Women

Say No To Holiday Weight Gain (part 1)

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It’s so easy to let the weight creep on during the holidays, but with a little bit of effort and planning you can keep those kilos under control.

It’s the holidays. You have parties and Christmas lunch to look forward to, New Year’s drinks and a trip away – it’s tempting just to accept that a few extra kilograms will hit your hips.

“Research suggests people can put on up to 4kg during the Christmas break,” says accredited practicing dietitian Milena Katz. The problem with being complacent about holiday weight gain, even if it’s only a kilo or two, is that it doesn’t magically drop off when the silly season is over. “You might lose a little of it, but the rest can hang around and even accumulate through the year,” she says.

Want to keep the weight off these holidays? Follow these dos and don’ts:

DON’T arrive hungry

Being famished when you hit a Christmas event makes it harder not to overeat. “Eat a salad, a piece of fruit or a toasted sandwich before you go,” says Professor Clare Collins, spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia. Once there, don’t eat or drink to placate an insistent host. “Take a small portion to be polite, but don’t feel you have to finish it,” she says.

The difference between a large (125g) slice of cheesecake and a small (75g) slice is 715kJ.

Description: Being famished when you hit a Christmas event makes it harder not to overeat.

Being famished when you hit a Christmas event makes it harder not to overeat.

DON’T eat just anything

It can be easy at parties to eat foods you’re not keen on just because they’re offered to you. “Make it a rule to only eat foods you really like,” says Katz. As long as you’re mindful of portions with your treats, you don’t need to feel deprived or risk a kilojoule blow-out.

Here’s the proof. Eating a small amount of your favorite treats will satisfy your hunger, say US experts, but you’ll eat 77 per cent more when offered larger portions.

DO pack light

If you’re going away for the Christmas period, make your suitcase reflect your good intentions, says Collins. “Pack your sports clothes first, then your tightest shorts and party dress to help keep you on track. They’re as good as a set of scales when you’re away.”

Going up a dress size means that you’ll carry an extra 4cm around your bust, waist or thighs.

DO avoid the holiday buffet

You’re more likely to overeat to get your money’s worth, says Collins. If a buffet breakfast is included in your holiday package, Katz suggests making it your main meal of the day. “Have a healthy cooked breakfast with lots of vegetables and a smaller lunch and dinner,” she says.

Think about what you have at breakfast: by not eating three bacon rashers and buttered toast you’ll avoid 1649kJ and 20g of fat.

Description: avoid the holiday buffet

avoid the holiday buffet

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