Christmas-dinner-imageThe Christmas holiday is a time for festivities, and festive eating The bad news is that studies show the weight gained over the holidays isn’t lost and can stick and increase during the rest of the year.

Over time, this yearly pound creep can have a devastating impact on your health, as even 5 pounds of weight gain can increase your risk of a number of chronic diseases including high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes.”

It is important then to not let the holiday season get the better of you.

Here are some tips that may help you, just be mindful and keep these in mind while you are partying and visiting the rellies.

1. Do not eat to make someone feel better. Remember one of the basic rules is not to eat for someone else and do not be forced to eat by a relative or friend, even if it offends them. You don’t need to offend but you can say “it looks great I’m pacing myself maybe later” All their good intentions will increase your waist line.

2. Be aware and stay away from foods that rev up your appetite. These being any “White floury products such as white rice, and white potatoes” . Holidays are an absolute dietary pitfall for most – these foods add insult to injury. Keeping the Kilos off at Christmas means staying away from white foods.

3. Eat Foods that suppress your appetite and can be used as an alternative to the starchy white stuff, such as whole grains and beans which are also super healthy and provide long-lasting appetite suppression. You could even achieve a holiday weight loss goal, by choosing different foods. For example try bean salad instead of potato salad, brown rice over white rice, 100% whole grain crackers or breads over the “white” ones, and NO rolls and NO biscuits.

4. Liquid calories can be minimized. Liquid calories (soda, fruit drinks, fruit juices, caloric mixers and other sweet drinks) tend to be very fattening in two ways: Liquid sugars illicit rapid surges of blood glucose and insulin that A) perpetuate appetite they make you hungry so you eat more and B) put the body in fat storage mode; also the fact that Liquid calories provide no bulk in the GI tract. Physical bulk in the GI tract is a powerful appetite suppressant.

5. Making a choice of what to Drink, you will barely realize you are sacrificing so choose water or unsweetened tea. When you choose to have “a drink,” make wine, light or low-carb beer or spirits with a non-caloric mixer your first choice. This is an absolute easy way to stay slim at Christmas and stick to your weight loss goals – you will not feel like you are missing out.

6. Protein at each meal. Remember Protein is the body’s natural weight loss pill. You will feel less hungry because the digestion of protein gives rise to a steady more prolonged blood glucose level which translates to less hunger and more energy! Some of the healthiest proteins are fish, shellfish, poultry, beans, wild game, soy, omega. 3 eggs, nuts/seeds and low-fat dairy products. When having Christmas Turkey eat the white turkey meat, also have lean cold cuts over meatballs or stuffings; which can be made with breadcrumbs and chose a bean dip or hummus over onion or dips made with cream. Eat veges with the dip instead of chips.

7. Eat the vege platter and some fruit ratherthan indulge in the little sausages, cold meat or salami’s and high fat dips. Fill two thirds of your plate with salad greens or bean salad rather than potatoe salad. Eat watery veges like cucumber or celery rather than a high carb carrot salad. Watch you don’t eat too much fruit salad which is high in sugar. Keep fruit to a minimum.

8. Don’t let yourself get hungry! Remember to keep yourself in a satisfied state rather than get hungry. If you get hungry you will eat 20% more than you need, It also takes less calories to prevent hunger than it does to deal with it once it occurs. Keep to three meals a day with minimal if any between snacks as necessary to keep your hunger at bay. Withholding food for several hours or more leads to low blood sugar (excessive hunger), it will also slow down your metabolism and primes the pancreas to release extra fat-storing insulin when you finally eat. Your body will respond to a real hunger signal and you will elicit a primal fear and anxiety response that will set you up for naughty dietary indiscretions.

9. Keep topped up. A small handful of nuts along with a piece of fruit (not apple) or fresh raw veggies dipped in hummus an hour before you set off to a party will help you to not over indulge. This is not only an easy way to stick to your holiday weight loss goals – it’ll also keep you really healthy, too.

10. Be wise and exercise! It’s a fantastic safeguard against weight gain and also helps compensate for holiday indulgences. You will find that a walk or some form of exercise not only helps you stick to your holiday weight loss goals, it’s also the perfect tonic for the stress and anxiety people experience during the holiday season (research shows that many people binge when stressed).

11. Satisfy your sweet tooth. Staying slim and healthy at Christmas doesn’t mean denying yourself! A piece of fresh fruit or small fruit salad, a piece of high quality dark chocolate, or a cup of “real” hot cocoa are not only delicious they are nutritious.If you like other treats then just be mindful of your portions.

12. Indulge in alcohol in moderation. Too much alcohol in the evening triggers excessive morning hunger and can lead to cravings for starchy junk food, this causes a much higher intake of calories which just accelerates the weight gain, alcohol calories can really add up and you may be asking yourself was it really worth it!

13. Drinking a full glass of water between each alcoholic beverage at parties will help the effects of alcohol. Always make sure before you drink that there is some food in your stomach. Watching your alcohol intake and being mindful and sensible is an effective way to stay slim at Christmas.

14. Learn to say no. choose your holiday parties wisely don’t feel obligated to attend every party. By being a bit more discerning with your attendance to festivities you will lower your stress levels, you also won’t feel like you have to eat at every function and this is an easy way to keep your weight down or stable over the holidays because it cuts down on the potential for overindulging and too many late nights.

15. Get your rest and sleep! Research has long revealed that sleep deprivation enhances appetite, and increases cravings for sabotaging foods like sweets, chips, breads and pasta. That along with alcohol mean late-night partying is a risk for expanding waistlines along multiple fronts! Sleep deprivation will also sap your energy and enthusiasm for exercise, which isn’t great if you want to stay slim at Christmas.

16. Mindful eating – approach every meal, every snack and every party mindfully, eat and be aware of your food . Rather than linger around the buffet table nibbling as you engage in conversation, choose to put food on a small plate and move away from the table. Eating, picking at food and nibbling without at plate can make you eat a staggering 70% more than you actually need and this will definitely sabotage your holiday weight loss goals for sure. We tend to eat less when we can view all our food on a plate before we start. This is an easy way to stay slim at Christmas and stick to one plate!