A table full of sweet food for christmas

How To Avoid Putting On Weight Over The Holiday Season

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Does this sound like you? You're getting a little nervous because the holiday season is fast approaching and you still have that spare tyre from last year. Putting on weight for you, especially around your middle, at this time is an inevitability.

Buying new clothes every year is putting a serious dent in your budget and your partner just remarked that he totally appreciates that there is so much more of you to love now than when he met you.

Your last resort is to move to Yemen where Christmas isn't celebrated and alcohol is forbidden.

Before you start headscarf shopping try some of these suggestions to help avoid that weight gain.

Estrogen affects how our bodies respond to insulin. So when we enter midlife the drop in estrogen that comes at this time can be the cause of having less insulin sensitivity which means almost all the carbs we eat turn to fat. 

Generally the fat pools around your middle and is what's known as viseral fat or the fat that forms around your abdominal cavity and some of your vital organs. It is extremely harmful.

So let’s make this simple by breaking it down. Exactly what will cause you to put on too much weight over the holidays? That's a rhetorical question. We know what it is right?

  • Too much added sugar
  • Too much alcohol
  • Over indulgence in unhealthy carb ladened foods

That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.

Last I checked good conversation, dancing and having fun were not contributors to the post-Christmas spare tyre.

Here are my tips on how to avoid or at least cut down on each of these spare tyre instigators.

WEIGHT LOSS MISTAKES WOMEN IN MIDLIFE MAKE

  • WHICH EXERCISE TO STOP DOING
  • NO COUNTING CALORIES OR SCALE WATCHING
  • FIT BACK INTO THOSE JEANS YOU LOVE

Getting your head in the game

1. Don't try to lose weight over this time 

Instead aim at maintaining the weight you are now and consider waiting until the New Year if you feel you need to drop some kilos. See if you can stick to your exercise regime or maybe switch up some of the activites to ones that will include the family. A backyard game of soccer, badminton, cricket. Anything that has you moving can be considered exercise.

2. Be okay with waiting

Waiting until the New Year to get back on or resume your weight loss program is not a losing action. It is common sense and will see you doing better in the long run. It is the HOLIDAY season so give yourself a break and just be mindful and thoughtful about what you eat.

3. Be mindful of what you eat

Try to be mindful of the food choices you make but do so without judgement.  

Also be thoughtful about how you eat. Try to chew at least 20 times and give yourself plenty of time to finish the meal.

Think about what you eat. Without the judgement but with thoughtfulness about if its nutritious and healthy. You might find yourself making better choices without really trying.

Turn off the cravings

1. Stay hydrated

Your brain sometimes will mistake thirst for hunger so if your feeling like demolishing some empty carbs try a glass of water first. At the very least you will dampen those cravings.

If you are have a few drinks try drinking a glass of water between drinks. It will slow you down and help you avoid the hangover. Make it sparkling with a squeeze of lime so that you can feel just a little bit special.

2. Get plenty of sleep

Besides starting to take on the appearance of a zoombie lack of also will switch on your hunger hormone. And the cravings will be for high carb junkfood. So make sure to leave parties a little earlier and get to bed.

When you are well rested you will find it easier to keep your calm in stressful situations and you are more likely to make healthier more nutritions food choices.

3. Be mindful of what you eat

 Try to be mindful of the food choices you make but do so without judgement. 

flat lay of peoples selecting healthy food of plates

Make Healthier Choices

1. Avoid high sugar mixers in your drinks

Stick to beer, wine or cocktails with no sugar added. 

Try a good quality chilled vodka with lime juice a heap of ice and some liquid drops of stevia for a little bit of sweetness. If you want a longer drink add sparkling water. It is seriously delicious and I dare you to stop at one.

2. Avoid carb filled desserts

Fill up on the good stuff during the main course, fibrous vegetables, good fats such as avocado and olive oil and a little protein. Indulge in some good cheese on top of a slice of cucumber or radish as a treat. I actually carry cucumber and radish slices with me for just such occasions.

3.Watch the sugar treats that seem to materialise over Christmas

You know the ones: Lindor chocolates, truffles that look like mini Christmas puds, chips with dip made out of packet soups.  Stick to plain nuts or your own homemade bliss balls, perhaps even some dark chocolate.

4. Stick to low carbohydrate and low alcoholic wines and beers

There is a good range and some of it is pretty decent. You won’t feel like you are missing out.

Read my ‘5 Tips To Help You Drink Less Alcohol’

5. Eat before you go out

If you are going to a dinner party and you know it will be a while before the real food appears eat a healthy snack before you go.  

This will save you snacking on those empty calorie snacks. Especially the chips. They are the number one cause of weight gain in the US.

If it is a party with just nibbly food then the same goes. Eat a healthy meal before you go and stick to the healthy nibbles. Prawns, olives, vegetables with a low carb dip, nuts and  fruit are all good choices.

If the function is casual take your own food along. Hosts will be thankful that they don’t have the worry of providing something different.

If it’s an organised meal at a function ring the organisers with plenty of notice and explain what you need. Most kitchens are happy to oblige.

6. How about making some of your own low carb delicious treats

Try this for a spectacular treat:-

Decadent Chocolate and Raspberry, Cashew Cheesecake

Don't give up on your usual healthy routine

1. Exercise

Exercise can take a back seat at this time of year. It may be that your a bit over your usual daily routine. Now is the time to switch it up a little. Do something a little different. 

A nice walk in the neighbourhood with your family, a bike ride, a local hike discovering new places, a game of frisbee, a back yard game of soccer. 

Anything that gets you moving is better than not moving at all.

So enjoy the holiday season safe in the knowledge that those jeans will still fit you next year.

Do you have any tips for avoiding putting on weight during this time of year?

woman sitting at outdoor table by water
A table full of beautiful Christmas treats

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