We all love Christmas and winter holidays in general. However, winter holidays are not just a tradition of family gatherings, gift exchanges, charity, office parties and Christmas cards.
It’s obvious that:
The most important events involve food, buffet and desserts.
It is therefore not surprising when many of us worry that our favorite jeans won’t fit by January.
QUESTION IS: How to stop yourself from overeating, stay well fed and feel great with your family and friends?
Let’s Talk About It.
We present you 25 ADVANCED TIPS on how to maintain the figure during the winter holidays with their abundant feasts.
Armed with our advice, you can pamper yourself with culinary delights, without gaining extra weight during the holidays and their inevitable treats.
In addition, you will find a small but very useful BONUS at the end of this article.
Tip # 1: Drink Plenty of Clean Water
Water fills the stomach and brings saturation. Everyone knows it, yet not everyone uses this simple way of managing extra pounds.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT IT!
Besides, water will help you remove toxins and alcohol from the body, which is very important during the winter holidays. The more water you drink, the better.
Tip # 2: Don’t Start Celebrating With Alcohol
Though we all know that alcohol-containing drinks are considered very high in calories, few people manage to avoid alcohol at all during the holidays.
Mix alcohol with other liquids (preferably water, not sweet drinks).
CONSUME ALCOHOL IN SMALL SERVINGS.
After all, alcohol is not only rich in calories, but also a drink that weakens your willpower.
When you are drunk, it is difficult to control the amount of food that you consume.
Tip # 3: Move More
Be active throughout the day.
If you take part in a fest and joyful conversation, take a break and organize it in an active manner.
Dancing and various competitions will help you burn calories.
Avoid spending all time at home!
Organize active pastime.
Try skiing, have a winter picnic in the forest for a couple of hours or go for a walk to the nearest park.
This will not only help prevent excess weight gain, but will also help you make your holidays unforgettable.
Tip # 4: Avoid Emotional Eating
Not all holidays cause positive emotions. Some people are stressed because they have no time to buy gifts, get ready for the celebration, or finish all work tasks.
Many people feel lonely, because they have no one to spend New Year’s Eve with. Finally, some people worry about meeting relatives and uncomfortable conversations at the holiday table.
- “You’re still not married?”
- “We wish to find a good job next year”
- “May all your troubles be a thing of the past.”
Even when spoken without a evil will, these phrases evoke anxiety in many people.
Tame your happiness, sadness and other emotions.
YOU CAN DO IT!
While placing another piece of food on your plate, ask yourself whether you are truly hungry or are trying to eat up the sensations, events, or state of affairs.
Consider in advance what situations can unbalance you and cause emotional overeating. Get ready to deal with them.
If you catch yourself calming down with food, don’t blame yourself. If you do, you can make things even worse.
Just promise that you will do your best to treat food more consciously next time.
Tip # 5: Follow the “Once” Rule
You have a holiday tradition to dine with the whole family – GREAT!
If you want to maintain weight or lose weight – START A NEW TRADITION!
Try all the dishes present on the table, but only once each dish and in small servings.
If you like a particular dish, ask the hostess to share its recipe with you or to give you a portion to go.
Thus, you will ensure yourself with a chance to finish your meal without a feeling of heaviness in your stomach.
Tip # 6: Limit the Number of Dishes Consumed
Festive table is dangerous for your waist for three reasons:
- First, beautifully decorated dishes stimulate your appetite more than usual.
- Secondly, you want to try everything that is served.
- Thirdly, a variety of dishes confuses you and it is more difficult to understand how much you actually eat.
To solve this problem, take a look at the dishes served, choose a few dishes that you want to try the most, and do not touch the others.
Tip # 7: Eat Slowly
During the holidays period, you will have plenty of opportunities to try a variety of dishes.
DO NOT HURRY.
Enjoy the Flavor and Beautiful Serving.
Think about what you want to try first, and which dishes you can avoid completely.
Don’t stuff yourself with food as if this is your last dinner!
For example, why munching out on bread, potatoes and spaghetti?
- First: they are very rich in calories.
- Second: you can eat them every day.
At the festive table, opt for fish and meat, vegetables and fruits.
