How to not put on weight during Christmas and New Year

How To Not Put On Weight During Christmas And New Year

With the festive season around the corner, it only means one thing – gaining extra pounds. Most interestingly a lot of people end up abandoning their fitness regime and going for the six hours TV marathon. Face it guys! It doesn’t need to be this way. You can enjoy a great Christmas and New Year’s eve with a little bit of planning and a smidgeon of self-discipline. The best part is that you won’t feel fat but fit during the festival season.

Getting Short of Daily Exercising

No doubt, it is common for people to fall off their exercising bandwagon during Christmas and New Year. They simply rule out the idea of getting into shape especially during the festive season, thinking that let’s start new during the New Year and go on a hogging spree which easily can be compensated through New Year’s exercising (extreme) regime. Well, that is what most people do and only handful of them end up following the New Year’s resolution and to achieve it.

Of course, this biggest barrier of not being able to exercise is due to lack of time and break from the usual routine provides the required opportunity to start and maintain physical activity. By being active during Christmas, it reduces the chances of being on the heavy side and helps to energize one’s body and reduces stress, thereby providing the required break.

By exercising, it means doing any kind of exercising regime, you need to get up a bit earlier than the normal wake up time and it really makes sure that your workouts won’t interfere or create imbalance among your other daily-to-day commitments and crisis. Plus, it will surely kickstart your metabolism for the rest of the day.

It isn’t important for the workout to be long so that it is beneficial. Most trainers and body builders feel that if one is prepared and ready to work hard, then it is quite easy to fit a great weight-loss regime in a 25-30-minute window. There are various studies showing that 20-25 minutes of high intensity interval training can burn more calories compared to a 40 min in steady state. In addition, if you feel time is not on your side, the daily exercises can be broken down into smaller bouts rather than going for a long and a single session.

Sometimes the presences of visitors and family makes it difficult for doing the regular workouts like visiting the gym, going on a run or jogging or a bike ride. In such case, you need to get everyone in doing various seasonal activities like ice skating and even winter walk. Plus, you can rig the odd by getting the guests something worthwhile like presents which they never taught of or begging for like scooters, bikes, footballs, Frisbees, etc.

Now you might not be able to drag others outside and this doesn’t mean that you can’t get your body moving. Lookout for some indoor activities rather than slumping on the sofa. There are various activities and games which provide extensive exercise to your body. Some gaming consoles provide the real of opportunities like hitting virtual tennis balls, punching invisible targets without leaving your living room and the best part is that you are in the comfort of your house.

With regards to when you plan to work out or exercise, it will be great if you can schedule the activity after having food rather than having it before. There are various studies showing that the post-prandial exercise will attenuate the glycaemic effect of food that is consumed, reducing the blood sugar spikes and dips, and even reducing the chances of consuming snacks later. You can even try small after-dinner activity which can support the digestion rather than wasting time sitting on the armchair.

Seasonal Consumption

Forgoing all the treats and extra during Christmas might be like Scrooge type but you can easily reduce the damage by choosing the festival food in a careful manner. It is advisable to select healthy nibbles like roasted chestnuts, pretzels, dried fruits, unsalted nuts; rather than crispy and chocolate ones. It is all about thinking twice before opening your mouth, making sure that you really want it rather than consuming it just because it was there.

Of course, you might be tempted to skip breakfast, but it will simply lead you to overindulgence later. For making your festival healthy, you can try dates, cranberries, and figs which is considered as the best and tasty breakfast. No doubt having five portions of veggies and fruits each day is great.

One of the best methods of limiting the chances of over-indulging is selecting the outfit which you want to wear carefully. You need to steer away clear from going for loose waistbands and elastic ones. Going for a fitted one will be the benchmark of tightness. The rule is simple, if the waistband fits in the morning, then it needs to fit in the evening. Frankly, this is a harsh wake-up call especially when you are trying to undo the top button for indulging into another plate of mince pies and roasted potatoes.

Just don’t feel obliged to consume more as it is a holiday season. There is no harm in turning down second serving, which doesn’t necessarily mean that you didn’t enjoy the meal. It simply means you had enough. The same is applicable when you are putting hand over the glass of wine when there is still some left, it simply helps in keeping track of how much you had. The units of alcohol can increase especially when the excuse is holiday celebrations. Buck’s fizz while breakfast, mulled wine for Christmas and wine for dinner or brandy; just keep track of how much you are consuming and try to intersperse the alcohol with soft ones and have a lot of water.

If you aren’t prepared to raise your glass in the healthy season and think of going for slothful moment and over-indulgent; it isn’t bad. Just keep in mind that it isn’t the amount of exercise you do and consume between Christmas and New Year, it is what you are planning to do between these two holiday festivals which makes the real difference.

