Updated 17 December 2013

Thwart holiday weight gain

Over the festive season, slimmers enter a 'danger zone'. It's the time of year when temptations are everywhere. You can’t hide till it’s over, so what can you do?


Over the festive season, slimmers enter a ‘danger zone’. It's the time of year when temptations are everywhere.

Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas or New Year, everywhere you go – to the shops, to work, to school events or to an office party – all the nice ‘goodies’ associated with the festive season are all around you and seem to shout ‘EAT ME!’

You can’t hide till it’s over, so what can you do?

  • To avoid weight gain, it's important to be selective. Trying a little of everything is dangerous. It's better to simply satisfy yourself with a few of your favourites than to add all those extra unwanted calories.
  • Do not skip meals, especially breakfast. It slows your metabolism and you are more likely to binge.
  • Drink plenty of water as it fills you up and increases your metabolic rate.
  • Consider keeping a food diary. If you know you have to write everything down, you are less likely to nibble.
  • If you do overindulge, don’t give up. Continue on your eating plan and it will most likely correct itself before the next weigh day.
  • Don’t go to a party hungry as you are more likely to nibble. Remember that starters are more fattening than your main meal, so be selective!
  • Limit your alcohol intake as it contains empty calories and it lowers your inhibitions, making you more likely to binge.
  • Focus on socialising – if you're talking, you won’t have much time for eating. Give yourself one trip to the buffet table and stand as far away from it as possible. Talk more and eat less!
  • Practise saying “no thank you” in an assertive, but polite manner. For example: “Thank you for an enjoyable meal … but I am full.”

Hints and tips
Unfortunately, not everyone holds functions/parties with health/weight in mind, so here are a few tips on what to choose or rather to avoid: 

Choose Avoid
Tossed garden salad Crackers and cheese
Fresh fruit platter Nuts
Fresh or grilled seafood Dips and paté
Vegetable platter with low-fat cheese Chips, fatty cold meats
Turkey, white meat Fried/deep-fried foods
Lean leg ham Cream, cheese sauces
Smoked salmon Pastry pies
Skinless grilled chicken Sausages
Potatoes, baked in jacket (no cream) Fried rice
Rice, steamed or boiled Gravy
Mustard Hot chips
Most breads and rolls, small Garlic herb bread, butter & margarine
Strawberries, melons, fruit compote Fruit mince pies, pastries, creams, gateaux
Frozen fruit ices, sorbet, ice confections Cheese cakes, cakes
Tomato juice, water (plain/mineral/soda) Regular soft drinks
Wine diluted 50% with soda water Full-strength wine/beer
Low-alcohol beer, tea, coffee No cream or sugar

(Information provided by Weigh-Less)


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