“Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat…..”
Or so the olde song goes. I’ve been thinking about the Christmas period, eating, drinking, being merry. I suspect you have too?
I’m certainly not coming at this as a killjoy, someone trying to kill the fun and indulgence we are exposed to. Have a great Christmas and a fab New Year.
Are you feeling a twinge of worry though? That uncomfortable anxiety that you’ve worked hard this year to exercise, make better food choices, and you’re concerned that a Christmas binge might continue well into 2017?
You’ll see so much advice in the mainstream media, most of it based on nothing more than conventional dogma. Eat before drinking, go for the fruit salad not the Christmas pudding…blah blah
Geez, it’s as if you’re a complete idiot who couldn’t make such simple decisions for yourself.
How Much Weight DO People REALLY Gain?
You might have heard some terrifying stats on weight gain over the Christmas period, up to 15 pounds between Thanksgiving and the New Year for folks in the USA.
Those numbers are usually self-reported, taking no account of actual fat gain over water weight gain from eating a lot more starchy carbs the day before weigh-in.
A study in the New England Journal Of Medicine actually found that although people highly over-estimated their actual weight gain massively. The average perceived gain was a little over 3 lbs, when the actual gain was only a pound.
So nothing too much to worry about there.
So Who Is Most At Risk?
Unfortunately, the overweight and obese are the most at risk. That’s not really surprising. If you fit into that category, you are likely to have elevated insulin levels, perhaps a pre-disposition to overeat for emotional reasons, and perhaps a track record of poor food choices.
The formerly overweight are also at a greater risk, this study shows that, even thought they had kept the weight off for a prolonged period of time, they still gained more weight than those who had always been a ‘normal weight’.
What YOU Can Do To Avoid The Post Christmas Bulge?
Tip #1 – Prioritize Protein, Fats And Vegetables
This is a no-brainer. Don’t try to intermittent fast over the Christmas period. Start your day with a good protein/fat based breakfast.
When serving up, do it in this order – protein > vegetables > carbs – Aim to fill 3/4 of your plate with protein and vegetable sources BEFORE adding the starchy stuff.
I always used to go protein > roast potatoes > veggies at Christmas, allowing for a record of 17 roast potatoes to find their way onto my plate 🙂
Tip #2 – Prepare Snacks Ahead Of Time
The biggest issue we all tend to find when it comes to food choices is not having something prepped and waiting. It always makes it easier to dive into the sweets and treats. Have these on hand in the fridge, and commit to eating them BEFORE you go into the biscuit barrel.
- Hard Boiled Eggs
- Olives And Other Crudites
- Beef Jerky
- Cold Meats
If you’ve eaten some of those awesome snacks and STILL want some chocolate, be my guest, but just promise to make the above foods your go-to first, wait 20 minutes before indulging in the sweet stuff.
If you’re going to have tasty desserts, (and who doesn’t enjoy them) then using a good quality paleo/primal desserts recipe book is a good call.
Adriana’s ‘Living Healthy With Chocolate’ recipe book is awesome.
Tip #3 – Distraction Planning
Again, I’m not saying don’t have fun…seriously. But over the festive period we tend to spend a lot of time just lying around, watching TV, and the urge to graze all day is overwhelming.
Make some plans ahead of time. Plan to go for a good walk with the family after Christmas dinner, go out in the evening and enjoy the Christmas lights. Play games together in the evening.
It’s amazing how when you have other ‘stuff’ to do, the focus on food really drops away.
MAKE A PLAN
It doesn’t need to be too in-depth, it shouldn’t be like some prescription that stinks of misery and restriction. You can have an incredible (and indulgent) Christmas without gaining a ton of weight. I promise.
Sure, you can go overboard and then start the mandatory New Year diet and fitness promise that never lasts, or take a pragmatic approach to the festive period.
The choice is YOURS!
Have a great time, see you after the big event!