Losing weight at any time of year can be very difficult, but to lose weight at Christmas time seems like an impossible task to many people. Most people are guilty of doing just a little TOO much celebrating over the Christmas holidays and so when New Year comes round they are then left struggle with extra weight to get rid of. Each New Year weight clubs are inundated by new members who have succumbed to a period of more drinks, extra helpings, raiding the chocolate tin and having little time to exercise. Surveys and research show that the average weight gained during Christmas and New Year is a whopping seven pounds (this is often referred to as the ‘Seasonal Seven’).
However a guaranteed weight gain over the festive period DOESN’T need to be the case, despite the extra stresses and the many temptations that there are all around everyone during the Christmas season there are ways to balance them and to maintain a healthy way of eating while still celebrating, you CAN still have a great time while still keeping to a healthy weight loss plan. Although most people associate Christmas with over eating and high calorie foods there are in fact a lot of the traditional Christmas foods that are actually very good for us, so by partaking of those foods it is still possible to enjoy Christmas and still lose weight.
Take the traditional Christmas turkey, this is a product that has the leanest meat and yet tastes great; not only served with your Christmas lunch leftovers can be made into nutritious and low fat meals like a turkey curry with lots of healthy vegetables. Don’t worry too much about adding a little cranberry sauce to your turkey – you can still enjoy the great taste and get a serving of the cranberry (which is classed as a ‘super food’) a tablespoon will only cost you ½ a Weight Watcher point or around 40 calories. When it comes to that Christmas lunch don’t forget the humble parsnip – this vegetable is a surprising source of Vitamin C and is an unusual and sweet alternative to roast potatoes, and all helping towards keeping that weight down. Heap you lunch plate with lots of lovely fresh vegetables – zero pointed and extremely low in calories, they will fill you up, taste good, do you good and help with that weight loss – certainly don’t forget the ‘love it or hate it vegetable’ Brussels sprouts, these are filled with iron and so good for you.
An important rule that you shouldn’t forget over the Christmas period is NOT to skip breakfast. Too many people think that by not eating a breakfast they will be able to eat more during the day; but this is wrong; eating a healthy breakfast is vitally important and can actually help you lose weight by kick-starting your metabolism. If you you’re your breakfast your body will start to crave something sweet and you are more likely to start snacking on unhealthy foods, and dipping into that chocolate time. Instead start each day with a filling and nutritious breakfast and you will give your metabolism a kick start. Ea three well balanced and nutritious meals spread out at regular intervals each day over the Christmas period (well every day actually!) and you will be less tempted to snack and will also help your metabolism digest the food and so help weight loss.
Just because it is Christmas don’t be tempted to eat more processed foods, try to stick to wholemeal bread and pasta, brown rice and wholegrain cereals as these are all high in fibre which takes longer to digest and makes you feel full longer.
Naturally, weight loss is all about eating less and exercising more, but all too often exercise gets forgotten over the Christmas period. It is wise to remember that exercise is a real help to you during this time and that trying to incorporate it into your Christmas will certainly help you lose weight. Don’t be tempted to put off your regular exercise until after Christmas; we all have less time over the holiday period do but remember that even if you only do a percentage of your normal exercise some is better than none, so do less or shorter sessions rather than knocking them off altogether. You can also throw yourself whole heartedly into the dancing at any parties you attend and work off a few of those calories.
So you see that just making a few minor changes to the way you look at Christmas you can still lose weight and enjoy the festivities. So have a happy Christmas, relax and enjoy yourself. Follow these simple weight loss tips and you will soon be able to lose weight after Christmas and the holiday season. Remember that you are still entitled to a little treat, it is Christmas after all and you have been working hard to lose the weight you have before Christmas so deserve the odd treat. If you deprive yourself altogether you are more likely to go completely off the rails and hit the chocolates in a big way! A few treats won’t harm you too much, just remember to get some exercise – put some more effort into that dancing or treat the dog to a nice walk after dinner, following these rules you’ll be a Christmas Cracker and not a Christmas Pudding!