Before the tips, a quip: “Did you ever stop to taste a carrot? Not just eat it, but taste it? You can’t taste the beauty and energy of the earth in a Twinkie.” ~ Astrid Alauda.
One of the best ways to lose weight at Christmas or anytime is to really taste your food. Eat mindfully, savoring the flavors and textures of your food. If you do this, you’re less likely to overeat because you’ll be more in tune with your body.
And, one of my best weight loss tips is to use the 10 Minute Solutions DVDs. I love, love, love these fitness DVDs because they allow you to work out for a mere 10 minutes, or a whole hour. Since most of us have 10 minutes to spare here and there, these DVDs are the perfect way to stay connected with our bodies. My favorite is 10 Minute Solution: Rapid Results Pilates with Lara Hudson.
And, here are ten Christmas weight loss tips to help you achieve your weight loss goals…
Avoid Holiday Weight Gain – 10 Christmas Weight Loss Tips
1. Wear a pedometer. A pedometer is a visual reminder of your goal to stay slim at Christmas, which will help you apply these weight loss tips. Attach a Digital Pocket Pedometer to your belt, and keep track of your steps. Remember that it takes hundreds of steps to work off a few chocolate rum balls, and thousands of steps to work off a glass of egg nog! Every time you put a bite of food into your mouth, ask yourself if it’s really worth it.
2. Be aware of your diet downfalls. “With men, there’s a preference toward comfort food that’s a little more healthy, like meat, pasta and potatoes,” says Dr Brian Wansink, food psychologist and author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think. “Women choose things like chips, cookies, chocolate and cake.” If you’re a meat and potatoes person, find ways to control your portion sizes. If you’re a dessert nut, learn how to indulge without overeating — which is what these Christmas weight loss tips are all about…
3. Follow heart healthy diet tips most of the time (the 80/20 rule!). A dietitian I recently interviewed said that if healthy people choose nutritious foods and healthy physical activity 80% of the time, they can indulge in goodies 20% of the time. I love this “80/20 rule” because it gives me the freedom to enjoy Christmas treats, yet avoid holiday weight gain. Most people can let themselves indulge in seasonal treats 20% of the time without suffering ill effects (such as weight gain).
4. Get involved in conversations — not the buffet table. “Don’t hover, stand or constantly drift towards the buffet table – you’ll end up constantly picking, nibbling or munching on tasty morsels and quickly forget just how much you’ve eaten,” says dietitian Juliette Kellow in Christmas Weight Loss Tips. “The easiest way to control the amount you eat is to fill your plate just once and then move away from the food.”
5. Eat foods full of water and fiber before Christmas dinner. This one of the best tips for staying fit over the holiday season — and all year long. Dr John La Puma calls it volumizing: “If you eat a food that is full of water, you will eat fewer calories and lose weight,” he writes in ChefMD’s Big Book of Culinary Medicine. I do this all the time: eat foods that take longer to digest, contain fewer calories, and help me feel full without overeating. Before you indulge in Christmas dinner, eat broth-based soups, smoothies, fruits, and veggies.
6. Involve your family and friends in your exercise schedule. Instead of sacrificing your social time to work out or neglecting your exercise to visit with family and friends, invite them to join your exercise routine. Or, try a new way to exercise over the Christmas holiday season. Activities you can do together include snowshoeing, hiking, ice skating, skiing, tobogganing, and even just walking.
7. Snack every 2-3 hours on healthy foods. To keep your metabolism burning, don’t let yourself get too hungry. Eat low-fat, low-cholesterol snacks such as cheese, crackers, nuts, and dried fruit. Since it takes a long time for the fat in nuts and cheese to metabolize, it lasts longer in your stomach. You’ll feel full longer, which will prevent you from overeating at holiday meals. Make sure your snacks are healthy, and remember that a snack portion is about ¼ cup – a small handful. This Christmas weight loss tip was from Dr Oz — for more tips from him, read Weight Loss Shortcuts.
8. Watch your drinks – they often contain lots of calories. “Steer clear of beer, lager and cider as they’re loaded with calories,” says Kellow. “And the higher the alcohol content, the more calories they contain. For example, a pint of standard beer contains around 160 calories, whereas a bottle of strong lager can contain anywhere between 120-200 calories alone. Watch out, too, for trendy new ciders served in a pint glass with ice. They contain more than 200 calories per pint.”
9. Eat Christmas dinner off a small plate. Food psychologist Brian Wansink’s research shows that holiday weight gain can be avoided not by dieting, but by doing things such as eating off smaller plates (because small plates make food look bigger) and eating two vegetables with every meal (because the more variety you have, the more you’ll eat). His Christmas diet tips will help keep your heart healthy. Be strategic about how you eat and where you eat – not just what you eat.
10. Plan your meals and snacks in advance. Another dietitian I interviewed to said that planning is the number one way to achieve your weight loss goals. Planning your snacks and meals isn’t just a weight loss tip for Christmas, it’s a great way to stay fit all year long. Planning your food intake reduces your unhealthy food choices and binge eating habits.
For more weight loss tips, read Help Setting Weight Loss Goals – 6 Tips for Losing 20 Pounds.
What do you think of these tips for avoiding Christmas weight gain? I welcome your comments below…