How to stay slim this Christmas!
Many of us gain up to 5kgs over the holiday season, so why not follow our savvy slimming tricks to avoid starting the New Year with an extra helping of podge.
Have a really big breakfast
Studies show that the bigger your breakfast, the fewer calories you will consume during the rest of the day – and this rule counts double at Christmas with all that temptation around.
“Unless you start the day by refuelling and stabilising your blood sugar levels you’re setting yourself up for a day of bingeing on all the sugar-packed festive treats that come your way,” advises nutritionist Linda Foster.
“A filling breakfast that contains some wholegrain carbs (granary bread or cereal) plus some protein in the form of eggs or low-fat dairy will keep you full until lunchtime – stopping you from picking at Quality Street and mince pies all morning.”
Have two breakfast courses, one of cereal and one egg-based to really load up.
Stay active, get outside
Exercise is the single best way to keep your weight stable over the Christmas period.
Just being a bit more active daily can help burn off the extra calories and be rolled into all the festive fun. For example, an energetic boogie around the Christmas tree will burn up to 195 calories per half hour.
Slow the pace
“Whether we’re rushing food on the go, or sitting with the family at the dinner table, it’s easier to overindulge when we eat too quickly,” says nutritionist Amanda Hamilton.
"Chewing food five to 10 times slows down our eating, aiding digestion and allowing the brain more time to recognise when we’ve eaten enough.”
Eat before you party
Heading to a party straight from work? Unless you eat beforehand, you won’t be able to resist wrecking your diet with every canapé that comes your way. The trick is not to turn up starving, but to eat well before you get there.
Choose something light and healthy but filling such as poached egg or beans on toast before you go, and you’ll find it 10 times easier to exercise self-control. Once there, you only need one rule to not fall foul of the buffet spread – only ever fill your plate once.
Think before you drink
When you’re at Christmas events where you know the alcohol will be flowing, try some simple strategies to slow down the rate you’re drinking, so you guzzle less over the course of the evening. Good tricks include: alternating your alcoholic drinks with soft ones, drinking spritzers (wine diluted with soda) or starting the night with a refreshing booze-free mocktail. Alternating each alcoholic drink with water will also slash your calorie intake by half.