Well, there’s good and bad news.
The bad news first.
Studies show that if you gain weight over the holidays, you tend not to lose it in January.
Despite our resolutions to change, statistics are not on our side because the majority of NY’s diets do not work.
The good news… festive season weight gain is not inevitable!
You really can enjoy the holidays without gaining weight with these 7 tips.
1. First, STOP giving yourself ‘permission’ to put on weight
There’s nothing like the stress of Christmas shopping and plentiful festive treats to bring out our negative internal chatter.
“Oh Lordy, I’m guaranteed to put on 5kgs over Chrissy!!!”
If you give yourself ‘permission’ to put on weight over the holiday – guess what? You will!
Instead, make a commitment to eat mindfully, slowly and enjoy every mouthful.
Once you make that commitment, nourishing decisions are easier.
2. Move your body every day
Our bodies were designed to move and being sedentary makes our metabolism sluggish.
Why not commit to 15 minutes of movement every day? Have a dance or play tennis with your cousins or get the garden in tip-top condition.
The key is to keep it simple and get your body moving – even a 10-minute stroll does wonders for your body.
You’ll relieve stress, offset holiday weight gain, and get yourself in a terrific routine for 2017.
HEADS-UP: Do be active, but don’t use it as an excuse to eat double portions. The “I walked an extra block so that I can have an extra serve of pudding” logic results in weight gain.
3. Connect with family and friends NOT food
Instead of focusing on the food and drink, focus on connecting with the people gathered around.
When we connect with people, we change the biochemistry in our body. During social engagement with loved ones, the good-feeling hormone oxytocin is increased, which decreases our desire for food.
4. Never go to a party hungry.
It’s tempting to forego food before the party, don’t! Instead, have a snack before going out, so you don’t show up famished and overdo it on the treats. If you go to a party hungry, you will eat more food than if you ate a handful of nuts before arriving.
5. It’s OK to say “no.”
You don’t have to try everything. Just because Nana made it, doesn’t mean you have to eat it. Choose your favourites – and savour the smell, textures and flavours. Eat slowly and mindfully so you feel fuller with less. Remember it’s okay to say, “No, thank you, maybe later.”
6. Drink water. All. Day. Long.
You’re probably eating more foods with salt and consuming more alcohol around the holidays, so it’s even more important to keep your body hydrated. Start your day with some lemon water and keep sipping water throughout the day.
7. If you do overindulge, forgive yourself!
It’s impossible to put on a substantial amount of weight from one meal with all the trimmings. So if you know you overdid it, ease up on yourself and don’t use it an excuse to throw in the towel.
Wishing you all happy, healthy holidays!
Love etc, Avril