Keeping the weight off at Christmas

Dec 11, 2018 | Eat |

Keeping the weight off at Christmas can be difficult but it was not always the case.  Way back in our evolutionary history, when we depended on foraging and hunting for subsistence, winter would have been a time for enforced fasting.  This is simply because there would have not been enough food.  During this harsh time of the year, we would have had to rely on stored energy – namely our protein and fat stores – not something we need to do in modern life.

Of course nowadays it is completely different and probably the idea of having to go without during the festive season may seem abhorrent.  And rightly so, because we tend to come together at Christmas and celebrate with family and friends – it’s no time for denial.  But there are measures you can put in place to make sure that the pounds don’t pile on and still eat heartily and feel like you are treating yourself for all the hard work you have achieved in the year.

Keep up the exercise

There is no doubt that the freezing temperatures and limited daylight hours force us indoors more than we may want.  But there is no need to be sedentary.  Physical inactivity has been linked to almost every type of chronic illness including heart insufficiency, Type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome, gallstones, depression, neurodegeneration and the list goes on.  Here are our suggestions:

  • Dance to your favourite Christmas track for ten minutes each day
  • Take the dog out for a walk more often and if you don’t have a dog go with someone who does.
  • Find a hot yoga class – there is nothing like going into a heated room when it is freezing cold outside
  • Wrap up and go for a long walk to build up an appetite.

Eat plenty of the right kinds of foods that will fill you up and keep you satisfied for longer

Check yourself to make sure you are not feasting too much on the wrong kinds of carbs.  Foods like the bread, the cakes, the pasta of this world may make you feel like you are full but will not keep you going for long.  They will have you reaching for more within two hours of last meal.

  • Go for a good protein source at breakfast if you eat it(eggs, poultry, fish, mushrooms, nuts ) rather than toast or sugar cereals. This can help prevent the rollercoaster ride of cravings and blood sugar drops later on in the day.  And make sure you always include protein in each meal
  • Enjoy your root vegetables cooked in healthy fat – duck fat, goose fat or even coconut oil. Coconut oil particularly is easily absorbed and converted straight to energy. The more energetic you feel, the more calories you burn.
  • Enjoy a variety of vegetables as your main carbohydrate source with root vegetables offering the most energy

Additional fat burn tricks

  • If you enjoy a glass of wine, keep it to within your mealtime only. Anything with calories between meals can potentially stop you from burning fat.
  • Include some ‘thermogenic’ foods in your diet i.e. foods that increase your body temperature so that you have to use up calories to cool down. These include turmeric, green tea and peppers especially chilli.
  • Visit a cold plunge pool if you dare! This form of hydrotherapy especially after a sauna can stimulate the circulation and tone the skin.  It may also help to burn fat.