Tips to avoid weight gain this Christmas

  1. Exercise. Walk every opportunity that you can over Christmas.

People who walk report that they have more confidence, feel better about themselves, are more alert and have better sleeping patterns. This can help use up those extra calories!!

      2.   Eat before drinking and celebrating.

Skipping breakfast or lunch in order to “save your appetite” probably isn’t the best weight-maintenance tactic. Stick to a reasonably sized breakfast with plenty of protein, which will keep you fuller longer and temper the urge to over eat later.

      3.  Eat and chew slowly.

Eating slowly may not be easy when appetizer options are endless, but it pays off to pace yourself. The quicker we eat, the less time the body has to register fullness. So slow down and take a second to savour each bite of baked brie or scoop of spiced nuts.

        4. Sneak in the veggies.

Munching on vegetables has long been recognized as a way to protect against obesity. Eat plenty of vegetables at meal times in order to fill up and avoid over-indulging on less healthy foods at other times of the day.

        6. Just say no.

Though your relatives may encourage overeating by shoving seconds onto a cleaned plate, it’s OK to respectfully decline. “I’m full” or “I’m taking a break” should be enough for friends and family members to back off (and give you time to decide if you’d really like more).

         7. Wait before grabbing seconds.

Like we’ve mentioned, the quicker we eat a meal, the less time we give our bodies to register fullness. Since it takes about 20 minutes for the brain to get the message that dinner’s been served, it’s best to go for a walk or chat with friends before dishing up seconds.

            8.Take it easy on the white stuff.

Simple carbs are often the white stuff–white bread and refined sugars (sweets). These foods provide energy, but often lack the same nutrients as complex carbohydrates. In general, the body breaks down simple carbs more quickly than the complex kind, which creates a spike in blood sugar (insulin) that can leave us feeling hungrier, faster. Stick to complex carbs (whole-grain bread, brown rice, or quinoa) and stay full on healthy proteins.

            9. Beware of booze.

Not only does alcohol add unnecessary, empty calories to your diet, but getting boozy has another effect on us, too. Drinking can make us feel hungrier so we eat more.

10. Cave into cravings.

Finally, a suggestion we can all get behind. It’s smart to acknowledge a few cravings instead of pushing them away completely. Allow yourself set days when you may relax your food standards a little say Dec 24th, 25th, 26th and Jan 1st. Then get back on track the other days. Forbidding a specific food or food group during the holiday season may only make it more attractive.

11. Dream a little.

Still want more of that apple pie after a couple of bites? Try thinking of your favourite holiday activity, like opening presents, watching Christmas movies, or playing in the snow. Research shows that daydreaming about pleasant activities or distracting yourself with just about any activity can reduce the intensity of food cravings.