How to avoid gaining weight at Christmas – simple tips

How to avoid gaining weight at Christmas – simple tips

Avoiding weight gain over the festive period can seem like an almost impossible task, with many Brits struggling to maintain their pre-Christmas weight thanks to the various sweet temptations that are synonymous with this time of year.

According to a study by Wren Kitchens, the average person consumes over 5,000 calories on Christmas Day – over twice the recommended daily average for men, and three times the recommended daily average for women.

With so much unhealthy food and drink stockpiled, and more time than usual spent indoors, it can be hard to keep track of how many calories you’re consuming.

If you are dieting, it can be especially difficult to lose weight at Christmas without feeling like a Scrooge missing out on the festive fun. 

However, the next best thing you can do is to try and maintain your pre-existing weight until the festivities are over, and then fully resume your weight loss objectives in the new year.

To maintain a healthy weight, or encourage weight loss, it is imperative to stay active.

1. Stay active

At Christmas it is easy to fall into a routine of waking up, plonking yourself in front of the TV and getting your daily ‘exercise’ walking to and from the kitchen before retiring to bed at an ungodly hour.

Often people trying to watch their weight envisage the exercise aspect as lifting weights or running miles. Whilst ultimately beneficial, your exercise at Christmas doesn’t have to be that extreme – daily walks ranging from 30 minutes to an hour long are a great foundation for burning calories.

Plus, walks are a nice change of scenery from the inside of your house and a chance to get some fresh air with your loved ones which is also important for your mental health.

It would be incredibly cruel to suggest you must follow a reindeer-esque diet of snacking on carrots this Christmas, but watching what you eat will be beneficial for weight maintenance.

2. Moderation

Obviously the odd snack here or there isn’t the end of the world, but the best things are enjoyed in moderation. Consider tracking your calories using mobile apps so you can keep up with your daily intake – you never know there might be room for a guilt-free mince pie.

Another stumbling block in people’s efforts to maintain and lose weight is portion control. You could be eating the healthiest, most nutritious, meals, but if they are three times the size they should be, you will be consuming a whole load more calories.

A simple psychological trick to combat portion control issues is to use a smaller plate, as they look fuller with less food. Also, as it’s the season of ‘picky bits’ for dinner, avoid grabbing seconds and stick to the single plate.

3. Sleep

Adequate sleep is another often overlooked aspect of healthy weight maintenance, as your body does lots of important work when you’re resting.

Somewhere in the sweet spot between seven and nine hours a night is ideal for adults, which can be especially challenging for those with young children waking up at 4am on Christmas morning.

4. Watch what you drink

Finally, it helps to watch what you drink. Not just alcohol consumption – which again, in moderation, is fine – but also sugary carbonated drinks.

Fizzy drinks are the silent disruptor of weight loss and weight maintenance journeys are they are full of empty calories, meaning you’re consuming calories without receiving any of the benefits.

It is important to remember not to be too hard on yourself at Christmas, and if you are making positive changes, no matter how small, it is a step in the right direction and that everybody’s relationship with their weight is different.

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