How to not pile on the pounds over xmas…
If Christmas was really only one day then we wouldn’t really need to worry about piling on the pounds, but as Santa arrived at Harrods about a month ago and the lights have been on at Oxford street since mid-November. This is the reason we tend to expand over the festive season.
Ok, so get all the excuses out of the way… it’s cold outside and I need some comfort food, I need some extra blubber over the winter to keep me warm, I’ll just go for an extra run this week , I always put on weight over Christmas, that’s just the way it is.
The big culprits of putting on weight over Christmas
Booze: We always have so many extra parties in the calendar over Christmas that involve drinking. Before you go, tell yourself how much you are allowed to drink. Stay away from the mixers such as coke, lemonade etc as it’s fully packed with sugars or sweeteners. Eat before you go so you are not tempted to eat rubbish throughout the night or even on the way home. You make much worse decisions after a few bevies and your goals don’t seem quite as important. Mulled wine- have you ever made this? Do you know how much sugar is in it?
Cakes: Mince pies, chocolates, Christmas cakes/ puddings. Just say No or at least just wait until Christmas day. One extra little treat a day over a week can cause an extra 3000 calories in your diet, which is an extra day and half worth’s of food!
Starbuck gingerbread lattes and other hot yummy drinks! You can’t help feeling festive when you sit down with one of these followed by one of their muffins, but you could be packing away a good 6-700 calories before you even take a bite of the muffin. As you know I am not generally interested in counting calories, its more about what type of calories you eat, but a hot chocolate with cream and a white chocolate and raspberry muffin has very little nutritional value. Your body will just deposit the fat right on your hips about the same time it sends you into a sugar crash and craving the same again.
A few little tips:
· Take your time to eat. As I mentioned last time it takes about 20 mins for the signal that you are full to reach your brain, but quite often we have already reached for a second serving or a massive piece of Christmas pud.
· Don’t skip meals. Make sure you eat before you go out, otherwise you will end up binge eating later.
· Get moving. It is inevitable that we will consume a bit more over the next month at the various events. I love Christmas so make the most of it before January sets in. But as this is the case you will need to up your exercise. Make sure you are doing at least what you currently have in the weekly diary. Get another session in with me or sign up to an extra class at the gym, get off the tube a stop early and start to walk further, always take the escalators/ stairs, get on your bike with the kids for the afternoon. Go for a walk after your Christmas lunch ineatd of vegging on the sofa and nibbling for the rest of the day.
· Avoid stocking up on the carbs. Pile up your plate with meats, fish other protein and veg and you won’t crave the sweet stuff as much.
· It is so much harder to shift that extra weight in January, when the nights are dark, cold and everyone is suffering from post-holiday blues. Getting yourself out for an extra run and not eating comfort food is much tougher at this time, especially if you have lost sight of your goals from putting on weight.
Decide now how you are going to deal will the Christmas booze and food situation. Make a goal of your measurements at our first session in January, what you are allowed and not allowed. Be realistic as you still want to enjoy the parties. Include how much exercise you will be doing. Even better sign up for an event in January/ February or March that you will need to start getting in shape for. Many of you have mentioned signing up to your first 5 or 10km race, so this would be the best time to commit. There is nothing like having a target/ event to keep you motivated through the rivers of mulled wine and hot cider.