Christmas really isn’t good for the waistline, is it. Party after party, dinner with friends, drinks with colleagues and enormous family meals, plus gifts of chocolates and bottles of wine adds up to a hefty consumption of calorific delights. However, there really is no need to eat so much that you then feel obliged to go on a New Year diet. Here’s some tips to help avoid weight gain over the holiday.
1. Portion Control
There’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy some goodies over Christmas. Just be moderate in your consumption. Stuff your face with unlimited quantities of everything you fancy for days, and of course the scales will protest. But a reasonable portion will still allow you some indulgence.
2. Pick and Choose
What do you like most? Is a meal incomplete for you without dessert, or do you enjoy going out for drinks? Or do you love sauces and dips? Simply pick the option you prefer, and decline the rest. Being selective means that you can still enjoy your favourites without overdoing it.
3. Think Drink
Most people like a drink at Christmas, and that’s fine … as long as it doesn’t turn into several. Alcohol is notorious for its calorie content (never mind its ability to make even the most sober person make a complete fool of themself). So limit your alcohol consumption and you’ll avoid an awful lot of empty calories.
4. One or the Other
Have you been invited to lots of parties? Will you be going out for both lunch and dinner on one or more days? Don’t have two big meals on the same day; if you find yourself with two invitations or are staying at someone’s house, eat smaller portions or a lighter meal at either lunch or dinner.
5. Just Say No
Some hosts are very generous with their food and drink, and continually top up your glass or fill your plate. Consequently, it is very difficult to keep track of how much you’ve consumedDon’t be afraid to pass up a refill or extra serving (but do remember to praise the food, so that the cook doesn’t think you don’t like their efforts).
6. Shop Smart
If you are staying at home, limit what you buy in the supermarket. If you don’t have it, you can’t eat it! On the other hand, if it’s there in the cupboard, it’s tempting to eat it to avoid wasting food, or simply because it’s there. This is especially likely if the product has a short shelf life, as you then feel obliged to ‘use it up’ rather than waste it.
7. Bad Company
Do you have one of those friends or relatives who doesn’t want you to quit smoking as it would make them feel guilty for not having the willpower to stop? This can also happen with food. So watch out for someone who tries to encourage you to eat so that they feel better about their own consumption.
If people are prone to buying you food gifts, tactfully ask if they would mind buying something else, or say that there’s no need to buy anything at all. However, if you have a relative or friend who insists, and you don’t want to appear ungrateful, accept the gift and pass it on to someone else.
What are your own tips for avoiding packing on the pounds over the holidays? Or do you see it as a time for indulgence?
Top Photo Credit: elyliu