Tips to keep the kilos off this Christmas
How to get through the festive season without the added weight gain.
Did you know that on average Aussies gain between 0.8kg to 1.5kg over the Christmas period? Head into the New Year feeling great with Accredited Practising Dietitian Ashleigh Jones’ top tips to keep the Christmas kilos off.
Avoid going hungry to parties
Do you skip a meal to indulge in more food at a party? You’re not alone! Unfortunately, this strategy often backfires, as arriving hungry makes you more likely to overeat. My top tip is to fill up before you go with a healthy meal or snack that contains lots of protein, fibre and healthy fat to keep you feeling fuller for longer.
As the weather heats up and we spend more time outside, it is more important than ever to make sure we drink enough water. But how is enough? It is recommended that Aussie adults consume around 8-10 cups of water every day, although you may need more than this if you’ve been active or it’s particularly hot outside. Drinking water not only helps prevent dehydration and fatigue, it can also help to satisfy food cravings. Also, try to limit your alcohol consumption as alcoholic drinks are surprisingly high in Calories, and can lead to overeating late in the night. If consuming alcohol, opt for lower alcohol drinks, calorie free mixers such as soda water, and remember to drink a glass of water in between each drink. Choose sparkling water so you still feel like you’re part of the fun!
Get plenty of sleep
We’ve all experienced a poor night’s sleep, and this can leave us craving comfort foods such as chips and chocolate for an energy boost. This is especially hard to resist around Christmas when we are burning the candle at both ends and are surrounded by more of these foods. To avoid reaching for the treats, focus on ways you can get enough sleep. Avoid any screen time at least an hour before bed, cut back on the caffeine and set some time aside to relax before getting the Zzzz.
Even though you might be on holidays from work or school, don’t take a holiday from being active. Getting outdoors is a great way to keep active and spend time with family and friends that doesn’t centre around food. You could go to the beach, go for a walk, kick a ball around with the kids or go to the local pool. I’m sure your dog would also love some extra walks for Christmas. Don’t forget to slip, slop, slap and stay hydrated!
Have healthy meals on hand
It is okay to have the occasional treat, but remember that Christmas Day is just one day, not a whole month! Having healthy meals in the fridge or freezer means there is always something healthy, convenient and portion controlled for you to eat. Have healthy snacks on hand during the day, and even bring them with you to ward off hunger attacks rather than reaching for an extra rumball or mince pie every time you feel hungry.
Christmas is a special time of year and you should take the time to enjoy it. Relish every bite and slow down while enjoying the festive spread. Don’t forget to focus on healthy portions. Use a smaller plate and don’t stack it too high full of food. Remember there is always leftovers!
At Lite n’ Easy you can buy full meal plans, including breakfasts, lunches and dinners but there are also many other flexible options to suit your lifestyle. You could have dinners only or some smaller meals (such as the Mini Meals, Meals in a Bowl and Lite Meals) to store in the freezer for the rest of the family.
Ashleigh Jones is an Accredited Practising Dietitian with extensive dietetics experience working across hospitals, corporate health, private practice and the food industry. A published researcher, she has collaborated actively across several disciplines including genetics, multiple sclerosis and sports nutrition. Ashleigh specialises in endocrine disorders with particular interest in weight management, pituitary and thyroid disorders, and management of diabetes. Ashleigh is passionate about promoting healthy habits, especially for busy people and offers simple and sustainable nutrition solutions.