How to NOT gain 3kg's this Christmas!
Christmas is a time where we traditionally give in to overindulgence. Between the Christmas drinks, work parties, end-of-year break-ups and family functions, it is easy to see why many people put anywhere between 3-5 kilograms on in this short period. It's a time to connect with your loved ones and there's always a huge array of food; whether it be carb-loaded lunches and dinners, alcohol fuelled nights or those all so familiar and convenient gifts in the form of chocolates and sweets.
Tis’ the season to gain weight
As enjoyable as Christmas can be, it also comes with its share of pressure. For all of the joy this period brings, it can also magnify our problems too and cause a great deal of stress. Family, friends and finances can all cause us to stress over this time.
There's also the extra pressure of trying to get everything accomplished, shopping crowds, hours of driving and huge expectations from family and friends. These stresses, accompanied by the dynamic of different personalities, fussy in-laws and strained relationships can dictate what we eat, how much we eat and also what we drink. Sometimes it seems easier just to eat the bad food and fill up on alcohol.
These pressures, and the steps taken to deal with them, can often be the reason that people gain so much weight over Christmas.
Will this year be like the last?
Do the above lines sound familiar? If it does, do not worry; it’s far more common than you think. If you are reading this, it actually means that you are at least thinking about making this year different.
Now, reading this, and wanting to be different this year is all good and well. However, only by taking action and putting steps in place will you be able to avoid the regret that January brings.
Here are our top 5 tips to avoid that January regret:
Let’s try to keep these wild, food-fuelled, binge days to a minimum. Just as a guide, let’s think of the big three; the day of your work break-up, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve. Two or three days of real overeating won't sabotage your results too much, but a month will not only stall your health goals, but also negate lots of the good work you put in over the entire year. Excess weight is gained slowly, not just from one day of poor eating; leftovers, a lack of clarity and what we like to call the “December forgetfulness” all conspire to have us feeling sluggish, overweight and disappointed in only a matter of weeks. Just eat sparingly and in concert with your regular routine after these big days.
Eat, drink and be merry at those Christmas feasts. But remember, you don’t have to eat everything. Think about what you really have been waiting all year to eat, and eat it. However, don’t fall into the trap of eating everything there just because it is on hand. Yes, let go a little bit, but don’t go nuts.
Aside from bad food, alcohol is also a major contributor to Christmas season weight gain. Alcohol is very effective at destroying muscle and regardless of your gender, muscle is important; it helps your body burn fat and burn calories. If you consume too much, you will not only gain weight but also deplete and damage your muscles. Aside from these factors, alcohol also causes you to be fast and loose with your inhibitions, meaning that the food you were strong enough to stay away from before is now easier to eat. If you absolutely have to drink, try the following.
Many people bust their butt for 11 months a year and then forget all about it when December hits. 5 kilograms and a lot of shame later they remember the address and work 3 months trying to get rid of the weight it took them 3 weeks to gain. Our advice; hit the gym and keep that exercise up. You actually have more time to exercise, so counter your silly season nutrition with some good exercise to help you stay in shape and avoid those feelings of disappointment the following January.
Yes, you may slip. Yes, you may eat bad food. However, keeping your health goals, and the reason you want to achieve them, in the forefront of your thinking will help. If you want to hit the beach up over new years, think of that….if you are halfway to your goal weight, think of that….if you want to run around with your kids when they’re older, think of that. It doesn’t matter what your goals are or why you want to achieve them; what does matter is that you connect with them. If you haven’t set goals, or you don’t continually think about them, it is far easier to eat poorly and sabotage your health.