How to Avoid Weight Gain Over Christmas

Woman getting a slice of cake during Christmas
How can we have fun but avoid (even more) weight gain over Christmas? Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Let’s be honest, we don’t need any more pudding (aka padding) added to the waist line this Christmas. That’s why I’ve put together some simple tips in this article to avoiding weight gain over Christmas.

Yes, it’s Christmas, hooray, a great distraction and some fun to look forward to! It’s chilly out there! The Christmas lights are up, the Christmas songs are on the radio all day, and suddenly we are closer than we think to the ‘Big Day’.

Covid may stop us living normally for Christmas 2020, but we still want to have some FUN. We are PRAYING for some fun at Christmas. Like a kid in a candy shop, just give us a few hours, PLEASE! But let’s be honest, we’ve had 10 MONTHS of being stuck inside either stressed out working from home or bored because you’ve done every possible job around the house twice! The Covid weight gain has not been kind to us, and whilst we like to think of it as well deserved for getting through 2020, we could do with not putting any more weight over Christmas! That’s why I’ve put together some simple tips to avoiding weight gain over Christmas whilst still enjoying the festivities.

Let’s Talk About Exercise First

Old people walking
Photo by Emre Kuzu

It feels like it’s suddenly winter (duh, it is Winter Angela, it’s December), which means it’s tougher to get your exercise in. I’ve been keeping a lot of Hearties active with my Inner Circle classes. We do 3 a week and it certainly warms them up!

Give me a shout if you want to join and I will make sure that your first class is free! I’ve also been trying to get out for an hour long walk every night as even though it’s dark and cold and I don’t feel like it. I soon warm up and feel so much better for it when I get home. Why not give it a try? It will certainly help to avoid weight gain over Christmas.

Some Tips for Walking When It’s Cold

  • Make sure you dress in layers. If you have a heart condition, it’s best to cover your chest, neck, and mouth to keep the cool air away from your chest and lungs.
  • Go out with your partner or meet a friend for safety.
  • Stay close to home and do loops of the area so you can gradually build up the amount you are doing without being too far away from home if you get tired or cold.
  • Start out slow and gradually build up speed.
  • If your chest hurts, slow down. If you suffer from angina, take your spray with you and use it if you get chest pain.
  • You may not be able to walk in the cold at all if you get angina regularly, so please do listen to your body and talk to your doctor if you are getting frequent chest pains.

Healthy and Nutritious Food This Christmas

Plain popcorn with salt
Photo by Mo Abrahim

This year ,we are sadly not hosting 50 of our neighbours for drinks (yes 50!) because of Covid (booooo). When we moved into our street, we started the tradition and we all look forward to it so much! Perhaps I’ll organise a street Christmas Carol singing. Watch this space!

For Christmas this year, there will be lot less people to cater for as we are only spending it with one family (my in laws), so there is a lot less food to prepare. This year, I am on snack duty and will be making some healthy snacks amongst some of the naughtier ones (mini mince pies, chocolates and rum balls!) As snacks are a time killer over this period, I’m trying to keep it healthy and add in as much nutrition as I can. Preparing these in advance will also help to prevent you reaching for the mince pies and chocolates and will help to avoid weight gain over Christmas. I have listed some healthy Christmas snack ideas below.

Healthy Christmas Snack Ideas

  • Vegetable sticks with hummus (carrots, cucumber, and peppers)
  • Bowl of satsumas
  • Plain popcorn with a touch of salt and a sprinkle of chilli powder to add flavour
  • 1/2 cherry tomato, small slice of mozzarella and a basil leaf joined with a toothpick and drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
  • Prawns on a toothpick with a dash of sweet chili sauce
  • Plain almonds (much better for you than salted, roasted, or glazed)
  • Fruit kebabs (a mix of fruit that doesn’t go too slushy is grapes, pineapple, melon and apple)
  • Zucchini slice
  • Mini crustless quiches (these make a great breakfast on the run too if you make a batch)
  • Smoked salmon and cream cheese blinis 
  • Potato, garlic and parsnip stars – these are tasty and cute! 

Other Tips to Keep off Weight Gain Over Christmas

  • Try to exercise every day including Christmas morning. A long walk counts! It’s also a nice way to start the day with your family. If you can get a run in by yourself before the chaos begins, even better!
  • Drink plenty of water, eat fresh fruits, and have a healthy breakfast, so at least one meal is light! 
  • Do not overdo anything. Alcohol, stress (let someone win an argument rather than fighting it!), or food
  • Keep your mind active to prevent boredom which leads to mindless snacking. Play a card game, charades, or celebrity heads (put those big boxes of chocolates away as once you start you won’t stop!)
  • Enjoy a few cheat meals for a day or two and then get back on track. You’ll find it harder to get back into your healthy habits (and you’ll feel bloated and uncomfortable) if you do it the whole week.
  • Don’t buy those huge boxes of celebrations chocolates. You’ll eat so many more than you should just because they are there in front of you!
  • Alter your alcoholic drinks with a water, spritzer, or non-alcoholic versions to reduce calories, sugar, and liver damage (oh and a massive hangover!)
  • Have a mince pie (or 2) but then leave it until next Christmas!

How to Stay Healthy and Lose Weight Gain Over Christmas and Beyond!

Tape measure and weighing scale
Photo by Pixabay

Even though we’ve had a crummy 2020, we still need to look after the most important thing and that is our health! So if you need to lose weight, listen up. Let’s start NOW. Stop putting it off until January 1st, Summer, or when you don’t feel so tired. Let’s just get STARTED!

I’ve put together a  short and sweet list that I’d like you to focus on for the next 2 months.  Try to nail one thing at a time before you move on to the next thing. Ideally, to achieve optimum health and weight, you will be doing all 14 things.  Now most of us do some of these things some of the time, so the last and most important point to follow is to BE CONSISTENT.  Aim to do the below 90% of the time. That means when you do go out for a celebration meal or it’s Christmas lunch, you can have a splurge and it won’t affect your weight or health.

14 Things to Nail, One at a Time

  1. Make sure you are well hydrated (with water). Aim for 2-3 litres per day.
  2. Eat only when hungry.
  3. Stop eating when you are 60-70% full.
  4. Choose real food that doesn’t have added ‘fake’ ingredients and refined oils.
  5. Avoid artificial sweeteners.
  6. Say no to refined carbs like chocolate, biscuits, bread, pasta and sweets.
  7. Sleep more.
  8. Stress less.
  9. Walk lots.
  10. Do weight training.
  11. Moderate your alcohol intake to no more than 2 units per day.
  12. Avoid large amounts caffeine. 1 coffee and 1 tea per day should be your limit, less if you are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine.
  13. Measure your progress regularly.
  14. Reward your hard work with nice things for yourself that don’t involve food. It can be a new outfit, a massage, new shoes, etc.

Leave me a comment and tell me how many of the above you’re already doing to avoid weight gain over Christmas!

If you need help getting started, give me a shout! I’m here to help. I offer a free consultation to go through your current health and concerns, and chat about what’s been holding you back. Let’s beat heart disease and get healthy, bit by bit. Check out my programmes HERE.

Lastly, Merry Christmas and Have Some Fun!

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