Worried about Weight Gain over Christmas?

By: Margarethe De Clermont

How to lose weight during the festive season.

It's the time of the year again most people on any sort of weight management program dread: Christmas time. How are you supposed to stick to a diet when faced with endless rounds of parties, tables groaning with irresistible delicacies, limitless drinks for free and a general feeling of 'Come on, it's Christmas time!'

We are faced with more than one dilemma:

1. We attend more social functions per week (sometimes per day) than any other time of the year
2. The spirit of the season encourages eating large amounts of special Christmas food not available during the rest of the year
3. We get less exercise in the wintertime
4. It's freezing outside and we are tempted to eat more to keep warm

So, what can we do to prevent putting back on all the weight we have lost so far?

I have one timeless cliche for you as an answer: moderation in all things.

It may be a cliche, but it is as true as ever. No use thinking you won't touch anything fattening. You will just feel deprived and end up eating everything in sight/reach. How many times have you heard that statement? You gain body fat over the Christmas season because you aren't eating or drinking in moderation. In order to reverse that situation you need to plan your seasonal weight loss program so that the eating involved with that program is also done in moderation.

Just don't think you will exercise six times more and burn off all the fat. Sudden, excessive exercising for somebody who hasn't done much in the past can result in injury and that injury can make you less mobile and increase the chance to gain body fat.

Nor that you will fast for 10 days after. Sudden changes in diet will send the body into reactionary mode storing fat. Gradual changes to your diet on the other hand done in moderation will not send signals to the body that is a starving and need to store fat.

Making moderate changes to your food intake and exercise frequency/intensity won't infringe on your seasonal enjoyment anywhere near as much and that will in effect make it a lot easier for you to revert back to your original diet plan early January.

Remember to drink enough water. You are better drinking a glass of water here and there throughout the day rather than trying to drink gallons of water in the hope that it will help you to lose weight faster.

So moderation please, Ladies and Gentlemen. It's a simple rule to follow really; if you are eating drinking or exercising too much or too little you are unlikely to get optimum results.

What else can be done to prevent festive weight gain?

1. Make time to plan ahead, get an effective coping strategy in place.
2. Use self-hypnosis to increase commitment- very effective and powerful
3. Use visualisation to role-play tempting situations (cocktail parties buffet lunches etc.)
4. Keep a strict food diary so you know exactly how much you are eating.

These simple strategies can make all the difference. If you practice them religiously, you may even find that you have lost weight after Christmas! And your self-confidence will soar through the roof, even if you just manage to break even. You would have proven to yourself in the most practical of ways that one does not have to put on weight over Christmas.

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