With research showing that many of us will consume upwards of 6,000 calories just on Christmas Day it is easy to see how we all tend to gain weight over the holidays.
The truth is that it is so very tempting to overindulge, and we don’t just mean on Christmas Day either.
From the parties on the lead up, to the upcoming New Year celebrations, it is little wonder that many of us choose weight loss as one of our resolutions.
If you value your health it should be said that this overindulgence can put a strain on your health, with that spare tire shown to increase the risk of numerous health conditions.
Of course no one is saying that you cannot have fun, but perhaps if you use the advice given in the following Christmas diet tips you can maintain or even lose weight while still enjoying the festivities.
#1: Plan in advance
If you do not wish to gain weight over the Christmas period then you need to plan ahead.
For any upcoming parties, try to find out what is being served. Ask for a menu, and plan the rest of your day accordingly to limit the damage.
#2: Try to avoid the chocolate
You should buy healthier snacks for your own home, rather than the usual chocolates. Also ask your friends and relatives not to buy you chocolate as a gift.
#3: Fill up on vegetables
It can be easy to overindulge when eating your Christmas dinner so my suggestion to you would be to fill up on vegetables rather than the more unhealthy food choices.
Vegetables are often lower in calories, yet can fill you up. They are also full of nutrients that your body needs.
#4: Grill instead of frying
How you prepare your Christmas dinner can also have an impact on your weight.
For example, frying trimmings like sausages and bacon will add unnecessary calories to them. Try grilling them instead.
#5: Healthy swaps
An easy way to cut calories while still enjoying your Christmas dinner is by simply making a few healthy changes to the food you serve.
For example you could try eating the turkey minus the skin, and have boiled potatoes instead of roasted ones.
#6: Watch those portions
Portion sizes have increased steadily over the years, and this is particularly true around the Christmas and New Year holidays.
If you want to avoid overfilling your plate this simple guide could help you to stick to a healthy portion size:
- Protein (turkey) = Palm sized portion
- High-fat foods = Thumb sized portion
- Vegetables = As many as you like
- Potatoes = One regular potato, or a fish-sized portion is mashed
#7: Remove the lid of the mince pie
An easy way to save yourself a few calories is by simply removing the lid of the mince pie.
There is still the base and the filling to enjoy.
#8: Drink plenty of water
Sometimes we all believe ourselves to be hungry, when the reality is that we are thirsty instead.
The next time you are feeling hungry perhaps have a glass of water to see if the feeling subsides.
Water is also a better option than soft drinks and alcohol, although admittedly not as fun.
Water contains zero calories so can be consumed without affecting your weight, plus drinking it can help to flush out the toxins from your body, therefore helping to give you clearer skin and various other benefits.
#9: Eat more often
This may seem like a strange tip but to keep your metabolism burning continuously then you need to be eating.
Rather than having 1-2 large meals over Christmas, try eating 4-5 smaller meals but at more regular intervals.
#10: Hit the shops
Rather than buying all your gifts online, get up off your bum and go to an actual shop.
All the walking around will certainly help to burn off a few of those calories. You could even leave the car at home and catch the bus, which will ensure you burn off even more.
#11: Go dancing
Don’t be a wallflower at the Christmas party, get up and dance.
Dancing is a great form of exercise that will get your heart pumping and those calories burning.
#12: Play with your children
If you have children then make an effort to play with them. Not only will you be spending some quality time with them, but you will also be burning off some of those excess calories.
There are plenty of fun games that you can play both indoors and out, if you have been lucky enough to have had some snow then now could be the perfect time to go out and build a snowman.
Even if you have no children, you could still play a game or two with your adult friends and family. You don’t have to spend all day in front of the television.
#13: Go for a walk
Rather than slouching on the couch for a few hours post-Christmas meal, instead get up with your family and go for a walk.
If you have children and they have a new bike then this is the perfect opportunity to try it out.
#14: Focus on people, not food
Remember those Christmas parties are meant as a get together with friends and loved ones, you don’t necessarily have to go overboard with the food.
Just try to spend more attention on the people and having fun with them rather than filling your belly.
#15: Host your own party
If you are on a diet and do not wish to eat a tonne of unhealthy foods then I suggest you try hosting your own party.
Doing so will enable you to pick your own healthier foods. Your guests may not even notice the difference if you are clever with your healthy swaps.
#16: Eat prior to the party
If you feel as though temptation may get too much for you and that you are likely to splurge at an upcoming party then my suggestion to you would be to have a light lunch just before you go out.
Doing so will help to ensure you do not become overly hungry when out, and you will be able to enjoy the other aspects of the evening without worrying about food.
#17: Choose wisely
While at the party there are likely to be healthier food choices available.
Of course you will be tempted by the junk food, but if you wish to avoid weight gain then you need to be strong.
#18: Make a weekly resolution
Rather than waiting for the New Year to make a resolution that you probably wont be able to stick to, make a weekly one that you are able to keep.
For instance rather than a complete overhaul of your diet, perhaps decide to try and eat a piece of fruit every day, or to go for a 30 minute walk.
These small resolutions will soon start to add up to some major changes.
#19: Add some spice
Rather than using condiments high in sugar and fat try adding some spices instead for flavour.
Doing so will not only help to cut your calorie intake but will also help to boost your metabolism too.
There are certain spices, for example chilli peppers that can cause a process called thermogenesis to occur, which is when the bodies internal temperature increases along with your metabolism.
#20: Watch your alcohol intake
No one is saying not to drink any alcohol, but you should be aware of what each drink contains.
Beer and cocktails for instance are full of sugar and therefore calories, but vodka has very few.
#21: Sit down to eat
If you are up and about snacking mindlessly then you could inadvertently be consuming many more calories than you may think.
By sitting down and using a plate you will be able to consciously savour each bite, and know exactly what it is you are consuming.
#22: Eat more protein
Protein is slow to digest so is any foods that contain protein will be ideal for anyone attempting to lose weight.
Guess what a good source of protein is, turkey. So fill up on it and you will find that you will stay full for hours.
#23: Try to relax
I know that Christmas can be a stressful time, but too much stress can have a negative impact on your weight.
Stress can mess with the hormones that control your appetite, causing you to overeat, which ultimately will lead to weight gain.
If you are feeling stressed perhaps a little yoga or some meditation could be in order, even a hot bath can do wonders for stress levels.
#24: Get some sleep
If you are lucky enough to get a few days off from work during the holidays then this is a perfect time to catch up on some sleep.
A lack of sleep can affect the hormones that control your appetite, plus when you are tired you are more likely to make a bad decision with your food choices.
#25: Avoid those leftovers
It can be hard to let food go to waste, but if you are serious about losing weight then you should try to avoid finishing off that cheesecake by yourself.
#26: Reward yourself
It is never a good idea to deprive yourself of fun, especially over the holidays. However if you are dieting you may feel like you are missing out.
Instead of rewarding yourself with food, try to reward yourself with a gift, or an activity.
These rewards will ensure you are able to stick to your goals.
#27: Don’t give up
Our final Christmas diet tip is simply to not give up.
Even if you do overindulge one day, this is not the end of the world and is not a reason to quit your weight loss efforts.
We all make mistakes from time to time, and the temptation around Christmas and the New Year can be difficult to resist.
Simply dust yourself off and start the next day afresh.