Our brain needs 20 MINUTES to realize the feeling of fullness. Therefore, eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly.
Winter holidays, in fact, are great, because they allow you to enjoy a slow meal while chatting with your friends and family.
Tip # 8: Don’t Postpone the Problem Solving For Later
DON’T PROMISE YOURSELF TO GET ON A DIET AFTER WINTER HOLIDAYS.
This approach is fundamentally wrong, because it removes your concentration on your weight loss problem.
At least, try to control yourself, and eat less than your eyes tell you to.
You have to understand that just the thought of getting on a diet after winter holidays can encourage you to overeat every time that you celebrate.
Tip # 9: Watch Out For “Premium” Buffet
Indeed, Buffet is usually not the best solution for a festive dinner with the family.
However, such system of serving meals is quite popular in hotels or at the office parties.
This system provides a huge selection of dishes, and you are the only person to control the amount of food that you place on your plate.
So, before you fill your plate, think what foods and in what combination are best to suit your stomach and your diet.
Fill the plate with fresh or cooked vegetables.
They are good not only because they are low in calories.
Chewing them takes a lot of time and the satiety feeling comes before you stuff your stomach with a couple of kilos of junk food.
Choose seafood and low-fat meat.
Tip # 10: Dress Correctly
“Correct” clothes help controlling the amount of food eaten.
For example, a tight-fitting dress, which is very suitable for a festive party, will not allow you to eat too much, while larger clothing will do just the opposite, literally inviting you to eat your head off.
You might say that tight-fitting fitting silhouettes were created for slender people, and not ladies with curves.
In fact, a person’s weight is not a reason to refuse elegance and an opportunity to demonstrate a spectacular new dress.
Therefore, curvaceous beauties are usually recommended to opt for a shift dresses, because these hide imperfections and can help you emphasize your “strong” body parts, while making you look your best.
Tip # 11: Drink Green Tea
To avoid weight gain during the holidays, take to drinking natural green tea (WITHOUT SUGAR) after a meal.
It was proven that hot liquid after a meal improves digestion.
In addition, green tea speeds up the metabolism and is a natural fat burner.
Tip # 12: Stock up on Fresh Fruits
Despite the fact that we are surrounded by such an amount and variety of food during the winter holidays, as we never see on any other holiday season, we still recommend that you always have fresh fruit on your table.
If you wash them in advance and keep them in a prominent place, you will most likely eat them.
Opt for low-calorie fruits, such as:
Avocados, bananas, grapes, coconut flesh and mango contain many nutrients, yet are rich in calories, as well.
Tip # 13: Get enough sleep
It has been proven that lack of sleep results in an imbalance of several hormones responsible, among other things, for appetite and fullness.
When you sleep little, you eat more.
So you’d better not spend all night at the computer, in front of a TV screen or reading books, when you don’t need to go to work in the morning.
Holidays do not mean that you can neglect sleep.
Tip # 14: Be the First to Make an Order in a Restaurant
When dining out in a restaurant, we often get more calories than originally planned.
This often happens even with staunch supporters of a healthy lifestyle.
Why, instead of grilled fish and a light vegetable salad, you suddenly asked to serve pork with fries and a double latte with a piece of cake?
Someone at your table has already ordered these or similar dishes.
If you want to avoid this – ORDER FIRST.
Tip # 15: Do Not Starve Before The Christmas Dinner
Eating nothing all day long before a family dinner is the worst idea you can come up with.
Being extremely hungry, you will eat much more than you could.
And what results do we end up with? Thousands of calories + digestive problems.
Better eat all day as usual or snack on vegetable salads with a protein ingredient (chicken, egg, light cheese, etc.).
An hour before dinner, have something light (yogurt, vegetable salad with olive oil or an apple).
Be sure to drink 1 or 2 glasses of water.
Tip # 16: Limit Sweet Desserts
Let’s be honest: DESSERTS are delicious meals, which contain a huge amount of calories.
Therefore, people who seek to maintain or improve their shape cut the amount or completely avoid such products.
At the same time, winter holidays are all about hot chocolate, boiled custard, chocolate fudge, fruitcake, Christmas cookie and apple pie.
What to do?
If you have already abandoned desserts some time ago, the holidays are not a reason to break your own rules.
