Studies show that on average, Australians gain almost two kilograms over the Christmas holidays. Now it might not sound like it’s a lot but researchers have found that weight gained during that period rarely gets shed.

Furthermore, an American study identified that weight gain was usually found around the trunk area. And weight gained around this part is associated with an increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

So before you stuff yourself silly during all the celebratory shindigs, try the tips below to avoid gaining weight during the holiday season:

  • Don’t starve yourself before going to a party. Eat something light before you head over to lessen the chances of you binging on foods that are high in calories.
  • Instead of trying to lose weight during the holidays, make it your goal to maintain your current weight.
  • Measure your portion sizes. But if you really intend to finish everything on your plate, go for an entrée plate instead of a dinner plate. That way, you’ll be sure to eat less.
  • Take note of the foundation of the Healthy Eating Pyramid and strive to fill your plate with these. These include vegetables, legumes, fruit and grains foods.

What Foods to Enjoy

  • Vegetable sticks, pretzels, rice crackers
  • Hummus, beetroot, tzatziki, avocado dip
  • Sushi
  • Sandwiches, quiches
  • Fruit salad with yoghurt

What Foods to Limit

  • Creamy dips
  • Pies, sausage rolls, spinach triangles
  • Chips, corn chips
  • Lollies, candy canes, chocolates
  • Cakes and slices with cream

Alcohol

It’s never quite a party unless alcohol is involved. However, consuming too much alcohol can lead to weight gain.  According to the experts at the Department of Health and Ageing:

“For healthy men and women, drinking no more than two standard drinks in any day reduces your risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury over a lifetime.
Drinking no more than four standard drinks on a single occasion reduces the risk of alcohol-related injury arising from that occasion.”

So if you do choose to drink, remember these guidelines:

  • Monitor your serving size. Restaurants usually serve wine in glasses that are three times the standard serve.
  • Be careful with top-ups. Topping up your glass can lead to you losing count of the amount you have been drinking. Finish one glass before accepting a top-up.
  • Switch it up. Alternate one alcoholic drink with one non-alcoholic drink such as water.

Exercise

These tips can help you maintain your fitness in the face of the gastronomic temptations that you often face during the holiday season:

  • Ask for a gym membership for a present. This is a smart choice as having one can help you get fit and remain in shape all year long.
  • Set a fitness goal for the New Year. Engage in fun fitness activities that you can actually complete. Fun runs, for one, are great events to find yourself in.
  • Play with your kids. Aside from the quality and bonding opportunities that you’ll get to have, you’ll also work up a sweat, whether it’s biking, camping, swimming or throwing a Frisbee around with your children.
  • Take a walk while you’re on vacation. Not only is it more fun as you’ll get to discover more places and the locale’s culture on the street level, you’ll also be keeping yourself limber.