We all know what’s just round the corner – Christmas! Avoid having a lot of catching up to in January with our seven top tips, helping you avoid packing on the pounds!
#1 Don’t eat junk food for the sake of it
Everyone ends up at family dinners and Christmas parties over the festive season. We aren’t saying you shouldn’t enjoy yourself, eat some mince pies, cake or a handful of chocolates.
But if you’re sitting in your pyjamas watching Home Alone, don’t have a tub of celebrations on your knee because you’ll find yourself surrounded by hundreds of empty wrappers feeling sick and a little guilty. There’s a difference in ‘treating yourself’, allowing yourself foods you enjoy and binging on huge amounts of food because ‘that’s what Christmas is about’. Try and avoid the latter!
#2 Exercise more in the run up to Christmas
This will help you increase your caloric requirements, meaning you’ll be less likely to store any extra calories as fat, but the extra calories might even help fuel your performance and muscle gain. A more short term approach is to exercise with higher volume the day, or days before, a big meal. This depletes muscle glycogen so there is more “room” for the incoming meal and the calories from it to go before they get stored as fat.
However, be careful! Don’t fall into the trap of excessive exercise out of guilty. That’s not a place anyone should be in.
#3 Keep your protein intake high
Protein makes you feel full, which reduces the amount of food you will likely eat before you feel full. Good sources of protein include lean poultry/meats, low fat yoghurt, fish and whey protein powder.
#4 Load up on the veggies!
As well as protein, high fibre, low caloric foods like green veggies will keep you full without consuming the calories! If you hate veggies MyProtein do a “Superfood” bag, which is an unflavoured, powdered blend of fruit and veg which can be easily hidden in meals and even shakes.
#5 Keep a positive attitude!
Whatever you do, do not adopt the “Ah screw it” attitude! Don’t think that if you have a little junk, you may as well eat more. 250 calories from a mince pie or a handful of chocolates will not make you fat. The rest of the tub or pack however, will.
#6 Liquid still has calories…
Be aware of liquid calories! Alcohol often plays a big part in Christmas celebrations. A pint of cider comes in at over 200 calories, so it doesn’t take many to start racking up! On the other hand, a single vodka and diet coke is only around 55 calories. There’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a few drinks without causing unwanted weight gain. But obviously we aren’t advocating drinking in excess!!
#7 Drink a pint of water 10 mins before a meal
This reduces any false hunger signals you might get from being thirsty. It will also take up space in the stomach and reduce the amount of food you can eat before feeling full.