10 Ways to beat the Christmas Bulge
10 Ways to beat the Christmas Bulge
It is the season to be jolly, and well often a bit tubby! Here are 10 ways to keep that Christmas belly at bay!
- Skip/ delay your first meal of the day AKA breakfast.
Yes Mr. Kellogg’s may tell us it’s the most important meal of the day (it was all a marketing stunt, it’s a load of rubbish!) From a health and wellbeing perspective this isn’t actually the case. Delaying your first meal is an easy way to reduce overall calories consumed across the day. It's why intermittent fasting and the 5:2 diet work so well.
- Set a weekday rule.
For example, you may say Monday to Friday is no carbs. This is a really easy way to rule out a lot of the Christmas treats that surround us at Christmas time. Save those ‘treat calories’ for the weekend. It’s also a really easy way of reducing your daily intake of calories without much thought. Another option half day Thursday and Friday – make room for those excess calories at the weekend by eating half what you normally would on 2 days of the week.
- Delay buying Christmas treats and when you do put them out of sight.
If chocolates and treats are in the house, I am going to eat them. There is no amount of willpower that will stop me. Create an environment that is free from excess foods and you won’t be tempted.
- Keep to your exercise routine.
Yes, we know it’s dark and cold and really we all want to be snuggled in front of the fire while watching Love Actually. Do your best to do something, even if your head tells you otherwise. It's not actually too dark or cold to go for a run... YOU CAN DO IT! Walk, dance, gym whatever it is you like doing try not to let your normal routine slip.
- Get a hold of stress.
For lots of us, Christmas is a really stressful time. More to do, money to spend, people to see, more to remember. Feeling overwhelmed can also lead to comfort eating and emotional eating. Write lists, delegate, and do your best to get organized.
- Drink the white stuff.
White spirits are a much better alternative to mulled wine, spiced cider or baileys. You can get some scrummy spiced gins and vodkas that will still help you get into the Christmas spirit.
- Watch out for those Christmas Lattes.
They may look delicious and be designed to get you in the ‘Christmas spirit’ but by- jo, they are full of calories! Go for an Americano with a spiced syrup, a quarter of the calories and just as festive.
- Be mindful of Christmas marketing.
Everywhere we go shops will be selling us the Christmas dream. We will be surrounded by subliminal messages to eat lots and relax, most likely with unnecessary amounts of food and an alcoholic beverage of some sort. Being aware of them give you choice to act against them, make Christmas what you want it to be not what the ads tell you it should be. One or two ‘blowout’ meals is not going to cause a sudden surge in weight, but a whole week or two of continued overeating will see you struggling to fasten those skinny jeans come January.
- Listen to your hunger.
After a big feed, I’m often not that hungry the following day. If you aren’t hungry don’t eat until you are. And yes that might actually be at 3pm! You would be amazed how much eating is governed by routine, habit and our environment.
- Be good enough and remember you are allowed to say ‘ Thanks but no thanks’.
It’s unlikely that we are going to lose weight over the Christmas period, but we can choose not to put on a significant amount of unnecessary bulge. Be kind to yourself, create a ‘maintain mindset’ not an ‘all or nothing mindset’ or a ‘Sod it I’ve blown it’ mindset. Allow yourself indulgences, after all Christmas is a time for food, family, friends and fun! Just try to eat as normally as possible between Christmas and New Year celebrations. You will enter January one step ahead, no need for extreme dieting and exercising regimes to undo all of the Christmas excess.