Want not to gain weight and still have a dessert?
Then, you need to choose lower-calorie desserts and always control the serving size.
Tip # 17: Do Not Allow Other People To Put Food On Your Plate
The typical behavior of many people is to ensure that their guest is not hungry.
That sounds nice, doesn’t it?
In fact, alas, it can lead to dire consequences.
While with family or in a company of friends, we can eat 50% MORE than alone or surrounded by unfamiliar people.
We are afraid to offend our loved ones with inattention to their efforts and end up in eating much more than we intended.
If you want to avoid overeating, try these tricks:
- If possible, take a smaller plate: visually it will look full, and you will not eat much.
- Choose a favorite dish and praise it endlessly, eating slowly and enjoying the flavor. Perhaps, people will stop adding food to your plate, knowing that you have exactly what you want.
- If people keep adding food to your plate, limit yourself to a spoon of one dish, explaining that you want to try other ten dishes placed on the table.
- Say that you have a medical ban on everything but a few products (not the best option for family gatherings, because you will be immediately questioned about your health condition).
Tip # 18: Avoid Tasting Food while Cooking
If you are the one to cook the food for the festive table, avoid tasting it during the cooking process.
It is not as difficult as it seems at first glance.
Just strictly follow the cooking recipe.
If you are afraid that the resulting dish will be bland or too salty, ask someone in the family to try it.
You can use the chewing gum, as well. It will help you reduce the feeling of hunger caused by the tempting aromas in the kitchen and will not allow you taste the food unconsciously.
After all, it’s not that pleasant to chew the gum with some other food stuck in it
Tip # 19: Don’t Leave a Lot of Food for the Next Day
It is difficult to imagine a traditional festive table without delicious and, unfortunately, high-calorie dishes.
But you don’t really have to eat this same food the next day after the celebration.
MAKE THE AMOUNT OF FOOD, SUFFICIENT FOR A SINGLE FEAST ONLY.
Count the number of your guests and think how much food you may need.
Something went wrong with the calculations and you have a lot of delicious food left when the feast ended?
Give it to out to guests who are about to go home.
Freeze dishes, which will not lose their taste after defrosting, or combine them to freeze lunches and dinners for the following week.
Thus, you will save time and ensure yourself with a couple of days without cooking, as well as rid yourself of the need to finish the dishes the next day, stuffing up on calories and making your weight go up.
Tip # 20: Cook Light Dishes
Not everyone likes to cook on their own and prefer to visit people for holidays.
However, if you are the one who does the cooking, you will find it easier to prevent overeating.
Replace high-calorie ingredients with non-calorie.
Pay special attention to the SAUCES, which you add to salads and meat. Many of them hide extra calories.
Use low glycemic index (GI) foods, such as soy products, beans, multigrain bread, or lentils.
They are absorbed, digested and metabolized slower, thus causing a lower and slower increase in blood glucose levels.
Eliminate products with a high GI, such as:
- white bread,
- short-grain rice.
Tip # 21: Plan a Fun Celebration
You do not need to spend all the time eating and talking.
After the Big Christmas Feast on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, or even instead of it, go outside and join crowds of people celebrating the great holiday.
By attending festive events, you will not simply save your body from extra calories that you usually get during the feasts, but will even burn some calories and get positive emotions.
One thing to keep in mind, though, is to stay away from high-calorie fast foods, which are usually abundant during Xmas festivals.
Take something light with you to snack on and try to limit your “food purchasing” in the street to a big cup of tea.
Tip # 22: Plenty – Doesn’t Mean Abundance in Calories
Stop fearing the large portions of food (at least, sometimes).
Just make sure that these large portions contain all the good ingredients, such as:
- Fresh or cooked vegetables
- Fish or meat (grilled, steamed or oven-baked, and not deep fried)
- Small amount of healthy fats, like olive oil or even yogurt
- Fruit (fresh or cooked).
You can have a HUGE plate of food, filled with a green salad mix and some small portions of heavier foods, and you’ll be satiated, happy and safe from the danger of gaining extra kilos.
Choose light meals, rich in fiber, to help your digestive tract cope with the festive “overload”.
