Have a merry, NOT a nightmare Christmas (revisited)


I briefly touched on this topic recently after posting a meme relating to the universal saying “I’ll start again in January!” This inspired me to revisit a blog I posted last year and make a few amendments before re posting it out this year.According to studies an average person can put on 0.5 -1kg of weight over Christmas which can then stay on over the coming year.Today’s blog will aim to give you some pointers to consider over the Christmas period.

1) Make an effort to understand the Nutrional value of the food you’re consuming

A study from 2 top british Universities showed that amongst various other tactics, being given information on how much exercise is needed to burn off the calories from Christmas food, can actually help with reducing weight gain. I have attached below a picture that was used to provide participants with the information.

2) Christmas break doesn’t include all days in December

When we think about it, Christmas day only lasts for….1 day! I take on board there is Christmas eve and boxing day either side, however our body doesn’t give us a few days break from this.I freely admit that I have over indulged on numerous occasions with the mindset “its ok its Christmas” however this has only led to overeating from 24th December – 1st January causing gain and negative feelings of in January.

3) Re assess your goals for December

Being realistic with what you can achieve over December is also key to staying motivated. If you have a busy social calender and fear your usual routine will be all over the place, then create a temporary goal over December.For example weight maintenance rather than a loss.Having an achievable goal over December can potentially help you to limit the chances of failure or feelings of guilt which can lead to the “throwing the towel in” syndrome.

4) Don’t use the Christmas period as an excuse to let your mindset go

We all make mistakes its only human, however don’t beat yourself about it. If you intended to only have 2 pints at the work’s party but ended up having 5 then pick yourself up next day and start again.Feeling sorry for yourself will only lead to negative vibes and more feelings.Think of how hard you have worked throughout the year to achieve your goals. Of course you have the right to enjoy yourself at Christmas but why risk damaging your progress and increasing your workload in January?

5) Adapt your training schedule to limit pre and post Christmas damage

If you’re adamant of going on a Man vs Food style journey then there’s not much I can do about that! But on a serious note, adapting your training schedule and style can limit your damage.Increasing your daily calorific expenditure through exercise will create a larger calorie consumption requirement for that day.

6) Try to maintain regular eating patterns and eat before heading out

As much as your social and work routine is irregular try your best to keep meals, such as breakfast and lunch, as consistent as possible. Having some form of routine in place will help you not to over indulge as a result of feeling hungry or snacking on high sugar based snacks causing blood sugar level spikes.Before heading out on social evenings it may be an idea to have eaten sensibly prior to this so you don’t have that hungry or bloated feeling. Whenever we are hungry our brain sends all sorts of signals which affect our decision making process, which will likely end with choosing options that we normally wouldn’t tend to have. Try to avoid skipping meals to create a bigger calorie deficit as this will only lead to over consumption as a result of large hunger cravings!

7) Be a wise buffet eater

No doubt you will be faced with a Christmas spread or buffet at some point. Just because every possible selection is there, doesn’t mean you have to have something of everything. It can be wise to choose the foods and treats you enjoy rather than feeling you’re going to miss out if you don’t have 3 pork pies which you haven’t had since last Christmas!You’re probably reading this blog thinking, well Christmas isn’t going to be much fun at the Melford household! My point of this blog isn’t to stop you enjoying yourself over Christmas.However is it wise to let the flood gates open?Enjoy the Christmas break and have a plan in place to ensure you have all bases covered.

References

1) https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/health-464811372)

2)Winter Weight Watch Study: Efficacy of a brief public health intervention to prevent weight gain during the Christmas holiday periodMrs Frances Mason

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