Just a few years ago I was 42 kilos heavier than I am today.
For most of the year I’d attempt to lose weight, but as soon as the festive season came around I gave up on any health goals that I may have had.
Heading to Christmas parties, end of year celebrations and lots of social occasions over this upcoming period of time, I would easily gain five to 10 kilos.
That happened every year for several consecutive years.
I’d decide that all of the food on offer and drinking opportunities were more important than my health, and it was too hard to focus on weight loss with all of these temptations.
It was only when I started prioritising my health that I started to learn that it shouldn’t be a seasonal thing.
It was in fact just as important over the festive season as it was for the rest of the year.
Now, I’ve become much better at managing this time of year.
I've lost 42 kilos naturally - using diet and exercise and a change in mindset to achieve my goals.
But if you’re trying to lose weight, this time period can be super daunting. I find that people usually take one of two approaches:
a) Eat everything and worry about it later, or
b) Feel like they can’t eat anything, restrict themselves, stress about their food and not have actually have fun with their loved ones.
In my opinion, neither of these approaches are great.
With weight loss, I truly believe in moderation, and finding a way of dieting which is sustainable and one you can adhere to long term.
What you’ve got to remember is that one ‘bad’ day won’t make you gain a whole lot of weight, but on the other hand, if you’ve got goals which are important to you, you don’t want to undo all of the work you’ve done throughout the year in several weeks over the festive season.
I’ve put together my top five tips to staying on track over the festive season.
If you follow these tips, you’ll be sure to stay on track, indulge a little, and most importantly have an amazing time with your loved ones without being obsessive over your food.
Start your day with movement
Either hit the gym or grab the family and get outside for a walk, go for a team bike ride or head to the park and run around with the kids.
Doing this will ensure that you are set up with a positive mentality, you can spend some quality time with the family, and also you’ve burnt some calories before starting the day of celebrations!
Watch your alcohol intake
Alcohol contains calories, and if you’re drinking regularly over the festive season in addition to increased calorie consumption, it’s likely to result in weight gain.
Pick and choose the events in which you do and don’t drink at. On the days you do decide to have some beverages, choose a lower calorie alcoholic beverage such as a spirit with a sugar free mixer.
See what’s on offer before you dive in
Give yourself time to view the foods which are going to be served to you so that you can make a decision around which foods you are going to eat, and which you’re going to skip.
Pick a protein and vegetable source first
Ensure you get in some protein which is super important for weight loss, and make sure you get in your vegetables for your nutrients. Not only is this good for you, it will mean that you fill up on the good stuff and leave just a bit of room for some deliciousness!
Don’t entirely restrict yourself
If you go in with the approach that you can’t eat any of the desserts, it’s likely that they will be on your mind and you’ll end up bingeing on them later.
Go with the 80/20 approach – 80 per cent nutrient dense foods, 20 per cent calorie dense foods.
This way you don’t feel the need to go to town, you don’t feel restricted, and you’ll get Aunt Bessie off your back because as you’ve heard for the 403rd time, she’s been baking for weeks!
This time period only comes around once a year, so don’t be too stressed about ensuring 100 per cent compliance with your diet.
In saying that though, you don’t have to go to town either.
If you take the moderation approach, you’ll be able to take enjoy some pie, savour the last bite of Aunt Bessie’s fruit cake and still enjoy the time with your family, guilt free.
Lastly, if you do happen to overindulge, remember tomorrow is a new day, and another chance you have to work on your health and yourself!
Merry Christmas superstars!
Follow more of Kate’s health and fitness tips on her Facebook page Persistence Pays
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