Beating the Christmas Bulge

How to beat the Christmas bulge before it starts

It’s that time of year again folks, it may feel like it comes earlier every year, but the festive season is officially upon us.

Mince pies, mulled wine, Christmas parties & hot Christmas pudding with brandy butter, it’s all a part of the festive season, and it’s all going to contribute to that Christmas bulge!

Losing that bulge is tough, and it takes longer to lose than it does to gain. So if you want to save yourself that extra holiday weight this year, implement these top tips to beat the bulge before it grows!

1. Set indulgent free days

Do a bit of simple planning and set days each week that will be indulgent free, and higher in ‘healthy’ nutrient rich natural foods. If you’re up to it, you can even try a 24 hour fast once a week to lower your calorie intake.

2. Plan your guilt free meals

The staff Christmas party, dinner out & drinks with friends, Christmas dinner, Boxing day lunch, set these as guilt free meals to enjoy what you want. Note I say MEALS not days! On these days, be sure to eat healthy leading up to the meal, drink lots of water and try not to snack. You can even try an intermittent fasting day by not eating until your guilt free meal.

3. Stay active

It’s cold, it’s dark and the days are shorter, but the combination of extra calories and less activity is the number one reason for that bulging waist line. It’s important to keep your activity up to account for those big meals and extra calories. Simple daily tabatas in the morning, short runs a few times a week, skipping for 10 minutes, running stairs, body weight exercises. You don’t need a gym to workout, and you need to move more to counter that Christmas pudding!

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4. Keep portions in check

My eyes are bigger than my belly, and in order to stop me over doing it I try not to eat from the biggest plate I can find! Try eating from a smaller plate at those big meals, once you’ve finished the plate, set a 5 minute timer and wait until its done before you go up for more. It takes time for your hunger to settle and the wait will help curb your appetite.

5. Start to track your food

Now is the time to start tracking how much you eat, there are some great free tracking apps like MyFitnessPal that are simple and quick to use. By logging what calories are going in you can more effectively plan your day, meals, and exercise. The average brit consumes nearly 8000 calories on Christmas day alone, and for most, they only burn off around 1500 cals. It’s time to see what you’re really eating!

6. Pile in the veg and turkey

Whether it’s a buffet or Christmas dinner, go for the meat, fish and chicken first – protein has a higher thermic effect (it costs more energy to process). Once you’ve got this, pile on your greens and veg, these have a higher fiber content and will keep you fuller for longer.