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Why Do We Get Fatter over Christmas?

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Why Do We Get Fatter over Christmas?

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The silly season or the season to be jolly.

Jolly alright, have you noticed the shape Santa is in?  Do you feel like its rubbing off on you over December and January?

I can’t possibly cover all the reasons why you may gain weight over the holidays, but the main ones are listed below, along with solutions and tips to minimise or completely remove the risk.

1/ THERE IS FOOD EVERYWHERE AT WORK

As if the rest of the year doesn’t include enough birthdays or other celebrations, when it comes to the next couple of months, it gets plain ridiculous.
So it seems at least 16 people have birthdays in November and December and then there are the xmas chocolates you have on the counter, the xmas lollies in the staffroom and the lovely colleagues and clients who insist on xmas baking and bringing it in for everyone to try.
Then you have your staff break ups, your client appreciation parties, drinks after work to celebrate the season and everything in between.  Your Kris Kringle always seems to involve chocolates or baked treats as well.  Not to mention Advent Calendars and other ‘thank you’ gifts from students or clients which always contain 1000 calories per square inch.
While you’re not going to be able to avoid (or even want to avoid) every little thing, making sure you bring healthy snacks and lunches to work – and actually eating them – can really help. Save the splurges for your actual xmas break up or your own birthday.

2/ YOU DON’T WANT TO OFFEND ANYONE

Seriously, if you are letting other people dictate what you’re eating (still) you’re fighting a losing battle.
Most people DO NOT CARE about your health, fitness or fat loss goals.  It’s a sad truth.  Unless they are actually on a similar journey, they don’t want you to succeed (they’ll say they do) because if you succeed, that makes their situation look worse.

People may not actually consciously think this, but it’s true and I’m positive you could think of someone that tries to sabotage you no end as soon as you say you’re trying to eat well or reach certain goal.  Sometimes partners are even the worst at this.

A simple no thank-you should suffice.  But in case it doesn’t, you can take a piece for ‘later’.  Tell them you’re too full right now as you just ate or you’ll have it after lunch.

You’re not 5 anymore. No one can make you eat something.  And if they get offended because you don’t want it – that really is their problem not yours.

There are many other reasons sticking to your plan can be more challenging at this time of the year.  I will cover more of them in my next article.

3/ THERE ARE SO MANY PARTIES AND FUNCTIONS ON

Along with the usual birthday parties, you also are usually attending at least a couple of work functions, some family functions, some break ups and of course there is Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Eve, New Years Day and so on it goes.

While eating out can be tricky, I like to tell clients to stick to the Magic Two when choosing from any menu.

The MAGIC TWO are:

  1. Protein – this is your meat usually. Could be chicken, fish, seafood, lamb, beef or other game
  2. Veggies or salad – this should make up the bulk of your meal.  Even if there are sauces or dressings, if you’ve chosen a protein and this for your meal, you can’t go wrong.

The second tip for eating out is to make some choices and decisions before you leave home. Will you have a couple of drinks?  Or will you have dessert?

Believe it or not, you can enjoy an evening out without splurging on everything. And if others at your table insist, you know that it is their guilt not yours shining through.

Other eating out tips are:

  • Avoid the rolls, bread, herb/garlic breads etc
  • Don’t choose a pasta or rice dish – remember the magic 2
  • Share a dessert
  • Drink mineral (or plain) water between drinks
  • Eat a Magic Two snack before you leave home
  • Don’t be pressured by others.  See Point 2 above
4/ YOU’RE SURROUNDED BY PEOPLE THAT DON’T WORRY ABOUT THEIR HEALTH AND FITNESS

This can be tricky and I’m sure you’ve experienced this.

They may mock you, tease you or try to make you indulge.  You’re probably not going to be able to avoid these people all the time.  But its best to try to stay away when you can.  Sit at a different table, eat elsewhere at lunchtime or take your break at a different time if you can.  Another trick is to surround yourself with positive people that do care about their health and fitness.  Joining a fitness facility, even if its just for the holiday season, can be a real help.  Meeting regularly with others who have similar goals and who will boost you rather than tempt you can really help.  I know this helps me – a lot!

5/ EVERYONE (ESPECIALLY FAMILY AND FRIENDS) KEEP SAYING “IT’S JUST ONE DAY, LIFE IS SHORT, ENJOY YOURSELF, JUST ONE WON’T HURT” AND SO ON

The thing is, is it really just one day?  Are these occasions really that rare or far apart?

Of course not.   We all know that there is a ‘special occasion’ on every week of the year and many more at this time.  So have a think about your upcoming function schedule and decide in advance when and where you’ll let your hair down and when you’ll make better choices.

It is only yourself you’ll be ‘cheating’ if you let loose at every single occasion.

6/ I HAVE LESS TIME TO WORKOUT, PREPARE MEALS, COOK ETC

This is true. Christmas time can be exhausting.  But when you really think about it, its often lack of sleep that makes you so tired.

So make sure you look ahead. Which functions could you leave from a little early so you get enough sleep. And which are going to carry on during the night?

When will you have time to perhaps make a double batch of tea so that you have left overs for your lunches.

When could you reschedule those workouts or even do shorter ones at home instead.  Keeping in your regular fitness routine will do wonders to keep your food on track and minimise the damage as well.

For a complete guide on surviving the silly season, complete your details below.    I’ll send you the link to download my guide to not just avoiding weight gain over the coming season, but actually losing weight and gaining some fitness also.

Oh, and its totally free 🎁

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