Do you look forward to Christmas but worry about putting on weight from eating all of the delicious food that seems to find its way in to the house? Do you feel guilty, frustrated or out of control when it comes to your food choices and how much to eat?
If the answer is yes to any of the above questions, then you’ll find our 5 top tips super helpful as we approach the Christmas season – albeit a slightly different one for us all this year!
1. Practice Mindful Eating
Often during the holiday season there are lots of palatable foods around, this coupled with being busier than normal and on the move, it can be difficult to keep track of what you have eaten, when and how much. To prevent this, try to eat mindfully, slow down and minimize distractions. Chewing each mouthful at least 20 times and putting your knife and fork down in between bites can help with this, as it can help you recognise your body’s fullness signals (checking in with your hunger scale – image below to help with this) consuming fewer calories as a result. Another great idea here would be to use a smaller plate as people tend to consume larger portions from big plates, which can lead to overeating, a smaller plate is an easy way to control portions.
2. Focus on Protein
Meals during the festive season can often be rich in carbohydrates and low in protein. A good little tip here is to tip the balance more towards higher protein and lower carbohydrates as protein can help promote fullness and balance sugar levels. Protein also helps to increase your metabolism, essential for weight loss and maintenance! Good sources of protein include meat, poultry, fish, some plant foods like beans, lentils and quinoa, and unsalted nuts such as almonds, cashews and nut butters.
3. Get Active with Family and friends
Sedentary activities, such as sitting on the couch watching TV, are common holiday traditions for many families. Although this is great quality time to be sharing together, adding in some form of physical activity together too can prove beneficial for weight control over the Christmas period. Even something as simple as a family walk can get your mind off food and allow you to bond with your loved ones, whilst feeling the benefit of being out in the fresh air.
You can also stay active during the holidays by fitting in some ‘at home workouts’ or heading out for a run. Here is the link to our You Tube channel which includes some quick and easy workouts and Yoga practices that you can do at home without any equipment needed.
There are always ways to make food a touch healthier so why not experiment with cooking and baking. Choose your favourite yummy treat or dish and search for a healthier recipe and give it a try, you might be surprised how delicious it is.
5. Remember food and drink will always be there
If you find yourself responding regularly to thoughts such as ‘I’ll just have one more, because they’re there and that will be it’ when you have already eaten enough, remind yourself that food will always be there, later that evening, tomorrow morning, next week, it will always be around. So when these thoughts come up try turning them around to ‘I would like one but I do feel full so I’ll have one later if I feel like one’. You might find when it comes to ‘later’ you don’t want one after all!
And remember to have fun and be kind to yourself 🙂 Have a wonderful Christmas and we’ll look forward to catching up with you again in the New Year!
Aine & Sarah x