I'm sure weight gain isn't on your Christmas list this year. Follow my 10 steps below to avoid piling on the pounds during the festive period...
1. BE SMART WHEN SNACKING
When treats are easy to access, unnceccesary snacking is more likely to occur. We've all been there - sat in front of the TV, eating until we feel like we're about to burst. Simply keep treats out of sight - out of sight, out of mind. If you don't trust yourself, don't buy them!
2. KEEP AN EYE ON LIQUID CALORIES
Alcohol and fizzy drinks can be highly calorific, yet a lot of people don't take this into account over the festive period. These beverages can contribute a significant amount of sugar and empty calories, which can lead to weight gain. If you enjoy a short with a mixer, try something lower calorie such as gin and slim line tonic. If you are trying to control your weight, limit liquid calories. It's as simple as that.
3. KEEP ACTIVE WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY
Inactivity may contribute to weight gain. At Christmas time, sitting around is often accompanied by an excessive amount of food and drink. Use this time to catch up with family and friends and so something other than eating and drinking! Go for a long walk or pick a fun activity.
4. USE A SMALLER PLATE
People tend to consume larger portions off of large plates - fact! This can lead to overeating and over time, cause weight gain. Use a smaller plate and trick your mind into thinking that you have consumed more than you have.
5. KEEP YOUR "NEAT" HIGH
NEAT = Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. Set a daily and weekly step goal and stick to it. There's no reason why your step count should be lower during the festive period. Especially if you are off work, use this time to keep active and get fresh air.
6. RETURN TO YOUR USUAL EATING ROUTINE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
It's easy for Christmas Day and Boxing day to turn into a full week or even 10 days of overindulging and lounging about. Suddenly you've put on an unnecessary 5lb and feel dreadful. By all means, enjoy yourself during the festive period and if you generally stick to a clean and strict diet, perhaps relax it a little bit. But don't use this period as an excuse to eat anything and everything in sight!
7. SKIP SECONDS
You're at a family party and there's a huge buffet in front of you. Calories from double (and treble!) helpings can contribute to weight gain. Assess your hunger when you finish the first plate and leave it a while. Don't just eat food because it's in front of you.
8. DRAW THE LINE
People often have a "I'll start tomorrow" or "new year, new me" mentality, which can lead to unhealthy habits. If you are serious about controlling your weight, set limits for yourself and simply take control of your consumption. Stay accountable.
9. KEEP TRAINING
Don't abandon the gym just because it's the festive period. No access to a gym? Do a simple but effective HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout at home. Check out my Instagram for inspiration - these workout can still be just as effective with no equipment. Keep up your weight training and cardio during the festive period.
10. KEEP MEALS BALANCED WITH PROTEIN
Food during the festive period is typically rich in carbs but low in protein. Include protein with every meal - it is beneficial for weight loss and maintenance. As a general rule, aim for between 0.7-1g protein per pound of bodyweight.