By Alessandra Winfield, The Friendlies Physiotherapy Service dietician
Studies have shown that many people gain between half a kilogram to three kilograms over the Christmas season.
Many people will make New Year’s resolutions to lose the weight and some succeed.
Others, however will carry that weight all year and the cycle continues into subsequent Christmas seasons.
I am not going to say “watch what you eat” on Christmas day, because to me it is a special occasion and we should enjoy it.
The trick is to indulge for only one day and not to continue ‘feasting excessively’ for the weeks following.
Here are some tips to help you get through the Christmas season with your health in mind
- To avoid gaining extra kilos over the Christmas holidays, I would recommend planning ahead. Plan for a good feast on Christmas day with all the trimmings that also includes plenty of healthy salads, fruit platters and reasonably healthy nibblies like dried fruit, nuts, pretzels, rice crackers, dark chocolate and licorice.
- Plan to buy only enough indulgent food for Christmas day. Aim to buy extras of the healthier food like salads, fruit, ham, lean meat, poultry, and seafood to last for the remaining Christmas season.
- Any leftovers you do have, plan to either freeze or store them for a later date rather than consuming everything within days.
- Drink water between alcoholic drinks to keep yourself hydrated.
- After your feasting (and nap for some people), make a tradition of going for a walk around your neighbourhood or go to the beach to burn up some of those extra calories. Begin a new habit of walking/swimming to continue throughout the coming year.
- Make plans to get back into healthy eating as soon as possible. Include a New Year plan to get fit and healthy early so that if you have gained any extra kilos, you can focus on losing them before the next Christmas season comes along. Try to avoid any fad dieting plans because they often fail and in many cases, weight becomes harder to lose in the long run.
- See your Friendly neighbourhood dietitian, if you need help getting back to a healthy eating regimen.
Alessandra Winfield works from the Friendlies Physiotherapy Service and sees all patients by appointment on 4331 1888.