How to enjoy Christmas without gaining weight
Is it possible to enjoy Christmas without gaining weight? Well, we can certainly try. Christmas is an exciting time for many of us as we look forward to celebrating with family and friends, but as with any celebration, food plays a huge part in the way we mark the festive season, presenting a huge opportunity to overindulge.
But if you’ve been working hard all year to lose weight and improve your health, don’t undo it at Christmas. Don’t lose sight of your goals for the sake of polishing off a tin of Quality Street, as tempting as it may be.
Save yourself for the big day
Christmas is a food-heavy holiday, and the over-indulgence begins weeks before Christmas Day. The festive season seems to start earlier and earlier each year, and almost as soon as the Halloween costumes are packed away we’re all munching on mince pies. So when we talk about Christmas weight gain, it’s usually not just about the day itself but the weeks of indulgence leading up to it.
It’s tempting to ditch your healthy eating with the excuse of it being Christmas, but a whole month of this really adds up and can do a lot to unpick the healthy habits you’ve worked so hard to build.
There’s no denying that Christmas treats are delicious, but you won’t miss out if you save the Celebrations for closer to the big day. Christmas is really only one day, after all.
Don’t drink your calories
In recent years, we’ve all gone mad for limited edition coffees from high street coffee shop chains, and who could blame us? With gingerbread, toffee nut and eggnog lattes and caramel, black forest and mint hot chocolates all on offer, sipping on a festive drink while we do the Christmas shopping is one of life’s little pleasures.
But did you know that these drinks can contain hundreds of calories and a shocking amount of sugar?
If during December you’re swapping your regular skinny latte for an eggnog latte, you’ll be consuming an extra 236 calories and 24g sugar – and it’s so easy to do.
By all means, enjoy a Christmas coffee, but be mindful of the extra calories and save them for a special treat. Check out our guide to the calories in Starbucks’ Christmas drinks here and in Costa’s Christmas drinks here.
Make activity a part of your Christmas
Another reason we tend to gain weight over the festive period is that our activity levels grind to a halt. December is cold and dark and you’d be forgiven for wanting to hunker down indoors under a big blanket in front of the TV.
Try and continue to increase your activity levels throughout the Christmas period, and why not get the family involved too? Wrapping up warm and heading out for a walk is a great way of sneaking in some gentle exercise, and you could head out on a Christmas lights hunt for something that’s fun and a bit different. Even big kids will enjoy seeking out the over-the-top decorated houses in your area, and you’ll be getting active while enjoying yourself.
Load up on the good stuff
You don’t have to go overboard on chocolate, alcohol or cheese at Christmas to get into the festive spirit. A lot of what we typically consume around Christmas is actually very good for us and will still give you that Christmas feeling.
Brussels sprouts are low in calories and high in vitamin C and vitamin K, and sweet clementines are at their best at this time of year, perfect for a healthier way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Don’t worry about it too much
By all accounts, it has been a shit year. So if you want to give yourself a break over Christmas, don’t feel bad about it. Celebrate the success you’ve had in 2021 – you’ve come a long way, baby.
We all want to enjoy Christmas and it’s entirely possible to do so without gaining weight, but if you do put on weight this festive season then don’t beat yourself up about it. Navigating a major event like Christmas when you’re trying to lose weight is hard, and even seasoned pros who have lost hundreds of pounds openly admit that it’s difficult to resist the sheer amount of food that gets passed around at Christmas.
Believe in yourself and try your best, but also remember that you won’t completely ruin your progress if you do slip up.