With the cold season approaching at a rate of knots, and the clocks going back, it can be easy to let healthy habits slip, but it’s important to stay focused in November and early December!
We have a few more weeks of sanity before the silly season hits…
December is full on for ‘treats’ and ‘oh, go on, it’s Christmas!’ indulgences!
So renewing good intentions and staying focused with healthy eating and lifestyle habits can pay dividends further down the line.
For one, you’ll thank yourself in January!
Did you know the average weight gain over the Christmas period is 7lbs?
How would you feel, half a stone heavier? 😬 I don’t think that would fill anyone with glee! But does it inspire you to be extra careful pre-Christmas, to give you a little wiggle?
I’ve put together a few pointers to help you tighten the belt, so you don’t have to buy a bigger belt next month!
To take the pressure off next month – for the next few weeks could you…
- Reduce the Alcohol
The odd drink seems so harmless, doesn’t it? A glass of wine, the odd beer…but those calories really add up!
Whenever you get an opportunity to forego an alcoholic drink – grab it! Especially when at home (it’s always harder to pass up a drink when we’re out being sociable).
Would it really do any harm to have a soft drink, a cup of tea, a non-alcoholic beer wherever you can? Just for November?
To put this into perspective – to lose a pound of fat, we need to ditch 3,500 calories a week (500 a day).
A bottle of wine = 600 calories,
Pint of larger = 150 calories
A double shot of spirit = 100 calories
Tot up how many empty calories you could save by ditching some alcohol in November.
(And let’s face it – we’ll be making up for it next month! 😉)
- Be strict with your bread and potato consumption!
Ditch the sandwiches at lunch time – maybe and omelette or soup instead? Going out for a curry – forgo the naan bread (you can do it, it’s only for a month! 😉).
Substitute potatoes in your evening meal for roasted vegetables, butternut squash is a great substitute.
Again, you’ll be saving hundreds of calories and you’ll be increasing your variety of nutrients – you’ll feel better for it and hit December with bags of energy – ready to party!
- Reduce snacking.
Personally, I think this is one of the biggest causes of weight gain in the UK – so focus hard on this over the next few weeks.
Not buying crisps, chocolate bars and especially avoid those protein bars (they are NOT healthy!) would be a big win – if they’re not in the house, they can’t call to you!
And don’t be tempted to ‘stock up’ on the Quality Streets, mince pies, Twiglets etc. Buy them now…will they really make it to Christmas?!
If you are genuinely hungry and need a snack, switch to fruit – if you don’t want fruit…you are not hungry! 😄
Keep busy, distract yourself, don’t dwell on that snack!
You can have a read of my blog on snacking here.
- Go to bed earlier!
Sleep is great for weight loss – for one, you can’t eat when you’re asleep! 😄
When you get enough sleep (around 7 hours for most people) you will –
- Find you make better food choices.
- Your body isn’t tired so won’t be looking for energy dense foods.
- You’ll be more productive so there’ll be less time thinking about snacks.
There’ll be plenty of late nights next month – so make this a key focus in the run up to Christmas.
Probably won’t surprise you, I’ve written a blog on the importance of sleep in weight loss, have a read!
- Keeeeep moving!
I know it’s cold out there, and dark so early – but get out as much as you can. Make time for a 20 minute brisk stroll at lunch time wherever possible.
If you have a PT or a regular appointment at the gym – make it non-negotiable! Things are bound to slip next month, so make November/early December count!
Benefits of moving more –
- Get your heart rate up, burn a few calories, maintain/build muscles mass which helps with your metabolic rate.
- Great for your mental health – again, you’ll make better food choices.
- You’ll sleep better!
Put off eating your first mince pie as long as possible – certainly get through November!
I’m always banging on about mince pies! We have so many opportunities to eat them and those opportunities are getting earlier and earlier – they’re in every supermarket from September…and they’re so cheap!
But at 250 empty (i.e. no nutritional benefit) calories a pop – and we eat them so mindlessly, those calories might not register in our head…but they do on the waistline!
I challenge you to look at the vast amount of ingredients on the packaging…it’s quite scary! Preservatives, flavourings, colourings, palm oil, lots of sugar (various types), they’re not just bad news for the waistline, but for our gut health and mental health too!
Maybe hold out for a delicious homemade, warm mince pie on Christmas Eve!
I hope some of that has galvanised you to stay strong for as long as possible before the festive season hits.
I’m pretty sure everyone finds it easier to gain weight than lose it – so best not be frivolous with those calories before we really have to!
The more careful you can be before Christmas the more you can enjoy the ‘big week’ guilt free!
What intensions would you like to set to safeguard your waistline this winter?
For anyone who’d like some help with weight loss – I’m here!
Let’s have a chat – book here for a virtual cuppa. I’ll put the kettle on!