11 easy ways to avoid the common Christmas Bulge
A few handy party season tips to avoid the Christmas weight gain. Ladies, this one is for you - guys can apply the same principles, minus the bikini! Partying = calories!!
Party food, alcohol, not enough sleep and waking up late feeling ordinary with a hangover & craving grease can quickly & easily derail anyone's Summer bikini-body efforts
1) Set the Standard & Track
Buy a really pretty, expensive dress, top, skirt, shirt or bikini that you absolutely love & is a snug fit at the start of the silly season. Hang it somewhere visible & plan to wear it on Australia Day as well as throughout the holidays! This will be your measurement tool & will help keep your motivation there, wear it / try it on regularly (at the same time in your cycle if you tend to hold fluid).
2) Drink Wisely
Find a beverage you can make more figure-friendly. Ie use sparkling mineral water with fresh lemon or lime as a mixer, or choose a hard seltzer option instead of high sugar juices & cocktails. You can add some stevia drops to sweeten if desired. Diet soft drinks are not a good option as they contain artificial sweeteners which are neurotoxic & can wreak havoc with our gut flora – don’t use them full stop. Remember also that a drink like rum & coke will have triple the addictive potential of say a glass of wine (caffeine + alcohol + sugar as opposed to just the alcohol), so be aware that cravings will be triggered from 3 angles, making them harder to resist with this type of drink.
3) Lots of Water
Keep drinking lots of water – easy to forget, but essential to make it through the silly season the same size you went in to it. Water is often what we are needing when we feel ‘hungry’. Try adding some fulvic acid, magnesium powder, electrolytes or a colloidal mineral supplement into your water, if you feel mineral depleted (often the case over a sweaty summer party season).
4) Be Smart with Food
Foodwise – go for natural wholefoods. Fresh fruit, nuts, olives, quality cheeses, salads, meat, fish, seafood & eggs & steer clear of the sweets, chips, breads, potato bakes, pasta salads, crackers & dips (hommous & guacamole etc with veg sticks are fine). Position yourself away from the food table for the most part, you’ll be less tempted. And always make sure you eat a nice healthy snack / meal before you leave for a party – if you rock up starving, you won’t stand a chance against those very moreish MSG-laden chips & crackers! Stay away from any food intolerances you have, these will often make you more ‘fluidy’ & inflammed / swollen-looking. Many people notice that just cutting out gluten, casein, refined sugar & alcohol can lead to very fast weight loss., We have a few Christmas ideas here on our recipe page.
5) Don't be Lazy
Keep active – just before a party is a great time to head out to do some exercise – some sort of strength training / weights ideally (pilates, yoga, swim, even some home you tube routine). You’ll look great as your increased circulation will make your skin glow, muscles will be defined & you’ll be in a great mood with all those post-workout endorphins. You’ll also be burning calories all night long so a few treats won’t have the same impact. Schedule in a workout session BEFORE a party - you are unlikely to want to get physical after! Dancing is counted as exercise too, so spend some time on the floor whenever the opportunity presents! One cocktail = one hour carving it up! If you do workout just prior to partying, remember to pay attention to staying hydrated all night, & it’s a great idea to follow your workout with a quick protein shake / smoothie to aid with muscle recovery (it will also keep you full & help you avoid the naughty nibbles)!
Get out in the sun! Use the time off work to really replenish your vitamin D stores – many of us are deficient & vitamin D is crucial to maintain healthy metabolism & body composition, also for our poor sedentary-lifestyle affected bones (bones need lots of sunshine & weight bearing exercise in order to be healthy – office workers beware!) That winter coat even looks less flabby with a tan – but the key here is small, regular doses, exposing as much of your body as possible (& legal) but to never get burnt – just build up a healthy summer glow. Your immune system will thank you too – get out & take those kids away from their devices & down to the beach or park – frolic with them :)
Holiday mode should include some extra sleep & just lazing in general, but all those extra hours of inactivity combined with indulgent Christmas fare can leave you with some new stored fat pretty quickly! Don’t go overboard with the rest – balance it with plenty of active fun & relaxing outdoorsy exercise. Try long bike rides with the kids / your partner / dog, hire a kayak or paddle board, go for a surf, a run, swim, bush walk, beach walk, explore your area on foot, join a new sporting club for the new year, find a yoga session to join, catch up on that gardening….keep your metabolism firing & you won’t be bringing home too much ‘excess baggage’!
