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Healthy eating: Banish the post-Christmas bulge

Start the New Year feeling great, not gluttonous with these simple steps for managed weight loss.

post-Christmas bulge

The post-Christmas bulge is almost inevitable as we put on weight over the holiday season; we don’t exercise as much, we eat way more than we should and the things we do eat aren’t necessarily the best for our silhouette. However, with these tips, we can all limit the damage to our waistlines this Christmas.

Plan ahead

If you’re going out for a celebratory meal or some drinks on an evening, eat less during the day to keep your daily energy intake balanced.

Keep up usual activity levels or exercise habits

People often lose their routines when they’re not at work. Keep up any active habits, or become more active by combining socialising with activities like a walk before lunch or dinner or taking children to a park for a game of football or Frisbee.

Swap your usual alcoholic drinks for lower calorie options

Diet mixers will often cut the energy content of a beverage by half. Alcohol itself is calorie laden so if you can avoid drinking on occasions where you don’t feel you’re missing out that will help too.

Don’t skip breakfast

Have something healthy to start the day. It will make you think more about what you eat during the rest of the day and stop you getting excessively hungry and overeating on unhealthy snacks later.

chocolate treats - post-Christmas bulge
Don’t fill up on chocolate just because it it there.

Only eat the treats you really like

Have the slice of Christmas cake that you enjoy but leave the mince pies there.  There will always be lots of food around at this time of year but remember that you don’t need to eat all of it.

After the usual festive celebration, it’s the traditional New Year’s resolution phenomenon where realisation hits – our clothes have started to feel a little too snug and perhaps, once again, we’ve overdone it during the holiday period.

There’s no need to make the common mistake of trying crash diets that don’t work or following a gruelling self imposed exercise regime that burns out after a few weeks.

Don’t procrastinate

Set a day that the holiday season ends for you and start on your healthy eating plan from then. Put it on the calendar and in your diary now so you can’t forget.

Remove temptation

Very few of us can resist the unhealthy, sweet, tasty food that is readily available after Christmas. Throw away all cakes, pies, biscuits and chocolates that have not been eaten and if you can’t bear throwing food out, give it to someone who will appreciate a late gift.

Set short-term goals

Weight fluctuates all the time but permanent changes are gradual and happen slowly. Weigh yourself no more than once each week and keep a record of it so you can see progress.

Be realistic

Crash diets that promise dramatic weight loss in short time frames rarely live up to their claims. A safe rate of weight loss is up to 1kg (2lb) per week which is desirable but still hard to achieve without severe calorie restriction or excessive exercise. Aiming for ½ kg (1lb) of weight loss per week works well for most people.

Have occasional treats

Many people are very extreme in their approach to dieting but it shouldn’t have to be an all or nothing activity. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the occasional treat or having a night out drinking once in a while.

Begin a sensible exercise programme

Don’t go all out and try to exercise for an hour or more every day in the first week of January. Instead, ease yourself into exercise gradually and build up a regular exercise habit. January is one of the busiest and therefore worst times to join a gym so look into other options. Having a personal trainer visit you at home may not be as expensive as you think and the extra support and advice is likely to get you the results you want far faster than a gym membership.

Practice eating smaller portion

Get into a habit of leaving food on your plate, using smaller crockery or cutlery, weighing portions of things like rice or pasta or putting your knife and fork down between mouthfuls.

exercise partners - post-Christmas bulge
Don’t to it alone – exercise with friends for added incentive and support

Find a friend

Remember you’re not alone. The majority of the UK population gain weight over Christmas and many of us want to do something about it in the New Year. Weight loss attempts are far more successful if we have the right support so ask a friend or two if they would like to join you in your quest for health. You can motivate each other by doing weigh in sessions together, swap recipe ideas and be workout buddies.

If you found Healthy eating: Banish the post-Christmas bulge helpful, we have lots more. For more healthy eating tips visit our Nutrition channel.

Tags: , , Last modified: January 5, 2022

Written by 8:27 am Nutrition, Health

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