Balancing Christmas and Your Weight Loss Goals

image of a christmas tree with baubles on, text over the top reads "Balancing Christmas and your weight loss goals"

The festive period can be a tough time for those who are in the middle of a weight loss journey; you want to enjoy the festivities but also don’t want to undo the brilliant work you’ve put in so far.

The most important thing is to be kind to yourself, don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself to remain as focussed on your goals as you have been. But if you do want to keep a bit of balance this Christmas then here are a couple of tips that might help:

Put a time limit on festive eating

While it’s okay to be less focussed on weight loss goals and enjoy the festive food on offer at this time of year, sometimes it can help to put a time limit on this. For instance, giving yourself Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day with no thoughts about your goals, but then re-introducing the healthy eating habits back in from the 27th. Remember you can still eat the things you enjoy after this time but think about things like portion control, total daily calories and eating a balance of foods (Eatwell Guide).

Keep active

Routine tends to go a bit out the window around this time of year so it can be difficult to keep up with the regular exercise we do. However, it’s important to just get active where we can - walking is such a simple yet brilliant activity to build into our days, whether it’s a brisk 15 minutes round the local streets or an hour on the beach. You can also get active by taking part in playing games or doing activities to entertain the kids.

Stay hydrated

This always sounds like such a simple thing, but it can be really difficult to keep up with regularly drinking water over the holidays. And not only is hydration important for a whole variety of health reasons for our bodies but also, we can mistake thirst for hunger which means reaching for more snacks and grazing more between meals.

Be honest with those around you

Letting your loved ones know about your goals and that you don’t want to overindulge can really help when it comes to trying to stay on track and provide you with some relief if you know you find it difficult to say no. This will reduce the chances of well-meaning friends and family saying things like “oh go on have another” or “you have to try one of these” or “it’s only a…”. On another note, you may want to practice what you’ll say if you do get these offers, it can really help you to actually say no when you want to say no rather than feeling awkward.

Have a plan for after the festive period

Remember that having a few days off of healthy eating and activity isn’t anything to feel guilty about and it’s not going to ruin the work you’ve put in or set you back etc. The best thing you can do is to have a plan for afterwards, knowing when you’re going to start back with your healthier eating, what activity you’re going to build back into your routine and what support and tools you’ll use to keep on track.

We have a Digital Healthy Weight Programme starting in January that you can book on today as part of this plan, along with a whole variety of other healthy lifestyle support options like Argyle FIT Weight Loss Football Leagues, Walking for Health Groups and Weekly Healthy Lifestyles Drop Ins/Weigh Ins.

For more information and to book onto these programmes check out our What’s On page

Most importantly – have a fantastic Christmas, enjoy yourself and spend time with loved ones. We’ll be here and look forward to working with anyone that would like our support in the new year.