in terms of food and drink, why not think differently and give yourself a present of weight maintenance instead of the extra pounds.
Here are my first top 5 tips that will help you at the very least maintain your weight around Christmas:
1. Don’t go to Parties Hungry
This is where it’s easy to over-indulge on high-fat pasties, sausages, dips, sometimes just waiting for the ‘real’ food to arrive. Avoid the temptation by never arriving to the event starving. I like to eat an hour before with apples or cheese and crackers and a handful of nuts.
2. Track your food
That means all of it, from the handful of ingredients you ate while cooking to the free sample of cake at the supermarket. These “hidden” calories are easy to gloss over but can really add up. If you do nothing else during the holidays, track your food diligently every day. I use MyFitness Pal but there are lots of other free apps you can use.
3. Think of exercise as a daily present.
Food is only one part of the equation that determines whether you’ll lose or gain weight. Exercise is just as important. Don’t let your workouts go by the wayside. If anything, you should be trying to work out more, so walk an hour with the family, pop into Elite Fitness for a class or two, invite friends to join you. Just remember this: Burn it (exercise) to earn it (extra Christmas calories).
4. Limit alcohol.
We know drinking alcohol lowers inhibitions so actually we forget about healthy eating and we go all-in. Alcohol is high in calories, so what works for me is to skip every other round and replace with a diet friendly soft drink. This is an easy exercise to follow and can be easier on the pocket and waist line too. Oh and yes, alcohol does contain calories, so add every drink to your Nutrition Tracker.
5. Re-gift treats and food.
Just because you have them does not mean you have to eat them! There are plenty of opportunities to re-gift food gifts over the holidays: bring them to parties, get-togethers, or take them to work – you’ll be uber popular too.
If you found this blog useful, then I’ll be posting my second round of top-tips next month on how to maintain your weight over the festive season.