Tis the season to be jolly’, but for some people this time of year can result in a panic due to worrying about how much weight they are going to be putting on over the festive period. Our buddy, Andy, at Optimal Per4m dropped by to highlight 5 things you can do to help reduce the affects of the Christmas bulking season.

1. Stay Hydrated


Hunger signals and dehydration for some people can be confused. Water helps battle fatigue, helps keep the brain, skin and kidneys healthy. It also helps fill you up as well. Aim for 1 litre per 25kg of body weight and if you exercise add a further 750ml-1.5ltrs.
2. Minimise consumption of ‘TRIGGER’ foods

These are the foods that tend to be the ones that you either can’t stop eating or the foods you tend to think have ruined your eating habits for that day and send you off on a downward spiral. At Christmas time these foods are everywhere and usually come packaged in tins – Celebrations, Heroes, Roses or even those addictive Toblerone Bars. If you can, try to limit the supply or access you have to them. This is because if they are not around the chances are you not going to go out and buy them. Alternatively you could even give yourself a set number you can eat, e.g. allow yourself 5 on Christmas Day.

Just so you know, per sweet(ish) is the following breakdown:
283kcals with 33g carbohydrates  and 15.5g Fat


3. Try portion control

If you are full don’t follow the old saying you were brought up with of ‘finish what’s on your plate‘. Leave it! You can always make left over snacks and finish it at a later date.  A psychological trick you could use is a smaller plate when dishing up your food but try not to pile the plate up. I advise my clients to use their hands as a guide to what should be consumed per meal.

Per meal you should aim to consume the following:
A palm size of lean protein
Fist size of vegetables
Fist size of starchy carbs – like rice potatoes
Thumb size of fat.

And have 4 meals over the course of the day.

4. Exercise prior to the feeding frenzy
If you know you have a big feast coming up have a workout prior to eating. This will cause receptors in the muscle cells to be more receptive and more of the meal may be utilised to help the body recover and repair.

5. Add activity

A woman walks with a dog during a snowfall on March 19, 2013 in Berlin.  AFP PHOTO / JOHANNES EISELE        (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)
Where you can get outside with the family and spend time walking round the local parks and free attractions in the local area. Go out for bike rides, walk the dog, hopefully we may even see abit of snow – go sledging, snowball fights and relive your youth.

The main point is try to eat as normal and plan ahead where you can. This will save a lot of guilt and hard work in the new year. More importantly though enjoy yourself with family and catch up with old friends over this period. After all, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a little indulgence!

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