Monday, 3 December 2012

Healthy Eating: How to Stay Slim at Christmas

Christmas is definitely one of the hardest times for me to stay on top of my healthy eating and fitness, and from the responses I've had on Facebook, Twitter and from friends I think that a lot of people feel the same!
In my eyes, your attitude is definitely going to be the most important part to help you in your bid to stay slim. Just thinking of simple positive thoughts like "I will stay slim during Christmas" instead of the usual "Everyone puts on weight over Christmas, so it doesn't matter" can make all the difference in keeping a healthy mindset.
I don't want this post to be about denying yourself of the the things that you love during the festive season - no-one wants to feel miserable during Christmas! - but hopefully this will give you all a few tips to help keep you on the right track whilst still being able to treat yourself. Which brings me onto my first point. :)

Be Realistic.

Whilst it would be awesome to be able to say that you lost weight over Christmas, we have to be realistic in our goal-setting or we'll only become disheartened that we're not getting very far. So instead, set yourself a 'maintenance weight' - for example the weight you are currently at today, and aim to keep this weight during the festive period. If you end up weighing less than this at the end of it all then fantastic! - but for me personally, it's much more realistic for me to not put on any more pounds and get back to the serious weight-loss in the New Year!

Parties.

I don't know about you, but I am always rushed off my feet during Christmas with parties, meals and meeting up with friends and family to catch up, exchange pressies etc.

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For me, parties are definitely the biggest temptation to snack on food - especially as half the time I don't even really need to eat. In a bid to counteract this, I've started eating a small meal before I go out. It doesn't have to be massive (don't want to look bloated in your new dress!) but just enough to fill you up and keep you going throughout the night. Try to eat something like a chicken sandwich or wholemeal pasta, which will have lots of complex carbs and protein which will give you energy and keep fill you up.
Drinking water between drinks will also help you keep fuller for longer AND keep hangovers at bay! Win-win right? Obviously not drinking alcohol at all will save your calories for more delicious treats - but if you do fancy a tipple, try to stick to vodka, rum or gin with a diet mixer or soda water to keep the calories lower. Champagne is also pretty low in calories so there's no need to turn down your complimentary glass on arrival! :)
Lastly for parties, don't be afraid to get on the dance floor! If your dancing for a couple of hours on a night out, that's more calories your potentially losing so go bust some moves! #cheese.com

Exercise.

Everyone's expected to be busier than usual in December, but that doesn't mean that exercise has to go completely out of the window - the trick is just planning ahead! Not sure what do to? Here's a few tips to help get you started. :)
If you already have a gym schedule in place, try your hardest to stick to it. More often than not, you won't be busy enough to have literally no time in the day to go, you just might have to be a little more organised with your plans. That said, don't be beaten down if you don't manage to go one day, just try and make up for it when you go next time!
I know a lot of students may have gym memberships at university, but might not have them at home. One of the best ways you can still get round this is to do Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. If you've never heard of it before, it's a home workout DVD that you do every day. Each workout only lasts 20 minutes so it's perfect for if you're short on time! There's three different stages to go through as well, so you won't get bored either. ;)

On The Day.

Don't worry, I'm not going to demand that you go to the gym on Christmas Day! Nor am I going to say that you have to sit their munching on carrot sticks whilst everyone gets stuck into their Christmas Dinner - all I'm going to say is to enjoy yourself and be sensible!
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Christmas dinner has the potential to actually be a pretty healthy meal if it's done right. Turkey is one of the leanest, most protein-filled meats you can eat, so don't be afraid to pile it on your plate! The same goes for all that nutrient-packed veg - especially if it's steamed. :)
While I normally try to stay away from potatoes in my every day life, I can't resist having a couple of roasties on Christmas Day! I'll normally only put a couple on my plate so I can still get the enjoyment without gorging on them! And perhaps the best tip of all - use a smaller plate! Research has shown that people feel fuller quicker by eating from a smaller plate, because it tricks you into thinking you're eating more even though the plate is smaller than the one you usually have. (Am I making sense? I think I'm rambling a little!) And to top it all off, if you want a bit of pudding then have it, but try to have a little serving so you get the flavour without all the calories!

And that's about it for my initial 'How To Stay Slim at Christmas' Post! Do you have any tips or ideas on how you guys keep the weight off at Christmas? If I can get enough, I'll make a compilation post with all of your tips and links to your blogs/Twitter! :)
Have a good December! <3

4 comments:

  1. This is the most perfect post for me right now. Definitely going to be remembering all of these xx

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  2. Really great post, i think you've approached it from a really realistic point of view rather than just not getting involved in Christmas food and being miserable! x

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Sian, hope my tips helped you stay on track over Christmas! :)

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