Tip # 23: Take Breaks Between Dishes
Since traditional holiday feasts can last for hours, it is good to take breaks between meals.
After a salad or starter, wait at least 20 minutes before a getting your hands on the second dish.
As for dessert, better have it not earlier than 40 minutes after a meat dish.
Tip # 24: Avoid Soft Drinks
Considering how many delicious foods are served, make a sacrifice and give up at least something.
And let this victim be the sugary drinks – especially carbonated.
All soft drinks have a very high GI, which, by the way, influences how much insulin your body produces. And insulin is the one responsible for fat depositing, so beware!
Make plain water your main drink (0 calories).
Tip # 25: Make a Bet with your Friends
Many fitness instructors advise people to make a bet with friends, which of you manages to maintain weight during winter holidays.
Such bet can be a great motivation to watch your eating behavior.
You can win not only the prize, but also your friends’ respect for your willpower.
And don’t forget about the biggest bonus of such bet – you won’t have to torture yourself with dieting after winter holidays.
For those, who read this article already after the Christmas feasts and winter holidays, and want to know how to get rid of kilos tha they gained, we have prepared a small bonus.
Bonus Tip: How to Quickly Get in Shape after the Holidays
Winter holidays ended, leaving us a couple of extra pounds as a memory of themselves.
In fact, a couple of kilograms is not good, BUT it’s not so bad either.
We talked to a fitness instructor and asked for a few tips on how we can get back in shape as quickly and painlessly as possible after the Christmas feasts.
LET’S CHECK THEM OUT!
Unfortunately, the advice not to overeat and not to abuse harmful foods and alcohol on holidays still remains an empty sound for the majority of us.
An interesting fact for your consideration:
According to statistics, we eat up to 5000 calories during the Christmas feast, which, of course, significantly exceeds the daily rate.
The result is usually another search for a another express weight loss diet.
Again, we make the decision to start our life “from scratch” and with a fit body, and we think that we should immediately switch from rich foods and various goodies to yogurt and celery stalk.
But you need to keep one important thing in your mind!
A balanced diet is more important in winter than ever, so dieticians do not recommend abusing diets during this period.
If you still decided to shed kilograms you gained during the holidays at any price, you should slide into the detox smoothly, by gradually removing various groups of products from your nutrition as follows:
- First of all, switch from the “festive” menu to a more familiar everyday diet, excluding sweets and fast food.
- Two weeks later, start cleaning up your menu, completely giving up mayonnaise and flour products.
- Switch to durum wheat pasta, replace fried meat with baked chicken or turkey. Choose vegetables and cereals as your side dishes instead of potatoes.
DETOX SHOULD NOT LAST LONG.
One week is more than enough.
In addition, it is not superfluous to seek help from a professional dietitian, as well as undergo a series of examinations before and after the body “cleaning”.
In fact, just a balanced diet, as well as the lack of alcohol, is already sufficient to significantly reduce your waist circumference, as well as improve your health.
After all, a systematic approach is always better and more useful, than diets and one-time gym visits.
That’s why detox can never replace a proper nutrition and provide the same results,which you can obtain through regular workouts for weight loss and muscle development.
It is also proven that detox can be extremely dangerous to your health, especially if you sharply switch from you usual nutrition to “cleanse”, and vice versa.
First, you need to make sure that you don’t have a deficiency in certain vitamins and that your hormones profile is balanced.
Even in minor deviations, your doctor will not allow you to detox.
Combining sports and detox is not recommended, as well.
In the absence of protein and complex carbohydrates, strength loads are meaningless either way.
Keep in mind that your body is weakened and you need to pay special attention to your wellbeing while you are detoxing.
If you get sick, immediately consult a doctor.
By the way, if you are going through a weight loss course and use any kind of weight loss medications, it is important to check the drug interaction with alcohol and other drugs that you might be taking to solve possible gastrointestinal issues, caused by the feast.
For example, Duromine is contraindicated with alcohol, while the side effects of Orlistat might increase and spoil your celebration, if the dishes served during the feast are very rich in fats.
Do the homework, talk to your doctor, or better refuse any slimming pills during winter holidays.
Make this Christmas fun, joyful and bring only the good memories into the new starting year!