• Monika PP


Christmas is coming and for many people at this time of year we associate it with enjoying food, treats, alcohol etc. a little too much. At the same time all the sport activities are put on hold and this will bring consequences in January. Boo, again! :-D

BUT! Maybe we could enjoy Christmas time with all the delicatessen without gaining weight and feeling frustrated in January.

Here are a few tips that could help you maintain your weight during Christmas holiday.

1. Mind-set

Imagine a following situation:

It is the 2nd of January, you can hardly zip up your jeans, close the buttons on your top or catch your breath when you go upstairs, you avoid looking in the mirror and there is a plan in your head - today is a new beginning, healthy food, no alcohol, exercise again... Sounds good, except that you are so frustrated being in this situation again and again that you cannot find motivation to follow this plan.

NOW imagine a different situation:

It is the 2nd of January, you dress in your favourite clothes and you feel great because you can zip everything easily again and no button flies away. You hear your friends and colleagues complaining about the weight gained during Christmas and you are happy that you do not have this problem. You feel proud because you found your way to enjoy the festive season full of temptation and at the same time you managed to stay healthy and maintain your weight.

Well, first make your decision based on how you want to feel after Christmas. If you decide to go for the second option, start to visualize this from now on. If you need more motivation put a favourite picture of yourself with the body that you like on the fridge or on the bedside table. You can also motivate yourself with your favourite clothes that you want to wear for The New Year’s Celebration.

Stay focused. You want this, you will get this!!!

2. Eat regularly but not constantly

Make sure you eat on a regular basis. If you keep your body without food intake for many hours (six, seven hours) you will get so hungry that you will hardly control the portion on the plate. The body will also store some of the energy into the fat storage (doesn’t matter if the choice was healthy or unhealthy). Simply the body will store the energy for the next fasting.

But make sure you do not eat constantly either - avoid any calorie intake between meals including sweet or milky drinks. The body will not use the energy from the fat storage if there is food in your stomach all the time. You should always feel a little bit hungry before you eat your next meal.

3. Enjoy what you eat

To feel satisfied we should always eat food that we really like. In that case we will not be on the lookout for treats and feel peckish all the time.

4. No need to fear the carbs

You don’t need to avoid carbohydrates (bread, cereals, rice, pasta, potatoes) to maintain your weight if you stick with few simple rules.

1. Eat more carbohydrates in the first half of the day.

2. Skip carbohydrates in the evening or eat only a small amount. Eat more vegetables instead.

3. Do not eat a big portion of carbohydrates at once.

4. If possible, choose wholegrain carbohydrates.

5. Give up sweet drinks, drink water instead

Save the calories for food. Water or herbal tea with no sugar is the best way how to keep your body hydrated.

6. Treat yourself but…

It is better to stick with healthy or moderate diet for couple of days and then have a day/night when you treat yourself to a glass of wine or piece of cake.

You will not put on weight because of one night of letting lose.

Next day, start with a healthy breakfast and continue with healthy choices during the day, go for a long walk and you will be ok.

7. Do not starve yourself before a party

If you go partying in the evening do not keep yourself hungry the whole day. It would only cause overeating and it would store as fat. Eat in moderation during the day and if possible, follow the next advice.

8. Strength training will help you to burn off your sins

It would be great if you had a chance to go to the gym and do a proper workout. If you do not like the gym environment or there is no gym around, you can do a few exercises at home especially for the big muscle groups. Do some squats, lunges, push ups, abs exercises, do not forget about your back too. If you are unsure which exercises to do, you can easily find some ideas on Youtube if you search for home strength training.

9. Eat nutrients not empty calories

Eat enough vegetables, fruits (in the first half of the day), wholegrain carbs, enough protein, nuts and seeds, olive oil, coconut oil, fermented food… You will feel satisfied and will not look for treats. If you eat empty calories, you feel like eating all the time, because your body is looking for nutrients and you keep giving it only empty calories.

10. Skip a dessert after main meal

Eating sweet treats after main meal is a bad habit to have. It causes weight gain, however you can have this treat with your morning coffee.

11. Enjoy your treats

If you decided to treat yourself to a glass of wine or a piece of your favourite cake, enjoy it to the fullest. There is no point in feeling guilty or frustrated. It would only make you feel down and you would be more likely to give up on your goal. It doesn’t matter how 5 % of your diet looks like, just make sure that the other 95 % are ok.

12.When you feel like stopping think about why you started

We all have good days and bad days when we feel down and we want to give up on healthy eating. Do you have days like this? When that happens you should always try and pick yourself up by doing something that brings joy into your life. Spend time with your friends, go outside, make sure you eat good food that you like and also exercise will make your body produce the hormones of happiness.

Even if you find it hard at the time try and think positively – your thoughts are your choice.

13. Stay active

If you do not get a chance to exercise as much as you normally would, even going for a walk counts. Everyday walk will be beneficial for your body and also for you mind.

I hope it helps anyone who need that little motivation or a kick in the right direction to get through the season of temptation.

I wish you all Happy and Healthy Christmas! :-)

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