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Avoiding Festive Weight Gain

December 31, 2013

By Tom Hutchison  

It’s that time of the year again; the season of joy and cheer is upon us when friends and family gather for food and drink festivities. But as many of us know, it can easily become a season of weight gain too. In fact, the British Dietetic Association says that the Christmas period can result in an average of 5 pounds of weight gain - nearly half a stone! And it’s no great surprise, what with all the Christmas and New Year parties, the booze and nibbles, and all of the expansive Christmas meals, let alone the mince pies and chocolates.

After all, Christmas only comes around once a year and is a great excuse to indulge a little. But then the New Year comes around and expanded waistlines replace all the joy and cheer. But it doesn’t have to be that way, below are some tips on how to keep the winter weight gain away.

Santa claus working out at the gym with trainer

Choose Your Booze

At some point this Christmas you’ll be having a drink or two, be it an alcohol-fuelled office party or a glass of champagne on Christmas day, it’s just inevitable. We all know that alcohol is quite calorific, but there are some drinks that are less calorific than others. The festive mulled wine, with all of its added sugar, is packed full of calories, so stick with a normal red wine. Adding some fizzy water to your white wine and making a spritzer is another great way to cut the calories. Drinking water in between each drink can also help to moderate this as well. You should also try to avoid all of those creamy and sweet liquors as they’re chock full of calories.  

Dance the Night Away

It’s your Christmas party and the music will no doubt be cheesy, but that’s no excuse not to dance. So don’t stand next to the table full of party food, hit the dance floor and pull some wonderfully embarrassing moves. Dancing is a great way to burn calories, and it’ll distract you from the food and the drink too.  

Eat Before the Party

Going to a Christmas party on an empty stomach would be a bad idea for your waistline. Eat healthily before hand so you don’t fill up on fatty party food, such as sausage rolls, cakes and alike.  

Turkey, Turkey, Turkey

You will probably be sick of it by the end of Christmas, but turkey is a good source of protein and is low in fat, so eating a lot of it isn’t a bad thing. Just avoid the skin, as that is where the most fat is.  

Look at the Label

There can be a lot of difference in calories between different products, especiaslly when they are sold at different supermarkets, so do a little bit of research to help you keep the weight off. For example, a Greggs sweet mince pie contains 283 calories, while a Tesco’s Finest mince pie contains 259 calories, and Sainsbury’s sage and onion stuffing contains 66 calories per 50g, while Paxo sage and onion stuffing contains 58 calories per 50g. The differences may seem small, but every little helps.  

Keep the Chocolate Box Closed

We are usually surrounded by boxes of chocolate at Christmas, so keep no more than one open at a time, and make sure you share with those around you, therefore there will be less off them to be tempted by. The chocolate won’t go off for ages, so you don’t have to rush to finish them!  

Monitor the Mince Pie Consumption

As nice as they are, at about 250 calories each, mince pies are not the friendliest of things when trying to lose weight. So try to avoid them, but if that’s not possible then just knock the pastry top off and throw it away, and you’ll have reduced the calories considerably.  

Keep Exercising

The cold weather and shorter days don’t make for great motivation when it comes to exercise, but if you’re serious about avoiding winter weight gain then you need to keep doing it.  

Set Realistic Goals

As we know this period of the year is especially hard for weight loss, so bear that in mind when setting goals in the weeks around Christmas. Maybe instead of having a weekly weight loss goal, make it you aim to maintain your weight instead, and any weight loss is a nice bonus. Then when the New Year arrives you can kick on again with your fat loss in a positive mind-set knowing you haven’t gained any Christmas weight.

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