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8 Tips to Help You Lose Weight in Time for Christmas

Categories: Weight Loss

Many people decide to go on a diet in the new year but there’s no reason to wait until after the festive season to start losing weight. Christmas is less than 6 weeks away so now is the perfect time to start making changes to your diet so that you can fit into your party clothes and indulge in all the delicious Christmas food without feeling guilty.

Here are our top 8 tips to help you with your weight loss goals:

1. Keep a food diary of everything you consume

It’s very easy to underestimate the amount you eat (and drink) each day, so it is a good idea to write down everything you eat and drink so you can see where you are over-eating or snacking without realising. You will also see where / when your bad habits creep in - is it when you are tired / bored / unprepared?

You can use an app or website such as MyFitnessPal to record your food diary / calories or just a simple paper and pen!

2. Cut out simple carbohydrates

Simple carbs such as pasta and bread will raise your blood sugar and make it difficult to lose weight. Not only that, they will leave you feeling hungry again a short time after eating them.

As an alternative, try using vegetables instead. Spaghetti can be replaced with courgette or spaghetti squash, rice can be replaced with cauliflower rice, and lasagne sheets with sliced aubergine.

3. Avoid snacking

Whenever you eat, your body stops using its stored fat for energy and switches to using the food just consumed. If you eat frequently, this can seriously affect your ability to lose weight as your body will constantly be fuelling itself using the food you eat and never get the chance to use your body fat. 

For best results when losing weight, stick to 3 meals a day and avoid snacking altogether. However, if you feel you need a snack try nuts or my healthy flapjack recipe!

4. Remove unhealthy temptations

People often start a diet with the best of intentions but at some point, cravings for unhealthy food will strike. It’s much easier to stick to your diet if you only have healthy food in the house. Therefore, we recommend clearing out your fridge, freezer and cupboards so that when you suddenly feel the need for sugary snakes such as chocolate and ice cream, you’ll have to make a special effort to go to the shops to buy them and this should make it easier for you to resist the temptation.

5. Replace alcohol and sugary drinks with water or herbal tea

Drinks containing sugar or alcohol contain a high number of calories and very little of any nutritional value. Your daily calorie allowance will go further (and ensure you get more of the vitamins and minerals you need) if you eat your calories rather than drink them.

If you enjoy fruit juice and can’t bear to give it up completely, try adding a splash of juice to a glass of water to make a healthier version of squash, or try using an infusion bottle where you can add your own berries, cucumber, mint, to flavour your water.

6. Do some resistance training

Exercising will help you lose weight as you’ll burn more calories than you would if you were sedentary all day. However, doing lots of cardio will catabolise your muscles so you’ll benefit more if you do some resistance training instead. This can involve using weights or just your body weight. Not only will this help you lose weight, you’ll also build muscle, which will increase your metabolism and make you look more toned once any excess fat covering your muscles has gone.

7. Get enough sleep

With today’s hectic lifestyles, it’s often difficult to get the recommended 7-9 hours’ sleep a night but if you can manage it, not only will you feel better, it’ll also help you lose weight. Poor sleep can slow your metabolism as well as make you insulin resistant, both of which will negatively affect your chances of losing weight. In addition, being tired can reduce your willpower and increase your appetite, making you more likely to choose foods that aren’t good for your health.

8. Don’t be scared of eating fat

Fat has had a lot of bad press over the years but it’s actually an essential nutrient. Good fats to include in your diet are those that come in unprocessed forms such as the fat on meat and in foods such as eggs, dairy, avocados, olives and nuts.

The fats to avoid are trans fats (found in processed food) and vegetable oils such a sunflower oil. If you normally cook with vegetable oil, use butter or coconut oil instead as these don’t go rancid when heated.