Have you ever spoken to someone who lost weight during the Christmas season? Sounds like a Christmas fairytale. As soon as it becomes colder and winter approaches, it becomes hard to avoid sugary temptations. A Christmas season without mouth watering treats is like summer without the sun. So instead of forcing yourself not to enjoy this festive season, learn how to celebrate it without putting on weight.
1) Be realistic
Let’s be realistic. Unless you want to spend your winter nights alone at home with your bowl of veggies, losing weight shouldn’t be your goal. Instead, focus on maintenance. Enjoy some treats occasionally with your family and friends and socialise. Focus on what you can do instead of on what you can’t do. Be proud of yourself if you maintain your weight during this season. Be ready for 2017 and do it right when you can!
2) Eat slowly and feast in moderation
You don’t have to avoid social events. Instead, know what to pay attention to to feel great instead of guilty after!
Eat slowly. No matter what you eat, where you eat or with whom you eat – just eat slowly. Add 5 to 10 extra minutes to each meal and don’t be influenced by others eating faster. Instead, put your cutlery down between bites and enjoy every piece of food. Take a breath between bites and drink some water, if you like. It takes at least 20 minutes for signals to get from your stomach to your brain to tell you that you’re full. Therefore, stop eating when 80% full. Don’t feel guilty if your meal wasn’t the healthiest you ever had. That’s okay, as long as you eat slowly and enjoy your treats in moderation.
3) Make your own treats
It’s quite difficult to find healthy treats in the supermarket around this period. Usually what is offered is full of sugar, salt, white flour and butter. Not even the spices are authentic and most of it is pumped with artificial flavors and additives. If you want to treat your body well, make your own treats and avoid highly processed foods. No need to worry if baking isn’t your thing. Making your own mouth watering temptations doesn’t have to be hard! In addition, it’s a lot of fun to do it together with the kids, your partner or friends! Your scale and waistline will also agree!
4) Make your meals a little more healthy
Whenever possible, add some extra protein like lean meat, fish, tofu or eggs to your meals. And of course: vegetables! The healthy fiber you can find in vegetables helps to slow down the digestion and makes you feel full faster and for longer.
When you make your own treats, replace white flour with the whole grain version. Most recipes ask for a lot of sugar. Instead reduce the amount of refined sugar with healthier alternatives like dried fruits or banana, yummy!
Fun fact: Did you know that butter can easily be swapped with avocado?! Healthy baking factory, here we go!
5) Give yourself a break – Be gentle to yourself
Unfortunately, the Christmas period can bring around a lot of stress. Try to relieve this any way you can. When we get stressed, our stress hormone (cortisol) elevates. This messes with our metabolism and slows down the process of burning fat. To avoid and prevent this from happening, be gentle to yourself and take a break when you need to. Turn your phone off for a few hours, (or at least on the weekend) to give your brain a break. Use this time and opportunity instead to go for a little winter walk and fill your lungs with fresh and cold air. You’ll feel energized and be in a better mood afterwards. Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep to moderate and lower your stress levels and be ready to encounter stressed people with a big smile!
Follow these tips and combine them with some tasty 8fit meals! You’ll be surprised how good your body can feel after the festive season!
Love and health,