Weight gain over the holiday period
Most of us can relate to increasing the link on their belt buckle when December rolls around. An American study conducted in 2006 identified that the weight gained during holiday seasons usually occurs around the trunk. Weight gain in this area is associated with an increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease2.
Why not make this year the year that you don’t have to ask for a larger belt in your Christmas stocking? Try the tips to Beat the Christmas bulge and avoid gaining weight over the holiday season.
Tips to avoid weight gain over the holiday season
Avoid going hungry to parties. Eat something light before the party to reduce your chances of snacking on high calorie party food. Some healthy snacks include a 200g tub of reduced fat yoghurt, a bowl of cereal or a cheese and tomato sandwich.
Don’t try to lose weight over the Christmas season. Instead, aim to maintain your current weight.
Watch your portion sizes. If your will power is weak and you know you will want to finish everything in front of you, use an entrée plate instead of a dinner plate.
That way you are sure to eat less.
Fill up with foods from the foundation layers of the Healthy Eating Pyramid. These foods include vegetables, legumes, fruit and grains foods.
Party Foods to Enjoy or Limit
Foods to Enjoy
Vegetable sticks, pretzels, rice crackers
Hummus, beetroot, tzatziki, avocado dip
Fruit salad with yoghurt, healthy oatmeals
Foods to Limit
Pies, sausage rolls, spinach triangles
Chips, corn chips
Lollies, candy canes, chocolates
Cakes and slices with cream
Drinking alcohol (1 or 2 standard drinks a day) may add to the enjoyment of your festive events, but over-consuming alcohol can lead to weight gain.
According to the Department of Health and Ageing3:
For healthy men and women, drinking no more than two standard drinks in any day reduces your risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury over a lifetime.
Drinking no more than four standard drinks on a single occasion reduces the risk of alcohol-related injury arising from that occasion.
If you choose to drink:
Watch your serving size. Restaurants often serve wine in glasses that are three times the standard serve.
Be careful with top-ups. Topping up your glass can lead to you losing count of the amount you have been drinking. Finish one glass before accepting a top-up.
Alternate your drinks. Alternate one alcoholic drink with one non-alcoholic drink such as water, and healthy drinks.
Try some of the following ideas to help you stay fit over the holidays:
Ask for a gym membership as a Christmas present. That way you can stay fit all year round.
Invite your friends and family to join Medi-Health Program 30 Day Challenge, for FREE!
Set yourself an exercise challenge for the New Year. Fun runs are great events to get involved in. Your local council website should provide details of sporting events held annually in your area.
Play with your children. They enjoy when you watch their games, but they LOVE when you play with them. Try outdoor cricket, throwing a Frisbee, bike riding or swimming.
If you’re on a vacation, walking is the best way to become familiar with your holiday location. It’s amazing what you can discover when you are on foot.
Use the facilities at camping grounds, motels or resorts. For example, hiring a tennis court is an inexpensive way to stay entertained for hours.