Guilty of overeating during the holidays?
Here are 7 simple ways to beat weight gain.
After all the excesses of the festive season, it is unsurprising that one of the most commonly vowed New Year resolutions every year is to lose weight. If dropping a few pounds is high on your list, or you simply want to get a bit healthier, here are some top tips to support you this January…
1. Banish the guilt
First and foremost, don’t beat yourself up if you have had an especially indulgent Christmas and New Year. Remember that it’s what you eat on a regular basis that affects your long-term wellbeing, not that extra helping of Christmas pudding on the 25th December.
A short period of over-indulgence over the festive season is not a health problem, and should be enjoyed and celebrated without regret.
2. Set realistic goals.
One or two pounds a week maximum is doable. Top weight-loss programs advocate stopping after the first 10 pounds and maintaining that loss for about six months before trying to lose any more.
3. Clear your house of the Christmas leftovers
If it isn’t there, you can’t eat it! Once all the festivities are over, clear your cupboards by freezing leftovers and giving them away (you’ll easily find some grateful recipients!). Restock with healthier snacks such as raw nuts, fresh fruit and chopped up vegetables; foods that you can just grab when you’re hungry or having a post-Christmas craving.
4. Make weekly resolutions.
Don’t try to overhaul your diet overnight. If you make too many changes at once, chances are you’ll get frustrated and throw in the towel. Instead, make one change, such as eating at least one piece of fruit daily, every week.
5. Drink water.
People often mistake thirst for hunger, so next time you feel like noshing, reach for water first. Drinking also helps you feel full. Some experts suggest sipping water (or iced tea) just before you sit down to a meal. Continue drinking as you eat to add volume and weight to your meal.
6. Plan ahead
Most of us are in goal-setting mode in January, making it the perfect time to get organized. The hormone ghrelin, released by the stomach when you’re hungry, is thought to activate the brain’s reward system and draw us to high-calorie junk food.
By taking your own home-prepared lunch and snacks to work, you can make well thought out choices, rather than those that are fuelled by hunger. Spend a couple of hours on a Sunday preparing some food for the week, and you will be thankful for it once the madness of your week begins.
7. Walk more
Exercise not only burns calories, but boosts self-esteem and puts you in a positive mind-set, further encouraging you to make healthier food and lifestyle choices. In addition to your scheduled exercise, simply moving around more by increasing your step count can help to achieve your weight loss goals.