5 ways to avoid festive weight gain

Enjoy the delights of Christmas without the extra kilos. Make smart food and drink choices

It’s the most wonderful time of year… but with festive celebrations stretching all through December and into January, there are plenty of temptations to feast a little too merrily, and overindulge in alcohol, sugar and fatty, high-carbohydrate foods. And sadly, the effects of all that delicious Christmassy food often stick around a little longer than we’d like. Studies show that weight gain over the Christmas period is a major factor influencing unwanted yearly weight gain, especially if you’re already carrying more weight than you would like.

Of course, the holidays are probably not the best time to be trying to lose weight, but you can manage and prevent weight gain throughout your celebrations, while still enjoying yourself. The key, the Dietitians Association of Australia says, is being mindful and making smarter food and drink choices.

Here, Lauren McGuckin, Accredited Practising Dietitian and spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia, shares some of her top tips for avoiding Christmas weight gain.

1. Eat lighter. Snack on seasonal fruit (such as cherries and watermelon), a small handful of nuts, or low-fat crackers and a salsa dip. Eating a handful of cherries instead of a handful of lollies will save you around 330kJ and 16g of added sugar.

2. Plan, plan, plan. Take a healthy platter to parties or functions. Include lots of bright, colourful vegetable sticks such as carrot, red and green capsicum, green beans and snow peas. Serve with an avocado dip, beetroot dip or yoghurt-based dip.

3. Drink smarter. If you drink, aim for two glasses of low joule non-alcoholic drinks to every alcoholic drink. Try soda with a squeeze of lime or lemon, or a jug of cold water with cucumber or strawberries and lots of ice for a refreshing change. If you swap a glass of sparkling wine for sparkling water with a squeeze of lemon you will save 470kJ.

4. Eat mindfully. Try to eat slowly, savour every mouthful and enjoy your food over the festive period. You don’t need to eat everything on offer – be selective and enjoy a small amount. Stop eating once you are comfortably full.

5. Get the right support. An Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) is your diet coach – providing you with individual, expert advice to help you achieve your goals.

For more information or to find an Accredited Practising Dietitian in your area, visit the ‘Find an APD’ section at daa.asn.au

 

Recommended reading - Mythbusters

Experts

Is breakfast really the most important meal?

How much does breakfast really matter for health and weight loss? Dietitian Tim Cassettari explains

Read more
Experts

Myth busting obesity

Seven prevalent obesity myths are put under scrutiny, with some results belying conventional wisdom.

Read more
Experts

Myth busting nutrition

Know your food facts? We debunk some of the popular myths and misconceptions around nutrition.

Read more
Experts

Busting popular food myths

Do ‘negative calorie’ foods exist? Can you blame a slow metabolism? Popular food myths busted.

Read more
Lifestyle

The history of bottled water

A brief history of how we got so thirsty for bottled water.

Read more
Experts

Diabetes myths busted

Busting some of the common myths associated with diabetes.

Read more
In Brief

5 myths about HIV/AIDS

Your understanding can generate essential change. This world AIDS day, make sure you know the facts

Read more
Guides

5 myths about gluten free eating

A dietitian busts some popular food myths around gluten free diets, weight loss and coeliac disease.

Read more
Lifestyle

The history of orange juice

Health humorist Nick Snelling documents the ups and downs of a much-loved breakfast beverage.

Read more
Experts

Eggs – good or bad for you?

How healthy are eggs? Research says there's no reason to be scared of these nutrient-rich gems

Read more

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.