8) Now you know what to ask for this Xmas
Ask for & give healthy gifts! A new blender / bullet / blaster / juicer / salad chopper / steamer / dehydrator….anything that encourages more fresh wholefoods, fruit & especially veggies to be eaten is a winner! A ball, a bike, surfboard, skateboard, scooter, boogie board, hula hoop, kite, cricket or volleyball set, pool or beach toys…our kids are too sedentary with devices & gaming just dominating their leisure time – get them outdoors & go with them! A gym membership could be a gift, just be careful - they must want one & have said so; some dance / yoga / pilates classes - why not join you & a mate up!? Make a big batch of healthy treats & give them to friends (maybe with the recipe) in pretty jars. Spread the good habits you’ve got mastered to loved ones who may not have them nailed just yet!
Pre-pack food before any outings, ie don’t get stuck at the beach with starving kids & only a fish & chip shop with ice creams (ok for a treat but just watch the entire holiday doesn’t revolve around this as a Pre-pack food before any outings, ie don’t get stuck at the beach with starving kids & only a fish & chip shop with ice creams (ok for a treat but just watch the entire holiday doesn’t revolve around this as a staple lunch!) Add some great picnic gear / an eski to your Xmas list & when you go out bring a heap of fresh fruit, veggies & healthy dips, nuts, olives, cheeses, wraps, pre-cooked veggie burgers / felafels, salads etc.
10) Fasting / Time Restricted Eating
So great for your gut, liver & your metabolism to allow extended rest times with no calories coming in. Try limiting your eating window (loads of great articles / apps / books / coaches to help - but one of the easiest ways is to just eat dinner earlier (& nothing after it), then hold out on eating or drinking anything except water, herb tea or black coffee until 11-2pm. Greens + Aloe is also great when fasting for metabolic & digestive health.
11) Get some SupplementsUse supplements to help out if need be! Some that spring to mind as useful over Christmas are:
- St Mary’s Thistle or a good liver formula designed to provide functional support & antioxidant protection (ask in your local health shop or pharmacy for a good liver detox supplement).
- Turmeric is another great liver support you can add to your juices, smoothies, curries, salads etc. Fresh or powdered is great – or you can buy the capsules / powders.
- Adaptogen or adrenal tonic herbs like Siberian Ginseng & Rhodiola, to keep you energised & help take the edge off the Christmas craziness. Often found in combination with magnesium or B-Vitamins - also perfect for the silly season.
- A good supergreens combo (for example Greens+Aloe). Green powders are a quick & convenient way to get your daily greens in when you’re too busy to stop and prepare a meal. Just fill a shaker bottle with lots of ice & water, add a good heaped teaspoon of green powder & shake. Add half an organic lemon or lime (peel too) to flavour if desired (or some protein powder, magnesium vitamin C, pomegranate juice etc). Great to ‘drink & drive’ on your way to work / gym / school drop off etc - just don’t spill it – or your car & work outfit will be a lovely green ‘algae’ hue, done this a few times personally!) Greens + Aloe is great for instant caffeine free energy, general gut health, glucose metabolism & detox support. Another bonus = it will make your skin glow over the party season, & help support / soothe / repair your gut lining whilst indulging in foods or drinks you’d normally avoid. Aloe vera is particularly indicated for those who have trouble with muscle building, but are really good at storing belly fat (aloe helps improve insulin sensitivity.