Fighting Fit in 2015

Christmas Diet
Festive Top Tips

Christmas is a wonderful time of year for gathering family and friends together, but it can take its toll on you regarding weight gain and for some, a little bit of stress.

There’s so much to do at Christmas – all the shopping, presents, wrapping, decorating, the Christmas tree, making extra beds, cleaning, cooking – and all amidst a whirlwind of partying.

Christmas brings so many additional pressures and stress triggers – from worries about money, who to invite and where everyone is going to stay, to lack of time and help, overexcited children and stressful family arguments.

Temptation is everywhere you look at Christmas.

Mulled WIne
Mulled WIne

Delightful little cakes, marvellous mince pies, exquisite puff pastries and not to mention the bubbles and mulled wine.

Your colleagues bring them into the office, parties seem to have an endless supply of food and drinks, and somehow it isn’t Christmas unless you are well stocked up in your home.

Besides, its been a tough year and you deserve to let off a bit of steam and enjoy yourself, right?

Well yes, but within reason. When the 2nd of January comes round and the New Year hangover is gone, it is only then that you realise you cant fit in to any of your clothes or you are searching for your ‘fat’ jeans at the back of your wardrobe.

The holidays are not only a time to spread cheer but also a time to test your willpower. Which is why the Restaurants Brighton nutritionist has put together some tips to help you get through this stressful time of year without adding the dreaded holiday weight.

Start the New Year looking fabulous with these 8 tips:

1) Eat before you go out.

The Waterside Brasserie, Brighton Marina Village, Rendez-Vous Casino, Upper Deck
Test your willpower

Before a party, if you have a balanced meal with 1/4 of your plate filled with protein, 1/4 filled with complex carbohydrates and half the plate with vegetables or salad, this will stop you picking at the nibbles (or reduce your desire).

Eating simple carbohydrates like chips, mashed potatoes or white rice/bread could leave you with a sugar imbalance that will lead you straight to your nemesis at parties, leaving you craving for the things you hate yourself indulging in like carbs or desserts.

Try to adopt this balanced plate filling method when you are at the party also, choosing a side plate and not piling your dish too high.

2) Wear something fitted

Wear a belt; trousers with a waistband or something form fitting when going to a party. By doing this, you will be aware of any overeating and hopefully stop you in your tracks when the desserts come round.

Your stomach will expand when you have had too much, making you feel uncomfortable and aware of the size you were at the beginning of the party.

3) Get plenty of sleep

In times of stress, good sleep is vital for our body to repair itself and produce natural killer cells, assisting our immune system, so avoid too many late nights.

4) Keep calm and carry on

Amid all the rushing around trying to get everything organised and perfect for everyone else, be sure you take time for a rest yourself. Even just sitting quietly for 20 minutes with a relaxing herbal tea reflecting on all the good things in your life can be a great way to re-energise.

Shopping in the Christmas rush can be stressful. If you’re prone to feeling overwhelmed, Bach Rescue Remedy is a fantastic calmer.

5) Limit liquid calories

Liquid Calories – Examples

While Christmas is the time to eat, drink and be merry, most of us are all too familiar with the downside of excess, so aim for moderation. Just because it’s liquid, it doesn’t mean it won’t affect your waistline so be aware.  Some holiday favourites can have up to 400 calories! Opt for clear spirits, clear mixers, and wine.

Try to alternate between a glass of wine and a non-alcoholic drink or glass of water (by rehydrating the body and brain, water helps you cope better with stressful situations). Also drink with food, as this will prevent the blood sugar highs and lows. Alcohol postpones fat loss while your body is processing it and causes insulin to spike, which promotes hunger cravings.

If you do overindulge, milk thistle herb is an effective way to relieve the symptoms of excessive drinking and overeating.

6) Three bite rule

If you really can’t say no to desserts and you have asked yourself ‘do I really want this?’ and the answer is still yes, then this could be a solution you could adapt. The three-bite rule is exactly that, try the dessert but just take three bites and leave it.

If you can’t push it away, then do the unthinkable and sabotage the flavour, share with a friend, or simply throw it away (quickly)!

7) Take plenty of exercise

Brighton Food Nutritionist
Jayne Hopper – Nutritionist

Keeping your regular exercise routine or yoga/pilates practice going over the festive season can be challenging. But by keeping in shape and releasing mood enhancing endorphins, you’ll look and feel great.

Finding someone to work out with really helps, otherwise why not try a dance or fitness class like Zumba or Bokwa as a fun way to keep fit? And if nothing else, be sure to get out for some walks.

8) Try not to be a perfectionist

Christmas is meant to be for fun and celebration, so if things don’t always go according to plan try not to let it bother you.  It will at least make for an amusing anecdote you can laugh about next year.

Enjoy the holidays!

Blog Feature Prepared By: Jayne Hopper, Restaurants Brighton Nutritionist

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