Tis the season to be jolly, but you can certainly have too much of a good thing. Overindulgence affects us all at this time of year. The gym in the first week of January is full of gym rats and newcomers trying to blast their post-Christmas belly. But with a little forethought, you can minimise the waistline expansion that plagues us all during the holiday season and enjoy the festivities to the fullest.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO SUFFER HAVING A POST-CHRISTMAS GUT
START YOUR DAY THE RIGHT WAY
Make an extra effort to work out in the mornings. The Christmas parties make getting up early and getting in the gym a challenge, but setting up your day with a workout will help offset the increased calories you are consuming.
DON’T LET THE DRINKS ADD UP
With more holiday parties and special occasions, there will undoubtedly be more alcohol consumed than in other months. But try and keep alcohol as a rare treat.
If you have a Christmas party to go to in the week, then cancel a night of drinking with friends at the weekend. If you are drinking and eating to excess every night of the holiday period, the waistline is going to expand pretty fast.
KEEP TO YOUR USUAL MEAL PLANS
The buffet season is a gastronomic delight. Resist the temptation to skip lunch and save yourself for a big buffet blowout. When you are faced with an abundance of high-calorie foods and you haven’t eaten all day, you are setting yourself up for overeating and adding to the gut.
EAT BEFORE YOU GO TO PARTIES
Snack before you go to parties. One of the issues I struggle with is when it comes to food, I am impatient. I arrive at a party starving, then stuff my face with potato chips, dips, and pastries while I am waiting for the food to arrive.
I don’t even particularly enjoy these foods but I eat out of hunger and impatience. Eat a healthy snack before arriving at the party and cut out these pre-dinner empty calories.
TAKE YOUR TIME ON YOUR FOOD
Eating slower is not only more satisfying but can help with weight loss. It takes around 20 minutes for your brain to emit the signals that your body is full.
Wolfing down food means you will eat more in those 20 minutes and may be ingesting more food than you need because you didn’t realise you were full. Slowing down means you don’t eat more than you need and will help keep the pounds off over Christmas.
MAKE A PLAN FOR JANUARY
Give yourself a set date for when you are returning to a healthy lifestyle. Don’t let the overeating and drinking a daily habit. Set a date and stick to it.
Everyone is allowed to let their hair down and enjoy the holiday spirit, but being mindful and having a strategy will help you minimise the weight gain. The more you keep it in your mind in December, the less work you will have to do in January.