Maintaining your weight over the festive season

It’s that time of the year again! The festive season is upon us, and it can be really difficult to maintain your weight during this time. With so much food around, temptations are everywhere. But don’t worry, there are plenty of strategies you can employ to help you stay on track without spending hours in the gym or depriving yourself.

Eat smaller portions of food at each meal and don’t overeat

Eat smaller portions of food at each meal and avoid overeating as it can lead to weight gain, bloating and discomfort. Unfortunately, we all tend to eat too much during the festive season as there are so many of our favourite foods around and we feel we deserve to treat ourselves after all of our hard work. You can prevent this by using smaller plates and opting for smaller portions while enjoying all the different foods available.

Avoid binging on sugary and high-fat foods and try opting for more of the healthier options on the table. If you’re going to have a treat, just have one instead of five or six as this will reduce your calorie intake but still allow for that special moment where you sit back in front of the TV on Christmas Day sipping some hot chocolate while enjoying those delicious leftovers from lunch.

Related: Ten foods to include in a healthy weight-loss diet

Drink plenty of water

Drink plenty of water during these festivities as this helps fill up your stomach and makes you less likely to overindulge. It will also help to flush out the toxins from your body and make you feel a lot fresher.

Staying hydrated is important for your general health and wellbeing, and dehydration can make you feel tired and sluggish – so make sure you regularly replenish with a large glass of water.

Try to stay active

It can be difficult to stay active during the festive season but it’s important to try and fit some exercise into your day. Even if it is just a short walk at lunchtime or some simple group activities that will get you and your loved ones moving in a fun way. Getting friends and family involve can make it easier to get up and moving and stay motivated. 

Many people find that when they get busy, lack of time is their biggest excuse for not exercising but there are some great fitness programs available these days which can be easily incorporated into your daily routine and take less than 30 minutes out of it. You could also invest in an exercise bike that you can use while watching TV – this way, not only are you getting active but also multitasking by doing two things at once.

Related: Working out at home for beginners

Cook with healthy ingredients

Cook with healthy ingredients like vegetables, fruit and lean meat and fish instead of processed foods as they contain less fat. If you’re hosting a party or gathering at your home, why not try making some low-fat versions or other healthier alternatives of traditional recipes to reduce your calorie intake?

You can also make healthy swaps like swapping white bread for wholegrain varieties and pasta for wholemeal alternatives as these are nutritious options that will help keep you fuller for longer without those unwanted excess calories. 

Keep your home stocked with healthy snacks 

This will prevent you from grabbing unhealthy options when you’re hungry between meals. Here are some ideas of healthy snacks you could have to hand: 

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables such as carrots, celery or cucumber sticks with a hummus dip.
  • Unsalted nuts like almonds or peanuts which contain protein, fibre and nutrients that help keep your energy levels up throughout the day.
  • Oatcakes topped with banana slices, peanut butter or honey which provide slow-release carbohydrate fuel keeping your blood sugar levels stable so you don’t become tired in between meals.
  • Low-fat yogurt mixed with berries (another great source of slow-releasing carbs).
  • Freshly made sandwiches filled with lean roasted meats and salad.

Get plenty of sleep

Getting plenty of sleep is just as important as staying hydrated and active during this time. Our bodies need the proper amount of rest to recover from all the extra indulgent treats we’ve been enjoying – so it’s crucial that you get a good night’s sleep and give your body adequate time to relax and recharge. Make your health a priority this Christmas to ensure you have a guilt-free, happy, and healthy new year!

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