With Christmas fast approaching, many of you will be feeling a little bit nervous about what you’ll have to do to not gain those festive pounds that are oh too hard to shift when the new year arrives.
So I wanted to share 6 tips with you for staying on track for your health, weight and wellness goals over the festive season in our latest video.
1. Move that body!
Perhaps you’ve more space away from work and got a little extra time on your hands, well then, it’s the perfect opportunity to get your body exercising! Why wait until the new year to get fit. Can you get to the gym now, or start walking regularly, or join an online yoga class. Do whatever works for you.
The best time of the day to exercise if possible is first thing in the morning so you’ve got it out of the way and there is no excuse to find any reason to not do it. I’ve found as well that once you’ve done your exercise for the day, you’re more likely to be more mindful of the food and drink choices you make later on!
Alcohol often has a bigger more frequent role to play than at other times of the year, so ensure that you drink more water from today until things get back to normal. Stay hydrated. Drink a full glass of water 20 minutes before eating, plus an extra glass for every alcoholic drink you consume.
Watch the empty calories alcohol adds to your waistline. Clear spirits with a soda, or a glass of Prosecco will normally average 200 calories per glass, compared to a cocktail at around 500 plus calories.
3. Plant protein
Try to include plant protein, nuts, seeds, legumes, with each meal or snack you eat. You don’t need that much protein, or indeed too much of anything.
Go for a palm sized portion of protein at every meal to help balance your blood sugar levels, protein will keep you feeling fuller for longer, plus only having a palm sized portion will keep down levels of saturated fats if your protein source comes from animals.
4. Portion control
Have a little bit of everything, but don’t overeat on anything. Watch your portion sizes. Eat from a side plate, the bigger the plate, the more you will eat, especially if you are a member of the clean plate club.
Try eating from a dark coloured plate, or brightly patterned plate, Harvard University states that you will naturally eat less without even trying. Give it a go.
5. Practise Mindful eating.
No matter the time of the year, if you follow these simple, easy steps, you will be able to stay in control of your waistline.
Firstly – Slow down your eating. Take your time, savour and enjoy your food.
Secondly – Chew your food at least 20 times before swallowing. It takes 20 minutes for the stretch receptors in your stomach to tell your brain that you are full – if you rush your food you’ll be able to stuff in a load of calories, before this natural control mechanism kicks in.
Thirdly – Always eat in a relaxed and calm environment. If Auntie Joan is kicking off because she hasn’t won at charades on Christmas day and making you feel stressed, this will be the worst time for you to eat. Cortisol combined with your food is going to dump the pounds on.
6 Time of day
Look at the time of day you are eating. Your body works on a natural cycle of hormones, its called your Circadian rhythm. Digestive enzymes and hormones that work on using your food as fuel, cortisol, adrenaline, adenosine, all are at their peak earlier in the day.
After 6pm your body does not want to spent a lot of energy on food, this becomes time to repair and heal from the wear and tear of your day. Work with your body, not against it and consume the majority of your calories before that 6pm deadline.
Don’t forget that a little of what you fancy does you good. Christmas is a special time to share with family, friends, and hopefully offers some time to allow yourself some down time from the busyness of life – to re-connect to yourself.
From all of us at Homefield, we wish you a wonderful, joyous and healthy Christmas.
Love to you all.