Little and Easy Things to Do to Get Body-Ready for Christmas
With the busy festive season coming up, you hardly have time to think about wellness, let alone actually overhaul your diet and get your weight ready for the Christmas binge. However, there are little things you can do to take care of your wellbeing, so that your waistline is holiday-ready without you even realising you’re doing it:
1. Eat smaller meals, more often: Instead of consuming three monstrous meals a day, split your daily calorie intake into five or six smaller portions. Researchers from South Africa recently found that eating parts of your morning meal at hourly intervals helps you to consume almost 30% fewer calories at lunch than if you were to eat the same amount of food at one time. This isn’t the only study to show that, despite eating the same number of calories distributed this way, you’re likely to eat less. This is because little-and-often portions cause your body to release less insulin, which keeps your blood sugar steady and helps reduce hunger.
2. Treat high-calorie foods like they’re the crown jewels: The naughty part of a meal shouldn’t be the main attraction; it should be the cherry on top of the cake – not the cake on top of the cherry. Instead of throwing a few berries on a big bowl of ice cream, have a bowl of berries with a spoonful of ice cream on top. You can also dip crisps into plenty of chunky, filling, fresh salsa to help you fill up on something a bit healthier, and balance a little cheese with a lot of salad. Rather than eating a whole steak with veggies on the side; put a few strips of grilled steak on top of a mound of vegetables – you get the idea.
3. Make water your drink of choice: You can have a glass of orange juice at breakfast, but the rest of the day you should really be focusing on water. Juice and fizzy drinks are absolutely packed with calories – as you’re probably already aware – but, in spite of this, sugary drinks don’t trigger a sense of fullness the way food does. Several studies have shown this to be the case, which means that if you overdo it on fizz and juice, you’ll just keep drinking and eating. Water, on the other hand, has been shown to help keep you full, meaning that you eat less and lose more weight.
4. Use a smaller plate: Regardless of how hungry you are, studies have shown that the more food in front of you, the more you’ll eat. If you use a regular dinner plate, you’ll be tempted to fill that big, empty space with a mountain of food. Therefore, serving your main courses on salad plates can help you to eat less. You can always go up for a second helping, but chances are that you won’t want to. The same theory goes for liquids; smaller sizes means smaller consumption. You may love your giant mug or favourite pint glass, but you’re better off drinking from a six-ounce coffee cup or eight-ounce glass – unless you’re chugging away the water, that is.
5. Pick a spot to eat and stick to it: While at home, choose one chair at the kitchen table that will become the only place you will eat. Whether you’re having a quick snack or a slap-up meal, force yourself to sit in this spot always. This means you won’t mindlessly munch away when in front of the TV or in bed, which encourages you to enjoy your food more, and eat less in the process.