What are Christmas holidays? The bright lights, garlands, fun and a festive table with many delicious dishes. Original salads, delicious desserts, coquito flowing – everything motivates to relax and … gain a few extra pounds.
Looking forward to every Christmas feast, we involuntarily shudder, thinking about the weight gain and the upcoming exhausting diet. This time, things can be completely different if you try to follow our simple and effective tips during the long winter celebrations. Here’s how to celebrate Christmas without harming your figure and handle holiday weight gain.
Overcome Your Stress-Eating
Not all holidays evoke positive emotions. As for Christmas holiday weight gain, average numbers are one to five pounds. Someone is stressed because they do not have time to buy gifts, prepare for the celebration, or finish all work. Besides, the overall situation adds many worries. Many people feel lonely because they have to spend Christmas alone due to different reasons. Finally, some are anxious about meeting with relatives and uncomfortable conversations at the festive table.
“You haven’t married yet?” or “We wish you a good job next year”. Even being said without malicious intent, these phrases cause anxiety and are the reasons for weight gaining during holidays. So as you put your next bite on your plate, ask yourself, are you really hungry, or are you trying to overcome anger, sadness, anxiety, and stress?
Consider in advance what situations can throw you off balance and cause emotional overeating, holiday weight gain, and bloat. Prepare yourself mentally for them. If you find yourself calming down with food, don’t blame yourself. It will get worse this way. Just promise that you will try to be more mindful of food next time.
Don’t Promise Yourself to Starve After Holidays
This approach is fundamentally wrong and sets you up for the absence of any restrictions. Even if you try to control yourself, you will eat less. But the thought of dieting after the holidays will force you to stuff yourself every time.
Keep the One-Time Rule
If you are going to a big family celebration or a friendly dinner, promise yourself to try all the dishes, but only once and in small amounts. If you especially like a certain snack, ask for a recipe or ask for a takeaway piece. So you have a chance to get up from the table without the feeling of heaviness in the stomach and avoid weight gain during the holiday season.
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Do Not Fast Before Holiday Dinner
Eating nothing all day before Christmas Eve is the worst thing you can think of. If you get really hungry, you will eat much more, and you can provide yourself with digestive problems. Better to eat all day as usual, and an hour before dinner, eat something light (yogurt, vegetable salad with olive oil, an egg or apple) and be sure to drink a glass of water.
Be Careful With Alcohol
At least, do not drink on an empty stomach. Not everyone can completely abandon alcohol on holidays. Alcohol is weight-gaining not only for its calories but also for the fact that it stimulates appetite, retains fluid in the tissues, and reduces alertness. What kind of conscious approach to food can we talk about after a couple of glasses?
In order not to lose your head and to reduce holiday weight gain, limit yourself to dry wine and champagne (they have fewer calories), say no to liqueurs, cocktails, and spirits. Drink in small sips, alternating a glass of wine with a glass of water. And remember that it is unhealthy to go in for sports the day after serious alcohol abuse.
When choosing a drink, keep in mind that spirits are not only high in calories but also increase your appetite. Besides, you get drunk faster from strong drinks, and, unfortunately, you lose your vigilance, including the amount eaten. To reduce the effect, eat a couple of olives or a slice of cheese before raising the glass.
Photo by Kelsey Chance on Unsplash
Do Not Hurry
Don’t lean on food like it’s your last meal! During the holidays, you will have many opportunities to taste a wide variety of dishes. Enjoy the aroma and beautiful performance. Think about what you want to try first and what you can do to prevent holiday weight gain. For example, why lean on bread and potatoes at the Christmas table? You can also eat them anytime. Give preference to fish and meat (not processed), vegetables, and fruits.
It takes 20 minutes for our brain to feel satiety. Therefore, eat sensibly, chew everything thoroughly. Try to communicate more – talking with a full mouth is difficult.
Avoid Fast Carbs
White bread, bakery, sweets, and soda contain simple carbohydrates. They break down quickly, our blood sugar rises, but as a result, we will soon feel like eating again. It is better to give preference to complex carbohydrates: whole-grain bread, brown rice, quinoa.
Instead of carbs, remember to include fats in the diet, as they provide energy and promote the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Healthy fats are found in fatty fish, seeds, olive oil, nuts, and avocados. Don’t forget to add them to salads: fiber and fats enhance each other’s health benefits.
Denying yourself a particular food will only make you want to eat it even more. Try a few bites, and to avoid overeating, consider a pleasant holiday activity, for example, open gifts, watch your favorite Christmas movie or make a snowman. You will be distracted, and the desire to eat something tasty will diminish.
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It is not so easy to quickly get off the routine of festive culinary abundance: once we get used to eating certain foods, and in large quantities, we cannot immediately convince the body that it is not actually hungry.
When seduced by another impressive dish, don’t get discouraged and don’t stop getting in shape. The main thing is to set a general direction and gradually return to a healthy, balanced diet. Don’t judge yourself too harshly, try to reduce your holiday weight gain guilt, and give yourself another chance.