Following on from one of my recent Instagram posts about weight loss at Christmas, it became apparent that people really struggle at this time of year. I wanted to outline some incredibly simple but effective ways to tackle Christmas (complete with its lengthy build-up!) when it comes to losing, or even simply maintaining, weight. There are lots of little tricks which I use for myself and clients to help keep weight gain at bay, without missing out on the festivities.
6 Top Tips For Keeping A Healthy Diet This Christmas
Count Your Calories
Whether you’re a strict calorie-counter or not, now is the time to implement a little more focus and get your calorie intake under control. This means that as long as you stick to your target calories, you can switch out a few foods for the odd treat (for example, your usual protein bar might be forfeited for a mince pie or a glass of wine). Of course this isn’t ideal for optimal physical health if you switch out all your healthful foods for the entire month but it definitely does allow for a little more social life and enjoyment. Being ‘in the know’ i.e. understanding your calorie intake and how to manipulate it, will allow you to eat more flexibly without gaining weight.
Bank Your Calories
An easy and effective way to do this is simply to fast. Skip your usual 400 calorie breakfast and your 200 calorie mid-morning snack and eat your first meal at lunchtime. This way, you’re ‘banking’ those calories for a dessert and a Christmas tipple later in the day. If fasting isn’t for you, then consider halving meal portions or dropping fats/carbs for extra vegetables. Using these simple strategies, you can keep your energy balance in check without missing out on the fun bits.
Don’t Be Lured By Coffee
Yeah I said it, and I LOVE coffee. But seriously?! These extra special festive drinks are advertised everywhere and always look so enticing. The calorie and sugar content of them however, isn’t short of shocking. A medium sized hazelnut praline coffee from Costa will set you back by 400 liquid calories and more than 35g of sugar and this is just an extra that you probably wouldn’t normally look twice at. If your usual cappuccino serves you just fine throughout the rest of the year, then why feel the need to give in now? A calorie-free gingerbread syrup could be all you need to make your coffee that bit more exciting.
Stop Saying ‘Screw It, It’s Christmas’
In other words, stop making excuses. Yes it’s Christmas, for ONE day, in many days’ time, so why fall off track now. Why change your lifestyle ‘because it’s Christmas’? Continue with your habits exactly as they are and stay focused on your goals. You’ll hit the ground running come the new year and feel so much better for it!
Embrace The Taste Of Those Brussels
Christmas dinner isn’t all unhealthy – in fact a large portion of it is good for you! Reach for the Brussel sprouts and pile your plate high with parnsips, carrots and the other vegetables that are rich in nutrients for you.
Enjoy That Boxing Day Walk
Simply put, burning more calories means you can eat more. Winning! Remember that ‘bank’ of calories available for your daily spending…by expending more energy, you’re adding money (or extra useable calories) into your ‘bank’ which you get to spend then on the extra treats. Being more active might simply mean getting more steps in each day – a lunchtime walk perhaps, a couple of extra morning cardio sessions a week or an extra 15 minutes of weight-training each day. Turn to high intensity training for maximum reward and remember, every little bit adds up.
Get Help Staying On Track With Your Diet This Christmas
If you need help or further clarification on any of the above then don’t hesitate to contact me. I help clients calculate their energy balance through bespoke plans to help them reach goals and manage their weight and health. I can help you get started and give you that extra support and accountability you need, so get in touch today! Fill in our online contact form or email me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org.