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Christmas is the time of year when we all get to relax and have fun with our family and friends. It is also the time of year we generally associate with over indulgence. The average Australian gains 2-3kg over the Christmas period! So how can you get through this time of year without going backwards on your journey to your weight loss goal?

– It’s important to set realistic goals over the Christmas period. I wouldn’t recommend trying to lose weight over this time, but rather aim to maintain your current weight. Everyone wants to be able to go to Christmas events/functions and partake to an extent, so losing weight during these few weeks is probably not too realistic and could un-motivate you and set you back long term.

– Avoid going hungry to parties/functions. Make sure to consume a light, nutritious snack before leaving, which will reduce your chances of overdoing the high calorie party food. Examples of snacks include a tub of low fat yogurt or reduced fat cheese and tomatoes on a couple of vita-weats

– Plan! Take a healthy platter or meal to parties/functions – one which you know you can consume without guilt! Examples include vegetable sticks and dips (hommus, avocado, yogurt based dips) or a nutritious salad

– Watch your portion sizes! It is really easy to overfill your plate, and consume more than needed. Perhaps use an entrée sized plate rather than a normal sized dinner plate. This will give the illusion that you are eating more than you actually are!

– Eat slowly. Chewing your food thoroughly will help slow the eating process and will give your brain a chance to keep up with your stomach and tell you when you are full. It will also optimise the digestion and absorption of the food being eaten.

– Be mindful of alcohol – drinking alcohol may add to the enjoyment of your festive events, however over consumption can lead to weight gain, as alcohol is empty calories, is nutrient poor and will only add to your kilojoule intake. In addition, it can also result in you making poorer dietary choices

Enjoy in moderation! At the end of the day Christmas is an annual event which is meant to be enjoyed with friends and family. Choose a day and meal which you want to treat yourself, and enjoy it! Just don’t make this a daily habit!

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