A SKINNY XMAS
Staying skinny and avoiding unwanted weight gain can be tricky at Christmas time
One week we can be happily munching on Christmas cookies and the next week we can stand on the scale and we see we’ve picked up weight. There are so many delicious treats around to tempt us and there’s so much food being offered to us this time of year.
But Christmas time does not have to be a miserable time where we spend all day trying to avoid treats & dinner parties with friends… there are some ways to stay skinny while still enjoying the festive cheer!
10 ways to stay skinny this Christmas
1. Always think before having seconds and think about portion sizes.
Before going back for seconds after dinner think about how much you really want it and if you will enjoy the second serving as much as you enjoyed the first one. If it’s something that you really love and enjoy then have some more but don’t do it all the time. There’s no need to go crazy with one “serving” either, to avoid unwanted weight gain think about how much food you actually need and serve realistic portions. It may seem like a good idea to binge on treats and big plates of food at the dinner table but remember that food babies never feel good after a few hours later (or the next day). Enjoy everything in moderation!
2. Remain mindful of calories, but not obsessive.
During the festive season there usually lots of high calorie foods around. To avoid weight gain, do a little bit of research (use google – it’s so easy) and get to know how many calories are in the kinds of food that you like to eat (or will be eating most often). Then roughly estimate how many calories you should be consuming each day and remain mindful of calorie intake to maintain a healthy body weight. There’s no need to be obsessive about it – just roughly estimate for most of your meals!
3. Do 16 minutes of exercise 3 times a week.
Take part in my 16 minute workout challenge (everyone has 16 minutes), or go for walks outside every day and enjoy the festive cheer! It’s so easy!
4. Avoid excessive drinking.
Alcohol contains a huge amount of calories and it dehydrates the body. Avoid shots & sugary cocktails as much as you can and sip on your drink of choice slowly. If you drink slowly then you will drink less…but you don’t always need a drink in your hand! Drink 1 glass of water for every serving of alcohol you drink + PLUS drink 8 glasses of water every day – this is the number 1 rule to staying healthy!
5. Get decent sleep and enough rest!
Making sure that you get enough sleep is one of the easiest ways to stay skinny. The festive season can be a busy time of year but making sure that you get enough sleep is so important. When you make sure that you get a decent amount of sleep you will feel happier, healthier, less stressed, less depressed and you will be more fun to be around! Make sure that you get between 7 and a half to 9 hours of sleep every night.
6. Prepare yourself for special events, parties and meals.
If you know that you will be attending a big event or a dinner party where there will be lots of food, then prepare yourself by making healthy low-calorie food choices for the rest of your meals that day. If I am going to have a big Christmas dinner with my family or am going to a dinner party with friends, I will always make an effort to eat a healthy & low-calorie breakfast and lunch so that I can let go and splurge a little at the dinner with my friends and family. This is how I stay healthy, balanced and avoid unwanted weight gain.
7. Watch out for table snacks!
Be very careful of table snacks (especially when the alcohol is flowing) – they’ll get ya! Table snacks may seem harmless but it starts with a small handful of nuts, a few little chocolates or some pretzels and next thing you know you’ve finished the whole bowl of snacks while you were chatting away and were enjoying a glass of wine. Tables snacks are usually high calorie foods and should be avoided as much as possible to avoid unwanted weight gain.
8. Remember that a treat is a treat.
Christmas time guarantees 1 thing: lots of treats! But if you eat treats all the time then it no longer feels like a treat & it loses its specialness. Instead of eating every sweet treat that gets handed to you, save yourself for your favourite desserts and sweets, and indulge on those only. There may be moments when it feels difficult to do, but it’s so worth it!
9. Build your plate like a genius.
You can enjoy all of the foods that you want to but remember to build your plate cleverly. Start with fresh salad and vegetables – fill ½ to ¾ of your plate. Second, add your healthy protein & healthy fat portions – fill ¼ of your plate with these (healthy fats are fats such as cold-pressed oils, avocado, fatty fish, etc.). Lastly, enjoy other luxuries such as bread and potatoes or any other unhealthy options offered on the table by only filling ¼ or less of your plate.
10. Get snack savvy.
If you’re out Christmas shopping, out for a fun day with friends & family or are going to a a bring-and-share event, be prepared with healthy snacks or a delicious plate of healthy treats. Great snacks include an apple or a piece of fresh fruit with a handful of raw nuts or chopped, fresh vegetables with hummus. I find that hummus and a platter of sliced fresh veggies goes down well at any function (just be mindful of the calories in the hummus and nuts) or take a healthy treat – browse through my healthy snack and healthy treat recipes!
More than anything, enjoy the festive season and make the most of it – it only comes around once a year!
Liezl Jayne xo
Photos by Liezl Jayne for liezljayne.com