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How to Prevent Weight Gain Over Christmas…

19/12/2017
How to Prevent Weight Gain Over Christmas…

So Christmas is nearly here, personally I can’t wait! I’m looking forward to getting all warm and snuggly, sitting by the Christmas tree, watching films like ‘Home Alone’ and eating my bodyweight in turkey and mince pies!

In this post i’m not here to lecture you, quite frankly unless you’re an athlete or your livelihood depends on keeping trim I would encourage you to let your hair down and have fun. It’s definitely not the best time to start dieting! We’ll save that for the new year!

That said there’s a BIG difference between gaining a few pounds compared to gaining a stone (14 lbs!). If you’re not careful you can get yourself into a ‘right kerfuffle’ and in January you end up feeling like a sluggish, flumpy couch potato!

I’m all for enjoying yourself and eating some treats but you can still do this without gaining a CRAZY amount of weight!

Here are a few things to consider to prevent this from happening…

#1 Christmas Food…

how to prevent weight gain at christmas

What’s your favourite…Quality streets or Celebrations? Personally I prefer Celebrations, I could quite easily devour an entire box in less than 30 minutes (excluding all the Bounty one’s…YUK!).

It’s not only the chocolate at Christmas, but the mince pies, Christmas pudding, roast potatoes, crisps, wine, beer – basically anything with a gaaaazzilion calories in it!

It’s incredibly easy to use Christmas as an excuse to overindulge…

“It’s Christmas I can let my hair down”

“I’ll start my diet in January!”

These are just a few of the ways we justify to ourselves eating so much. For most people there’s a powerful association between food and Christmas. This has been conditioned into us from a young age…

One of the things I remember as a kid was seeing all of my family passed out and slumped on the sofas at  5pm – comatosed from too much food! Then an hour later…”who wants some Turkey sandwiches?”

A Trillion calories later and you feel awful! lol!

Really when it comes down to it most people enjoy Christmas because…

  • It’s a time to spend time with friends and family
  • A break from work (if you’re lucky!)
  • Good TV
  • Laughter
  • Fun Games
  • A time to give gifts
  • People are largely in good spirits (except the Scroogies who can never be pleased!)

Now i’m not saying food doesn’t also compliment the above, it can, but in the grand scheme of things it’s pale in significance to what really matters. Given the choice i’m sure most of you prefer spending time with friends and family over the good food (i hope so anyway!). Although this isn’t a choice you have to make it does put things into perspective and makes you realise food is a very small part.

You can still enjoy nice tasty, high calorie foods without wolfing them down like you’ve not eaten for 3 months!

When eating take your time, eat slowly, and actually taste the food you are eating. It’s so incredibly easy to mindlessly eat. Before you know it you’ve polished of 1,000 calories of biscuits without even realising! When you’re eating, take your time, chew your food properly – this will help with digestion and prevent bloating. You’ll also feel much fuller and likely eat less.

#2 Stay Active…

walk to burn calories

One of the things that makes the pounds pile on faster is that people around Christmas tend to sit around more. One of the most important things to do is just ‘get up’ and be active.

Whether that’s going for a long walk in the Peak District or a small walk around the block – it doesn’t matter! Just get moving.

Another way to stay active is to play games like Twister or Charades, anything which involves movement.

For those of you who are already into a good routine of working and are up for challenge you could try the ALPHABET WORKOUT GAME

Here’s some popular types of exercise and the calories they burn per hour…

calories burned for cardio exercise

#3 Alcohol Choices…

low calorie alcohol choices

I don’t know about you but I will certainly be having some prosecco and a few whiskey and cokes over the festive period! I’m looking forward to getting merry and chillaxing!

There’s no harm in enjoying alcohol but not all alcohol is equal when it comes to calories…

Wine (1 glass) 

  • Red Wine (250ml) = 214 cals
  • White Wine (250ml) = 211 cals

Spirits (single shot) 

  • Vodka = 64 cals
  • Whiskey = 65 cals
  • Gin = 72 cals

Beers, Lager, Ciders (1 pint)

  • Stella = 227 cals
  • Guiness = 125 cals
  • Carling = 138 cals
  • Strongbow = 239 cals

Misc:

  • Prosecco (1 glass) = 80 cals
  • Champagne (1 glass) = 95 cals
  • Bucks Fizz = 89 cals

You can see that spirits are a more friendlier calorie choice – but remember the devil is always in the dose! You’d be better off having 2 pints (approx 350 cals) than 5 double whiskey and cokes (approx 650! excluding the Coke!). With spirits choose diet mixers to slash the calories down further. For example a can of coke contains 139 cals, compared to diet coke which only contains 1 calorie.

Thanks for reading, I hope you have a FANTASTIC Christams and if you have any questions realting to health and fitness please get in touch!

fitness writer Nick Screeton owner of LEP Fitness

Nick 🙂

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