Festive weight gain – how to avoid it

A mince pie a day in the lead up to Christmas and beyond (because there are leftovers, always) may seem harmless, but that added with the extra treats you consume during this time of year can really take a toll on the girth of your tummy. So much so, that it can take a few months to lose that festive bulge – and that’s only if you make a conscious effort to do so.

So, what can you do about it? The smart thing is to avoid the weight gain altogether. Here are seven ideas that allow you to enjoy the festivities without going overboard or feeling deprived.

1. Avoid going to parties hungry

If you arrive hungry, chances are you’re going to gorge on everything in sight, without the opportunity to be picky (see tip three) or eat slowly and mindfully (see tip two). In this way, you’ll end up overeating and not making the best choices.

So, consider eating something small and healthy before you leave the house, such as a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts, just to take the edge off.

2. Eat slowly, mindfully

When you get to your festive do, now that you’re not stark-raving hungry, you can eat slowly – which will help you to feel satisfied with less amounts of food. Even consider leaving a small amount of food on your plate, so if the host bugs you about getting more food, you can say you’re still eating.

The mindful part, where you pay attention to what you’re eating as well as how much, will also make you feel satisfied with less, as the memory of what you eat is proven to curb overeating. It also helps you to be picky.

3. Be picky

Don’t worry about offending the host. Stick to the things you enjoy eating, and savour them mindfully, so that you are sated with, say, one mince pie, not two, three, four …

4. Don’t ditch your exercise schedule

If exercise is a regular part of your life, why ditch it at this time of year? It’s when you need it the most. So keep up the gym membership or those weekly walk appointments. In fact, add more sessions if you can. And if you go to parties where dancing is involved, make sure you have a boogie to work off the Christmas calories.

5. Don’t have it in the house

Okay, so you may need to keep some treats in the house at this time of year, but you don’t need to go overboard. Just one or two things are enough. Better yet, make something yourself and keep it for visitors who pop in (when you can enjoy a serve with them). You can then enjoy a treat or two when you’re at a party somewhere else – this should help you to enjoy festive fare without overindulging.

6. Go slow and alternate your drink

Alcohol is a big culprit at the best of times,even more so around Christmas and New Year. If you make a conscious choice of being sensible about it, you are more likely to stick to the plan. Alternating your drink with water – make it sparkling with citrus slices so that it’s not boring – will still see you having fun, but without the calories – or the embarrassment of overdoing it.

7. Festivities don’t just mean food

This time of year always seems to revolve around food, doesn’t it? And booze. I dare you to find a festive activity that does not involve either. Why not assemble toys for your grandkids? Or you can play with them – bending, getting up and down and picking up children (if you can). It all adds up to your expending calories (instead of consuming them), all the while doing something meaningful – forming a deeper bond with the littlies.

What other tips to you have for maintaining or (should I dare ask) losing weight over Christmas?


YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices Writershttp://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/
YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.
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