How to avoid piling on the pounds this Christmas.

Its December and that means one thing. Time to dig out the Christmas jumper for your work party!

With the inevitable slide into indulging in mince pies and mulled wine just around the corner, you might be wondering how can I stop myself from piling on the pounds while still enjoying time with family and friends?

Here are some “cracker ” tips, guaranteed to help you stay as healthy as possible during the month of December.

Staying hydrated particularly by drinking water can really help you stay in shape.

Water has the amazing effect of boosting your energy levels, helping you to concentrate & make better food choices and it fills you up to be nicely (not ravenously) hungry for a meal and less likely to go back for seconds!

Try drinking a glass of water before and definitely during a meal. For extra benefit try having cold water as the body has to burn extra calories getting it down to an ideal temperature.

Don’t get me wrong. I love fruit, but vegetables are absolutely the unsung hero of a healthy diet. If I were to list all the health benefits of vegetables I’d be here all day. Trust me when I say that by including more veggies in your diet you are investing in very affordable health insurance.

Now I’m not saying you have to become a vegetarian or vegan or anything but I also don’t mean having some token lettuce on the side as a garnish. Really try and have more vegetables in your day. Some cucumber slices on your sandwich or some frozen veg with your evening meal. 80 grams per serving and aim for at least 3 servings a day.

In no time you will feel amazing and you’ll keep your immune system ticking over nicely this winter.

Ok we’ve all had those moments where you find yourself eating a tin of roses and before you know it you can’t put them down. If your going to let go and you think  “Oh God I’m going to eat the whole tin here” just stop and think “ok lets maybe have half” and put it down. By compromising and doing this you will make it far easier for you to get back on track once the mayhem of Christmas is over.

On days where you’ve got a big occasion in the evening like your work christmas party or a meal out with friends, cut back a little at meal and snack times earlier in the day so your free to enjoy yourself later.

At times this month its likely you are going to overeat. Thats ok. Its normal. With my clients I encourage a 75-25 approach to eating. 75% of the time you try and eat the foods your body loves and 25% of the time you eat the foods you love. The reason I say this is because, if you don’t allow yourself to enjoy food regularly, then its unlikely you will stick to eating healthily in the long run.

By feeling guilty you are more likely to suffer with low mood, which in turn leads to overeating. So don’t feel guilty that things aren’t perfect. Instead accept that this is part of your routine and one of those times that you will eat nice things with the knowledge that you will shortly be back on track.

One maybe obvious but really simple thing you can do to prevent becoming overweight this month, is to exercise. If you are someone who really struggles with overeating then try to earn extra calories for the day. The more exercise you do, the more calories you can eat that day.

You don’t have to go and run a marathon, but get your warm coat, hat and trainers on and hit the pavement for a long walk or maybe jump on the bike and get a few miles in. By exercising you will not only burn off the extra calories you’ve taken in, but it can be a great start to a day, while boosting your heart, lung and mental health.

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