Worrying about weight gain over Christmas? As always at around this time of year, I’m having a bit of a panic about gaining weight as Christmas approaches.
This year, I’m trying to stay sensible right up until Friday 21st. And then will get back on the detox wagon with my book (The Metabolic Fat-loss Diet Plan) straight away in the New Year.
So here are my Top 10 Tips for NOT PILING ON THE POUNDS at Christmas this year…
- Eat between 8am and 8pm
By giving your body a full 12 hours rest and recovery time then you are allow your body to fully digest the food you have eaten during the day. As a bonus, during the night when you are sleeping you will start to slowly use your stored fat. The trick is to leave your breakfast until a good hour after waking (when you are actually hungry) and to leave at least 2 hours after eating in the evening before going to bed. Having a no food after 8pm is really easy to follow. It’s a set rule that you can’t break. You can have a nice normal dinner so you won’t be hungry. Unfortunately, late evening snacking is a common problem for many of us. It’s normally a habit or a form of comfort – or sometimes it’s just there and you can’t resist. Break that habit and keep to the rule and you’ll be well on your way to weight-loss.
- Eat more fruit
I know this goes against many ‘diet’ rules you may have heard because ‘shock-horror’ it contains sugar. But think of it like this. Most people crave sugary foods to some extent. How much better is it to consume these foods in the form of naturally occurring sugar – with the added goodness of fibre and vitamins – than in ANY processed form. I would recommend fruit with or after most meals but not between meals.
- Eat 3 Meals A Day
Not more, not less. 3 proper meals with carbs, proteins and fats. Yes they should be healthy fresh foods but not just a couple of carrot sticks. Surprised? Most diets fail because you starve yourself and can’t help but over-indulge. And we all know that one biscuit is never enough. So enjoy your food and fill yourself up three times a day.
- Don’t Eat Between Meals
This is like the equal and opposite of point 3. If you are eating three proper meals then you’ll have no need for extra food between meals.
- Eat Soup For Lunch
Choose a filling soup with some chicken, beans or lentils. Soups are obviously warming. A soup with a form of protein (and this is where lentils or beans are great as they contain good carbs AND protein) is the most filling and will keep you fuller for longer. The other reason soup is so good – it keeps you away from the ubiquitous sandwich. And a sandwich may be satisfying in the short term but come mid-afternoon you’ll be starving and ready to snack on sugary treats (which is bad in case you haven’t guessed!)
- Eat Less Junk
Eat more freshly prepared foods. Your meals don’t have to be complicated haut cuisine but so much better if you’ve cooked it yourself. Most people can manage to cook a jacket potato or an omelette – both healthy home-cooked meals. If in doubt, follow the 3 ingredient rule. If it’s in a packet check the ingredients list and if it’s more than three then avoid at all costs.
- Eat Chocolate…
…but only if it’s dark. Dark chocolate contains lots of good stuff to fill you up and satisfy your sweet cravings. A bit like fruit it can make you enjoy your diet more. Stick to 3 squares at a time and only at meal-times and you’re good to go.
- Discover Green Tea
If you haven’t discovered green tea yet then you should really give it a go. It puts a spring in your step with a little caffeine and some powerful fat-busting surtuins. This is one thing that you are actively encouraged to drink between meals. You’ll find that it fills a hole and stops your cravings.
- Drink (decaff) Coffee
In much the same way as the green tea, the coffee is really satiating and stops hunger in its tracks. Stick to decaff as sleep is good! Be aware that although a little bit of milk (not skimmed) is OK, if you have a really milky and/or sugary coffee then this starts to become a sweet snack instead of a satiating drink.
- Weigh yourself every day
Set a good time and try and stick to this each week. Why? Stepping on the scales gives you something to aim for and encourages moderation. It helps you moderate what you eat at a time of over-indulgence. It’s the difference between 2 chocolates or the whole box. And THAT is very powerful.
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