Tips to Controlling Your Weight

Having A Big Breakfast

Do you know that consuming a huge breakfast is great? It helps you to avoid adding extra or unnecessary calories for the rest of the day. Frankly, this rule is quite double when it comes around Christmas, when the temptations are more. The best part of refueling your day at the beginning helps in stabilizing the blood sugar level of your body. This helps in setting one for the whole day of avoiding the sugar-packed festivals that come along the way.

Just think how effective a filling breakfast would be, especially when it has wholegrain carbs (which consist of granary bread or normal cereal) and along with that some good amount of proteins which is in the form of low-fat dairy or eggs which can keep you full until it is lunchtime. This will seriously stop you from having mince pies and chocolates for the rest of the day. You can get really loaded up with a two-course breakfast meal containing an egg and cereal.

Being Active & Going Out

Exercise is one of the best means of keeping your weight on the right track and stable during the Christmas and New Year period. Being a bit more active every day will burn off the unnecessary calories and make the festival fun. Doing an energetic boogie around your Christmas tree can burn to about 1500 calories in half hour. Outdoor or indoor activities, ice-skating, etc will burn to about 170 calories in 30 minutes and is good for toning your calf muscles and thigh muscles.

De-stressing With Yoga

No doubt, December can be a stressful month when it involves shopping and moving from one social event to another. For such scenarios, yoga is the prefect remedy which can simultaneously work out your muscles.

Avoiding Festival Latte

Sometimes Christmas is about tasting the delicious latte. You do need to be aware of the amount of calories those special holiday coffees have which is filled with a variety flavours like eggnog and gingerbread. Some stagger up to about 500 calories. For example, if you try the Mocha Latte which is available at Starbucks, bundled with whipped cream and whole milk. This contains about 508 calories. This is same as McDonald’s Big Mac.

There are other delicious latte and creamy fudge which have huge amount of sugar, nearly double of what World Health Organization recommends for healthy intake (which is about 6 teaspoon a day). If you start drinking the festival latte every day in the month of December, you might add up to 3,500 calories each week to your diet. This is equal to adding about three to five lbs extra pounds to your weight by New Year.

Sometimes we might rush or start eating food quickly; what you need to keep in mind is that irrespective of whether we are gorging food on the go, or being with our family at the dinner table, the chances of overindulging is more and easy when we eat fast. By chewing food six to ten times slower will make our eating slow, help in digestion and provide the brain more time to find out what we have consumed.

Going for The HIIT Workouts

There might be possibility that you are really interested in exercising, but the lack of time makes it quite impossible to burn out the extra calories. In such situations, HIIT (high intensity interval training) is the best and the intense and super effective method of burning out the un-required calories. Here, the session will be about half an hour and you will be getting maximum results for your body from such a short session.

Go for Realistic Goals

The one aspect you might agree is that your calendar for the month of December will be full. Right from the family gatherings to office parties, there won’t be any free time as you might have imagined. Hence, it is necessary that you try to set about objectives regarding weight loss which you can achieve, like a day off from indulging sweet consumption, 25 minutes of exercise, etc. In such ways, you can get rid of all the disappointments and be motivated for the New Year.

Reducing Indulgence

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t try to be overly strict on yourself. The festival season is the best time to consume, drink and be happy with your loved ones. However, during the festival season, you really need to reduce the number of days when you are going to indulge in extra carving or the guilty pleasure of excess sweetness. For example, you can provide break on days of major gathering or events.

Do Shopping for Need and Avoid Greed

There is no denying fact that Christmas can not only be harsh on our waistline but also on our pockets. Most psychologist feel that people during the Christmas time fall easily into the trap of spending small fortunes in supermarket shopping, but they never realize that at the end they throw it away. The worst part is that some even end up eating it up because of guilt. Hence, it is important that you create a list and be more realistic on the amount of food you want to purchase for Christmas, so that you can avoid all the necessary expenditure.

Wrapping Up

Keep in mind that you are bound to go on an eating spree during the holidays. Frankly, that is what holidays are about. Enjoying, being happy and spending time with your family and dear ones. Of course, you can have a blast by tasting some of the delicious and mouth-watering delicacies, but you do need to have a limit.

You can keep track of what you consume and if you do end up hogging a lot, then make up by doing physical activity. There is nothing better in being healthy and fine during holidays and keeping mind and body at its best.


Saravavan Nadarajan (Vanan)

Vanan, fitness expert and leader at EzFit Singapore, specializes in holistic training—home-based, boot camps, and corporate fitness—with over a decade of industry experience.