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Tis the season to be merry – how to keep your weight down over the festive period

We all love Christmas for many reasons but regardless of how you celebrate it, one thing that is certain is that food will be readily available at every turn. Why not, it is Christmas after all, isn’t it? Below we share our top 10 tips for keeping on track over the festive period.

1. Self discipline
It’s okay to say no. Generally, as a population we’re not good at turning things down when we visit people, whether this be a cup of tea, a biscuit or a tasty pig in blanket, but it’s actually okay to say no. If it doesn’t fit your daily calories, politely smile and decline.

2. Calculate your calories
Create a calorie deficit to make up for the days of Christmas. The average brit consumes around 6,000 calories on Christmas day, that’s roughly 3-4 day’s worth in one hit. To help counteract the festive feast, reduce calories in the days leading up to and following the big day to help balance out overall numbers over the course of the week, which will in turn help to keep weight stable.

3. Should I, shouldn’t I
Ask yourself if you need it – we often just say yes to everything, we don’t spare a second thought about what we are about to eat. If you are considering having a treat such as a chocolate or cheese plate, ask yourself if you need it. If the answer is yes, then go for it, but if the answer is no, pass and save the calories for later.

These go-to snacks are usually empty calories, lacking in nutritional value and not satiating your hunger. Stocking up on healthy snacks to replace these treats is a great way to keep calories low without feeling left out.

4. Regulate your exercise
Keep your exercise routine as normal as possible – of course we don’t expect you to be at the gym on Christmas day but on the days around it, try to continue as normal. If you have family visiting, perhaps consider inviting them along or if not, I’m sure they will be just fine for an hour or so.

5. Stay active
It’s easy to slump in front of the TV and binge on Christmas films but the crisp cold days are usually bright so make the most of them by going for a morning walk with friends and family. Staying active will keep you feeling energised throughout the holidays.

6. Choose your days
Pick at least three alcohol free days over the Christmas period – limit drinking your daily calories by opting for alcohol free days. With Christmas parties looming this is easier said than done, so volunteering yourself as designated driver is a great way of having an alcohol-free evening. Another option is to consider drinking one large glass of water for every alcoholic beverage consumed as this will help fill you up, making you feel less inclined to have another drink.

7. Catch some Zzzzzz
Use the holidays to catch up on sleep – the festive period is a great time to get in those extra zZz. We all know how beneficial good quality sleep is for our body, allowing it to recover and repair from the pressures of the year.

8. Banish the snacking
Eat before you go out – eating at home before going out will help prevent snacking when out with friends.

9. Caffeine free Christmas
Ditch the festive latte – Christmas cups and exciting flavours in our favourite coffee shop can be tempting but be aware of the calories. The average festive latte contains over 200 calories compared to a cappuccino or white coffee which contains under 50. If you are craving something sweet, consider having a low calories coffee following by a protein shake or protein bar.

10. Return to normality
Know when it’s over – once Boxing day has passed, normality should be reinstated. Return to eating well balanced meals, full of fruit, veg and protein and exercising when possible. Think about goal setting for the New Year ahead. removing all remaining sweet treats and temptations from your home will also help you get back on track.

Enjoy Christmas without undoing all your hard work this year by following our tips above – you can thank us later. Wishing you all a very healthy and happy Christmas!

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