How to beat the Christmas bulge
Coming off the back of our family cruise for 6 days it’s fresh in my mind the challenegs that we may all have over the Christmas holiday period. Even though I trained for 10 hours on the ship I still managed to put on 2Kg’s in 6 days. Ill put it down to the 24/7 buffet. Thankfully though at Melbourne Corporate Health we have a cleasning system that allows our body to come back into balance within two days.
The festive season can be akin to a 4-6week buffet of foods that taste great but provide very little nutrient value yet extremely high in calories. This is why we can eat so much of it. The effect? Well its obvious isn’t it. Weight gain! Fat gain! Fatigue! Reduced focused! And a reduced capacity to cope with stress!
The Problem with “Waist” gain
In a great article written by Nutrition Australia, most Australians put on an average of 0.8-1.5kg over the Christmas period. One to two kilograms may not seem like much but researches have found that this weight is very rarely lost and sets a pattern for furture challenges as we move into the new year.
Weight is most obviously noticed across out waist and navel and this is the most dangerous area to accumulate weight especially in such a short period of time. Weight gain in this area is linked to increase risks of Diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Dean’s tips to maintain weight over Christmas
- 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 piece of fruit, cut up vegetable sticks with hummus, hard boiled egg, protien shakes and nuts.
- 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 healthy foods first. Go for the salads, vegetables, and light protien including chicken and fish. Look for legumes and complex carbohydrates such as rice and quinoa.
- Prepare your own healthy dishes. Simply google Healthy Christmas Recipes, here is an example.
Foods to Enjoy
- Vegetable sticks, pretzels, rice crackers
- Hummus, beetroot, tzatziki, avocado dip
- Sandwiches, quiches
- Fruit salad with yoghurt
Foods to Limit
- Creamy dips
- 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 Ageing:
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.
To keep you on track this festive season enquire about Melbourne Corporate Health’s Personal Training, Coaching and Nutrition services.