At this time every year I have an ongoing job to educate my clients not to pig out because it’s Christmas.
This doesn’t have to happen to you every year, you can still enjoy the holiday without packing in a ton of weights. I will be giving you proven strategies that will keep you from making those lovely needles on the scale go up.
The weight gain does not really start in December, most times it starts from November and peaks in December and 1st week of January.
By the 15th of January, people come to their senses and remember they have a gym registration or that they have to do something about their weight and fast.
If you keep gaining weight every December, then it’s time to ask yourself some questions:
- What makes what you’re eating in December so different from what you normally eat?
- Have you never eaten what you’ll be eaten in the next 1 week?
- What purpose does eating all that food serve for you?
- After eating it, how do you feel?
What is really behind the weight gain?
The” it’s normal to gain weight” and “Let me enjoy myself” mindset is a major cause of weight gain during Christmas period.
Most people register for boot camps and all sorts of slay program. You diet yourself to submission but the 1 thing missing is that you are not taught how to maintain, the tips and tricks to use to make sure you keep slaying.
So the first real world temptation that comes around you succumb and weight gain starts.
- The cold weather:
During the holiday, the weather is cold. So you climb into layers of clothing. During the hot season, you wear light and tight clothes so every little change in your weight is easily noticeable by you and others. This makes you more conscious of your weight.
However, in cold weather, no one really notices if you are gaining weight or not because of the layering going on. This effectively hides any weight gain or telltale bulges.
Bears are allowed to gain weight and hibernate during the cold weather, you are not a bear. It is not normal. Get a hold on yourself.
- Parties everywhere
Parties, end of the year parties, employee appreciation parties, housewarming parties, wedding parties, birthday parties, welcome home party and of course “parties for the sake of it parties”.
Everyone is having a party, everyone is expecting guests, you visit them and you bring goodies, they visit you and you serve goodies and enjoy as well. It seems as if nature itself is conspiring to make you gain weight. And if you are not careful, fat comes rolling in.
- You are busy but not active:
You shop for gifts and wrap them. You bake, cook, eat and make calls. You travel, entertain and socialize. Did any of this activity raise your heart rate and breathing rate? No.
Travelling can make you gain weight. When you travel it may disrupt your exercise and nutrition routine. You tell yourself that you will get back to it as soon as you get back.
Children are at home a lot and that means snacks in the fridge and everywhere else. When you go out, you buy snacks as take home gifts. The catch is that it won’t all end up in the kid’s tummy; some of them end up in your own.
- Eating when you are not hungry:
Everywhere you look you see hampers, cookies, chocolate and beautifully wrapped temptations calling your name.
Refuse to answer even if it yells your name. Just because it is there does not mean you should eat it. If it becomes unbearable give it out or freeze it.
Freezing it can take away the urge to eat it. When you bring it out and wait for it to get to room temperature, you will get back to your senses and put it back where it belong – in the freezer.
- You skip breakfast: Eat, before you go out. If you are in a hurry, wake up 15 minutes earlier. Eating breakfast will help stabilize your blood sugar and help you to make the right decision. If you go out without eating, it is sure to backfire and you may end up eating junk
- You show up to a party, hungry
Do not show up for a party on an empty stomach. Most people go to a party, with the hope of eating there. You might be shocked to find out that the food is not ready. By the time the food makes its appearance you will be so ravenous you might even believe the food will not be enough for you. So you attack it, and go for not just 1, but 2 or 3 helping. This time eat something before going for a party.
6 Tips to prevent holiday weight gain
Bear in mind that the holiday will come and go; sometimes it’s just 2 weeks, but you have to live with your body. Take the following steps to prevent weight gain.
- Eat breakfast:
It is tempting to make a shopping list and to –do- list at night and rush off the next morning to accomplish them. The problem is that half way through your list you are going to get hungry.
Not just hungry but the type of hunger that makes you take the wrong food decision even when everything in you is telling you it is wrong. Rushing out without eating can lower your blood sugar and bring on sugar craving. Try and eat something with protein and healthy fat. This will fill you up for a longer time and keep your blood sugar stable.
- Take healthy snacks bottled water with you
Keep healthy snacks in your bag all the time. Find a quiet place and sit down and eat them. Take boiled eggs, apples and healthy nuts to nibble on.
- Be mindful of what you are eating: When you eat and hold a conversation or browse, you will you eat more. Your food seems to disappear and you take more, your coffee gets cold, you pour more hot water, more coffee, sugar and cream and take more bread. Focus on your food, give it attention, chew and savor the different tastes of your food. This helps your brain to get the satiated message faster.
- Concentrate on your guests not the food: The holiday is a time to reconnect with family and friends. Put your energy in meaningful conversation and making them feel special.
- Work out with your visitors: When you are preparing your holiday activity, make exercise part of it. Get your family and visitors involved. You have more free time during the holiday, use it wisely. Do not stop working out because you are on holiday. If you cannot make it to the gym, workout on your own.
Wake up early, at least 30 minutes earlier. Work out and get it out of the way before other activities come up.
- Set a goal for January: Wouldn’t it be fun to set a goal of fitting into that beautiful dress or a pair of beautiful trouser in January? That will help you stay focused and motivated to control your weight during the holiday
It is your life, take control of it; after all, you will be the one battling with the weight not the friend you were trying to please by not refusing a second helping. You are in control, take care of yourself. Just because most people gain weight during the holiday season does not mean you have to be one of them. It is possible to lose weight in the holiday season.
Wouldn’t it be nice to climb on that scale and find out you even lost 2 kg more or you maintained your weight? It’s just for 2 weeks everything you eat will still be available after the holiday, be wise.
Look back on things you have been able to achieve this year and congratulate yourself (but not with food)
Follow the steps and see what will happen.
I will like to hear from you. What is the major temptations that make you gain weight during the Christmas period? Leave your comments below