No matter how good you’ve been this year, we all know that Christmas is famous for driving even the most well-behaved dieters to be very, very naughty. From Christmas mince pies, to ham, to trifle, we all have a salty, sugary Christmas favourite.
While there’s nothing wrong with a treat here and there, studies have found that the average person gains around two kilograms over the Christmas period, suggesting that once we start, many of us find it very hard to stop. If you are looking to avoid weight gain this Christmas, the solution could be a lot simpler than you may have thought.
In a recent interview with Well+Good, Robynne Chutkan, MD, author of The Bloat Cure, offered her top tips on how to avoid holiday bloat and weight gain and her advice was surprising doable. This Christmas, avoid heading to meals hungry and make sure that you have a small snack before every meal.
“A lot of people eat light during the day, ‘saving their calories’ for the party, but then they end up filling their stomach up faster than the brain can process the stomach being full,” Chutkan said. “An apple before you head to the party is always a good idea.”
Instead of filling up on starters such as meat, cheese and beer before the meal, Chutkan explained that it’s best to stick to veggies, dips, fruit and one glass of wine.
The key, she says, is going to your meals hungry enough that you are excited to eat, but not so hungry that you gulp down everything in sight before you get a chance to consider what you are eating. “You want to come hungry, but you don’t want to be ravenous to the point where you’re eating to get your blood sugar up and not actually enjoying your food,” she concluded.
If you know that you often have a serious overeating problem, try having a snack that is high in protein before you head to meals, such as a boiled egg or a handful of nuts. Snacks that are high in protein are the most effective at filling you up and will help to ensure that you don’t eat too much of the wrong things.