Article By Matt O’Neill, Dietitian – SmartShape.com.au

With an abundance of holiday food, it can be easy to ignore your body’s normal fullness signals and overeat at Christmas. And when the family get-together becomes a sit-down feast from dawn to dusk and beyond, the calories can really stack up. Here are some tips to manage your weight this holiday season.

If you do indulge, keep the number of indulgent days to a minimum. Sure, you may celebrate Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, but be aware that a month-long feeding frenzy can take its toll of your waistline.

  • Opt for weight maintenance over the holidays. Attempting to continue weight loss over Christmas may set you up for failure. If this sounds like you, aim to keep your weight stable.
  • Inform family the week before they arrive that there is no need to bring food. You have this covered.
  • Let people know you don’t want food as gifts, especially chocolates, lollies or nuts.
  • Eat fewer calories during the day if you have a big evening dinner planned.
  • Keep between-meal snacks in small bowls and put away packets or jars of nuts and lollies so they are out of sight.
  • Keep your physical activity routine on track. An after-meal walk or backyard game will help you digest your food and counteract the calories.
  • Buy active presents for the kids. Examples include bicycles or sports gear.
  • Plan a family day out at the park, zoo, or indoor games or trampolining centre to get people moving again after Christmas Day. Book an adventure holiday!
  • Ask for an active present, such as gardening tools, a rockclimbing course or weekend at a health retreat to kick-start your New Year program.