Minimizing the festive flab

Posted: February 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

According to leading nutritionist Dr Miguel Angel Rubio a change in eating habits over the festive season could lead to an average gain of four kilos per person.

Moreover, what may take only 12 days to put on, can take over two months to burn off.

“And worse, it could become part of a vicious downhill spiral,” he explains. “You get into the dynamics of gaining weight over Christmas, and then losing it but there comes a time when these ups and downs may stop working, and in the end, the weight only goes up.”

So what should you do to avoid piling on the pounds over Christmas?

The best way to avoid gaining weight over the holidays is to eat in moderation, keep a consistent exercise program and try these tips to avoid holiday weight gain.


1. Stick to a regular routine with sleep and exercise. Many times feeling tired or stressed is mistaken for hunger to your body.

2. Watch your alcohol/soft drinks intake. Alcoholic or fizzy beverages contain “empty calories,” offering little to no nutritional value and contributing to excess weight gain. Try having a seltzer with a lime twist or a glass of water between alcoholic drinks to help cut calories and remain well hydrated.

3. Eat a small, healthy meal before party time. It’s a common misconception that you will lose weight by skipping meals. The truth is your metabolism slows down causing you to store body fat if calories are too limited for too long. Another negative result is that you are more likely to binge later at night resulting in greater weight gains.

4. Don’t stand by the food at the party. You will be less likely to partake in unconscious snacking all night if you instead move, mingle and socialize with friends.

5. If you’re hungry at the party, reach for the vegetables (without the dip), fruit or rye crackers. If you do host a party have plenty of water and low-calorie snacks available.

6. Eat slowly. It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to register a “full” sensation and signal the brain that it’s had enough. Slow down and listen to your body.

7. Set goals and keep a food diary. Plan your weekly food intake and calorie count to include those treats or Chinese New Year goodies in your diet — in moderation, of course. Don’t totally avoid sweets and festive food; just plan for it and eat more fruit and vegetables during the week to allow for this. With this plan you can also avoid the guilty feeling afterward that can add to your stress level.

8. Eat protein. Quality protein includes lean meats, seafood, chicken, turkey, eggs, yogurt and low-fat cheeses. Protein will help you feel full and control your appetite.

9. Try to stay consistent with your workout routine. Don’t fall prey to the excuse that you’ll get back on track after this period. You may need to modify your program for the busy holidays. Do what you can, but keep it up, trying new fitness activities and cross training to keep things fresh and fun. Seek out a professional to help you with your program if you need motivation. Have at least a neutral energy balance rather than positive.

11. Do not start any weight loss programme during this period. People will discover a number of temptations during the holiday season which makes removing fat challenging on beginners. If dieters cheat on their weight loss system, then these dieters possibly will experience shame and then wind up eating extra foods. Worse still, they might assume each and every weight loss plan will not work and thus never reduce their extra weight. Rather, a person should wait until after the festive season to start decreasing body fat.

10. Always remain positive. If you do have a “bad” day, don’t worry or stress about it. Just get back on track the next day.


Holiday seasons are cheerful times. A dieter should never let weight loss plans interfere with these joyful occasions. Doing some preparing and knowing ideal ways to lose weight, an individual will take part in nourishing as well as joyful holidays. Here’s wishing you a Happy Chinese New Year!


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