Avoiding the Post-Christmas Bulge

Whether you celebrate Christmas as a religious festival, or just welcome the opportunity that the December break offers of bringing you together with family and friends, this can be a very special time of year. It is also a time that many people end up making lifestyle choices that can have lasting impact. There may only be two bank holidays in December but for many people the feasting begins as soon as the first carol is heard and Christmas becomes the excuse for a month of feasting and fasting. Those who are able to draw a line under Christmas and move on with healthy behaviours will likely be able to negate the effects of a few excesses during the season. For others though, whilst a few weeks of indulgence may not dramatically damage our physical health, the season can also leave us feeling guilty, self-conscious and questioning our ability to control ourselves. The good news is there can be a middle ground, with a little planning you can enjoy your night out whilst providing yourself with evidence that you can keep control. One great idea is to decide in advance what your parameters are. Having a plan, whether that be the number of drinks you will have, how many trips to the buffet you take or making the decision to share a dessert, allows us to decide in advance. Sharing your plan with a supportive colleague of family member to get some accountability can also help. 

Top tips to avoid the bulge:

 1. Eat slowly, stop when satisfied not full – It takes the brain roughly 20 minutes to register that the stomach is full. Especially at buffets, leave some space on your plate, chew each morsel of food and let those digestive enzymes work.

 2. Water for starters – Try drinking 1-2 glasses of water before each meal, it will help fill the space and decrease your hunger.

 3. Food order – On your plate, opt to eat the vegetables and protein sources of food first, both will help you to feel full much more quickly and reduce your appetite overall.

 Looking for strategies to stay in tip-top condition all year round? Email us at wellbeing@peopleplus.co.uk



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