Christmas - for many a time of family, fun and food. Too much food! How do you still enjoy Christmas without piling on those festive pounds? Well, you’ll be pleased to know that you don’t have to beat yourself up if you have a mince pie or some chocolate. In fact, you can make a big difference by just being a wee bit more mindful.
Here are my five festive survival tips:
1: Mindset - avoid self sabotage. What and when you eat is up to you. Overate one day? No problem, wake up the next day and start again. Aim to be just a little better than you were yesterday.
2: Nutrition - have healthier alternatives - choose fresh over processed foods and aim for as close to the natural product as possible. For example - fresh crudites with hummus are lower in calories and more nutrient dense rather than highly processed foods such as mini sausage rolls, quiches etc.
3: Calories from liquids - be mindful of how many calories you consume from liquids such as alcohol, fizzy drinks, fruit punches, mulled wine etc. The body doesn’t detect them the same way as it would solid food so they don’t suppress hunger or help with satiety. And often we don’t count them or compensate for them by eating fewer calories.
4: Move more - Get out and play in the snow, go for a walk, join the kids for a game of twister, take the dog for an walk... offer to take the neighbours dog for a walk(!), go to the gym, just move. This will help burn calories during the day.
5: Whatever you eat - eat slowly and only to 80% full - listen to your hunger and fullness cues and you will find it easier not to overeat. It takes 20 mins for the brain to register satiety levels so giving it a chance for this to happen will ensure you don’t overeat and thereby consume less.
See! It’s achievable. Whilst we all have to be aware of our weight don’t become obsessed with it either. Healthiness is not about starving yourself or committing to run a marathon. These five simple suggestions will make you feel better.
Adele Crothall is a personal trainer.