How To Maintain Not Gain at Christmas

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During the Christmas holiday season, I plan to eat and drink and enjoy myself too much.  I adore Christmas for this very reason, and will not be abstaining from a single thing I love (yes chocolate waffles, I'm talking about you!). But that doesn’t mean I want a two week blow-out with a side order of guilt, self-loathing and four extra kilos to see in the New Year with.  With that in mind, here’s five guidelines that I shall be following, that can help you maintain not gain weight at Christmas: Balance.  Eat the things you love when you are socialising and entertaining but balance it out with healthy meals.  So if the social occasion is dinner, have a light, healthy breakfast and lunch.  Two or three days of back to back social engagements?  Balance it out with a fast-day – give your digestion a break, get rid of bloating, get your energy back and reset cravings.

Portion control.  I find that the first few mouthfuls of food are always the best ones.  Having excessively large portions does not increase the level of enjoyment, but rather is counteracted by a combined feeling of yuckyness and guilt.  So have what you want, but keep the portions small.

Drink up!  On water, that is.  We often eat because we think we are hungry when in fact we are just dehydrated.  Have a bottle of water handy at all times and aim for a minimum of 1.5 litres a day.  This will help keep over-indulging in check and will help you remain clear-headed and energised.

Dress to impress.  If you’re thinking of getting out those stretchy pants to make room for more turkey think again!  A great way to avoid overeating is to wear something you feel good in that is slightly snug – you’re much more aware of what you’re putting in your mouth.

Walk.  When normal exercise routines can go out the window at Christmas, walking is a great way to keep moving every day.  It doesn’t matter where you are, at home or abroad or staying with relatives, no special equipment or gym passes are required – just get your trainers on and go.  It will get your metabolism firing, aid digestion and help to burn off some of those excess calories.  It also boosts endorphins – you’ll help ease tension, stress, anger and fatigue that often comes hand-in-hand with Christmas.  And the good news is you don’t have to do it all at once to get the benefits - take 15 minutes in the morning to clear your head and prepare for the busy day ahead.  Then go for another walk after lunch to give an energy boost, or in the evening to unwind.

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