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The Christmas holiday season is drawing near, and with food and festivities comes the often inevitable Christmas calories.
Let’s face it, around Christmas, there’s always something to tempt our taste buds and challenge our ability to stick to our healthy eating routine.
Of course, having a good relationship with food plays a big part in fending off these Christmas calories, but there are also some simple secrets to prevent holiday weight gain this season.
Fill Up on Protein Beforehand
One of the best and simplest ways to stop the urge to overindulge on Christmas calories is having a large protein meal beforehand.
This method allows us to limit the uncontrollable hunger that can come at Christmas events, and will often result in us eating far fewer unnecessary calories.
Limit Your Alcohol Intake
One of the common drinks that people often overconsume during the Christmas season is alcoholic beverages.
These drinks not only add to the total Christmas calorie intake significantly, but they also hinder our body’s ability to burn fat (Lussier-Cacan et al., 2002).
When we eat an excess of Christmas calories while under the influence, dietary fat is more likely to be stored in the liver, and less likely to be used for energy.
So this Christmas, before you start pouring too much alcohol down your gaping maw, think twice if you want to make sure your fitness goals remain on track into the new year.
Keep Active Before and After
One thing that is most effective throughout the day of Christmas festivities is remaining active before and after.
In the morning, a light fasted workout can help kick-start your metabolism, allowing us to burn more calories throughout the day (Knab et al., 2011).
In addition to this, taking a short 15-minute stroll after consuming the bulk of your Christmas calories helps offset the steep rise in blood sugar levels post-Christmas binge (Iida et al., 2020).
This helps our body deal with the sheer influx of food, allowing for better metabolism of all the carbohydrates you’ve just consumed.
Allow Some Flexibility
The last and most important note when it comes to the Christmas festive season is ensuring we do allow for some flexibility.
If we use some of the strategies already mentioned, we can allow ourselves to enjoy good comfort food on Christmas day.
Allowing ourselves moments, where we can take a break from our rigid health schedule, is beneficial and maintains a good relationship with food.
Read more about Mindful Eating: Having a Healthy Relationship with Food