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It’s the dreaded ‘C’ word – Christmas!! It’s just under six weeks until Christmas, and you may be wanting to have one last ‘push’ at losing weight in time for the day itself, or your work Christmas party. I am hoping this blog will give you some encouragement and advice on your quest…
1. Carbs are you friend!
Eating a small portion of high-fibre starchy carbohydrate at each meal is important. This will help regulate your metabolism, provide energy to fuel your day, and stop you feeling hungry in between meals and going for the biscuits. Good ideas include porridge for breakfast, homemade tuna pasta salad for lunch, and rice / couscous for dinner.
2. Review your alcohol intake
Alcohol is high in calories. A small glass of wine contains around 125kcal, and a pint of beer contains a massive 200kcal! As we’re coming up to the Christmas period, don’t deny yourself the odd glass, but moderate your intake, and perhaps avoid that packet of crisps at lunch if you know you’re going to have a glass of wine later that evening.
3. Watch out for the Christmas nibbles
Mincepies, Celebrations, Quality Streets, Stollen, cookies – whatever your favourite nibbles are, they are usually laden with calories, due to their high fat and sugar content. A standard mince pie contains around 250kcal, about the same as a ham sandwich. Again, don’t deny yourself the occasional treat, but limiting your intake of these will help you lose some weight, or at least maintain your weight over the festive season. This can be hard, so talk to your family and trusted friends about your weight loss plans, and ask them to help motivate you, or not to eat treats in front of you. You could also cook your own treats, and make them healthier by using less sugar (adding fruit) and low fat spread instead of butter.
4. Each day is a new day
Fell off the wagon today? Well don’t worry; re-focus on tomorrow. One day will not have ruined all your hard work. Sometimes doing some exercise in the morning (if you are able to) sets a precedent for the day, and you’re more likely to eat more healthily.
5. Are you in it for the long haul?
The key to successful weight loss is making small sustainable changes to your current diet which you will be able to continue in the long term. There is no point deciding to ditch your wine or chocolate completely, as you will be doomed to failure. Also, remember that doing regular exercise is just as important as eating a healthy diet. It is very difficult to lose weight by restricting calories alone, especially if your BMI is in the ‘early-overweight’ range (around 25-28). You don’t have to rush out and buy a gym membership, but think about exercise that might fit well into your usually daily routine, e.g. an exercise dvd once the kids are in bed, a brisk 30 minute walk after dinner, parking the car a little further away from work than usual, walking more quickly than usual.