The Fool-Proof Guide To Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

Lyndi Polivnick

Dietitian

Silly season is notoriously a troublesome time for weight gain. So, how do we prevent the kilo creep and still enjoy some overindulgence? The Nude Nutritionist to help manage your weight over the festive season.

healthyholidaysImage via pinterest

1. Make healthier choices a priority

– Avoid arriving at a party ravenous. The science suggests that when you are overly hungry, you are more likely to turn to sugar and refined carbs to boost your energy. To prevent overindulging, keep a healthy snack on hand to relieve extreme hunger. A piece of fruit or handful of nuts are convenient snacks to keep in your handbag, perfect for refuelling before a buffet or cocktail party.

– At the cocktail party, choose sushi or seafood instead of the mini spring rolls and fill up with fresh foods before heading for the fried options. Stand further away from where waiters enter the room carrying food platters. When food is ‘out of sight’, it is usually ‘out of mind’.

2. Adopt mindfulness

– At festive occasions, it is easy to lose track of alcohol consumption which is not only unhealthy, but can be embarrassing. Before an event, be mindful and identify how many beverages you would like to consume. Alternate between drinking alcohol and water. This will help manage the amount of alcohol you consume and avoid feeling hungover in the morning.

– Instead of eating mindlessly, listen to your body’s natural eating cues and eat to 80% full. Ask your self ‘Am I hungry?”. This is the perfect cue to help prevent over-eating.

– To avoid getting sucked into a black hole of champagne and canapés, set your intention to make healthy choices before an event or party. Expect there will be plenty of junk food options available at your function or party.

3. Plan ahead

– If you’re meeting colleagues for a celebratory meal, enquire about the menu or search online. Decide what you would like to eat before you arrive to avoid peer pressure or comfort eating.

– Every office has a diet saboteur who brings in biscuits, cakes and other unhealthy foods making it hard to say no. If you can speak to HR or your office manager about implementing a healthy workplace policy for the new year. Keep fresh foods in the fridge like a small tub of yoghurt or fruit to drown out the junk.

– When faced with a buffet, conduct a quick scan of the options available. Identifying your ‘must have’ items before plating up will ensure your portions are reasonable and you still get to enjoy the food you want. Use a smaller, side plate to dish up in order to manage portion size and help you feel more satisfied will less food.

– Contrary to popular opinion, you do not need to drink alcohol at every festive occasion. Alcohol is carcinogenic, contains a lot of energy, will increase your appetite and slow down your metabolism. Too much alcohol also impairs judgment, so you are more likely to make bad choices. To skip the peer pressure from friends or colleagues, ask the bartender for sparkling water in a champagne glass. Your colleagues will be none the wiser.

– When dining at home, have alcohol free nights and opt for a lighter meal such as salad or grilled fish to help balance out extra indulgences.

4. Avoid extreme diets and detoxes

Most of us gain weight over the holiday period however many don’t lose all the weight, leading to slow and steady weight gain over time. A large percentage of weight gain can be explained just by the 6 week holiday period. As it can be very easy to become complacent and fall into bad habits, it is important to bring down your weight along with the Christmas tree.

– It can be tempting to restrict, diet or cut out all your favourite foods after the holiday season. However, balance and moderation are so important when it comes to shifting the weight – and keeping it off. In reality, 95% of dieters end up heavier than when they first started. This is because diets leave you feeling deprived and more likely to binge when you have a bad day.

– Diets and detoxes have an expiration date meaning that when you achieve your Instead of using extreme solutions, return to your normal eating patterns as soon as possible and your weight will also return to normal.

– I often ask my clients “Is this something you could do for the rest of your life?”. If the answer is no, then we find an alternative strategy.

Feature image via pinterest

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