Eight ways to prevent weight gain over Christmas

Have you lost weight during 2015?

Sustainable, lasting weight loss is the dream of many people and if you have lost those desired inches in 2015, the last thing you want to do is put a whole lot of weight on again over Christmas. So what can you do to enjoy Christmas and stay slim and healthy?

1) Make some healthy tasty nibbles

To prevent overeating it is important not to allow yourself to get over hungry. Long gaps between eating, erratic meal
times, large amounts of refined carbohydrates and foods that release their sugar into the blood stream quickly, encourage blood sugar dips. Dips in blood sugar lead to cravings for sweet, starchy foods and overeating.

Having something to eat every three to four hours that includes some protein and complex carbohydrates stops cravings to overeat or to eat lots of chocolate or to drink lots of alcohol – your body’s biochemistry will then be switched on to tell you when it is full and how to make good food choices.

Healthy, tasty nibbles are fun, make you feel good and are a great way to enjoy the festive season. There is a list of healthy nibbles such as spicy hummus to eat with an array of veg sticks, nutty pates to spread or dip, toasted seed mixes with or without spice, refreshing fruity eastern dipping ideas and many more on the internet.

2) Eat slowly, savour your meal, enjoy each mouthful and chew well

Hurried meals don’t give your brain time to register your body has had enough. Take time to prepare to eat, relax and allow the smells of food to tantalise your appetite. When you begin eating, chew your food thoroughly and savour each mouthful, put your knife and fork or spoon down and take a little break between mouthfuls to make the meal enjoyable and last longer. Give you digestion the best chance by sending well prepared food down and your brain will send the right messages to your body that there is no need to eat a lot more. 

3) Have a really good wine and don’t allow yourself to get thirsty

Take very small enjoyable sips; wine taste just as good in small mouthfuls and will aid digestion, whereas large amounts will encourage blood sugar dips and encourage overeating and over drinking. Thirst, either from very salty foods or from insufficient water intake, encourages over eating and over drinking. Have a glass of water to drink alongside the wine. And have a large glass of water about ½ hr before your meal.

4) Buy nuts in shells

Nuts in their shells are much fresher and contain better health properties, primarily because the shells prevent the nut’s good omega oils from oxidising or going rancid so readily.

When you are enjoying Christmas time with the family, shelling nuts and taking your time to remove them from the shells and then eating them, means you will eat less and more slowly and enjoy the fresh flavours.

5) Have some of the foods you enjoy

So many people eat foods that they don’t enjoy because they are at friends or family and feel they should. Over the festive season when visiting family and friends, don’t feel you have to eat everything the host has prepared. If you want to, have a small piece to show your appreciation and eat it slowly and enjoy it.

Or you can explain that you have an intolerance to an ingredient, because we all have an intolerance to table sugar and heavy desserts; Christmas desserts will always contain high sugar and lots of saturated fats.

6) Make some healthy chocolates

This is great for children and adults and you will be consuming some good nutrients and no baddies – just don’t eat all of them! If you are at friends why not take them as a gift and you will feel virtuous by giving something that is good for them and tasty.

7) Go for a walk after your meal.

Research has shown that a walk after a meal, for as little as 10 minutes, will make a big difference to stabilising your blood sugar. Diabetics are always encouraged to take some exercise after a meal and this is why.

Stabilising blood sugar is the key to healthy sustained weight loss.

8) Don’t berate yourself if you have one or two indulgent times

When you punish yourself and feel bad for overeating, you will inevitably feel deprived and break out again. Just note the occasion and enjoy the experience; note how you felt and move on to enjoy feeling good about treating yourself kindly next time. No one is perfect – progress is better than perfection.

After Christmas get back 'on the wagon' and if you need help to follow a nutrient dense, healthy weight-loss programme designed to stabilise blood sugar, contact a nutrition professional.

Nutritionist Resource is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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