People often gain weight over Christmas
Managing your weight, whether it’s to stay healthy or to lose weight, can be difficult at Christmas time with all the dinners, lunches and festive gatherings.
It is important for people to manage their weight, as gaining unhealthy amounts can be detrimental to your health. Weight gain can be associated with increased risks of diabetes, fatty liver disease and heart disease. Being overweight can also cause high blood pressure, pregnancy problems, sleep apnea and increase signs of ageing among a range of other medical issues.
So, to help you manage your weight over Christmas, we have put together a list of 13 tips to help you do so.
1. Don’t try to lose weight over Christmas, aim to maintain your current weight:
It may be difficult to process the thought that your weight loss journey may be put on hold. You want to see results! But make your goal to not gain any weight over Christmas.
Aiming to manage your current weight over Christmas is the goal, as temptations to drink and indulge in Christmas lunches and dinners are extremely common. Most of us do it until we feel sick.
2. Manage your portions and eat slower:
Make sure to keep track of your portion sizes and the number of dishes you have. If you’re thinking about seconds, wait 20 minutes until the food settles in your stomach, because maybe you don’t really need seconds.
Another great tool for weight loss is to eat slower, as this further gives your body time to register that you are full, resulting in not wanting more, hopefully!
3. Choose healthier options:
Aim for the whole-grains, fruits and vegetables first. Make sure you take these options first, so there is less room on your plate for the unhealthy options.
4. Don’t save your appetite
Make sure to eat responsibly throughout the day. Eating breakfast is important, as this reduces binge eating later on during the day. If you are planning on attending a party or dinner, eating enough beforehand throughout the day is important to stop you from overeating at the event.
5. Are you the chef?
Maybe you are preparing the lunch, dinner or party? Well if so, you are the decider of what foods are being served. This means you are able to create healthier options and use low-fat products and minimise sugar levels where possible. Baking, grilling and steaming foods are great options.
6. Pick protein and fiber:
Picking higher protein foods keeps you fuller for longer and also, protein helps you maintain a healthy weight! High-protein diets boost metabolism and reduce appetite, helping you keep in shape! So, pick fish, chicken, quinoa, lentils, beans and other protein rich foods instead.
High-fiber foods such as fruits and vegetables can keep you fuller for longer!
7. Limit snacking:
People tend to love snacking, and this can be dangerous for weight loss. Especially during the holiday season, unhealthy snacks are most likely going to be there, ready to eat at any minute. Snacking is unnecessary and just a time passer, if you feel the need, snack on something healthier, such as almonds.
8. Limit dessert:
The good news is, during the holiday season, desserts are everywhere. The bad news is, these desserts are filled with sugar, which is why you should stick to your favourite and limit the consumption. There is no need to try every single one.
9. Avoid unhealthy drinks:
We recommend avoiding sugary options such as soft drinks, concentrated juices, energy drinks and certain alcoholic beverages. Alcoholic drinks such as cocktails, sparkling wines, beer and mixed drinks are very bad for your weight.
10. Limit alcohol consumption:
We recommend sticking to 1-2 standard drinks (0 is best) by drinking slower and keeping track of your drinks. It’s also advised to drink water between each alcoholic drink.
11. Drink water:
Water refreshes and flushes our bodies. Our organs, cells and tissues need water to stay healthy and maintain the best bodily functions. Water helps us feel full for longer without adding any calories. So next time you are thirsty, grab a water instead of something else.
12. Maintain a healthy sleep and physical activity routine:
This is important all year round and especially during the festive season when we tend to eat and drink more. Stick to it and get enough sleep and don’t skip days of exercise, ideally get around 20-30 minutes a day.
13. Just say no!
You need to know where to draw the line and just say no if you want to maintain your weight loss or the healthy weight you have worked to achieve.
Dr Stephen Watson is a weight loss surgeon who offers a range of weight loss surgeries, alongside a few other general options. His team is passionate about helping people lose and maintain weight, so that they can live a healthier lifestyle.
If you have any questions or want more information on weight loss and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, please contact the team here.