Losing weight can seem like an impossible task for many of us at this time of year. The season is jam-packed with opportunities to indulge, whether it be work parties, end-of-year catch-ups with friends and family, or just the never-ending declarations of “It’s the holidays, let’s go out!”
So losing weight before Christmas officially arrives can often feel like it’s one for the too hard basket.
But if you’re looking to shed some kilos before you officially clock off work for the year and go on holidays, all hope is not lost.
Have a plan.
Think about what you want to achieve with your health over the next month or two. Are you looking to lose weight, or just maintain?
Whatever your goals, they won’t just happen without an action plan, Bek says.
This means planning out your week and identifying pockets of time where you can exercise, meal prep, as well as any social events where food and alcohol will be flowing.
“Go in with a plan of action for the season,” Bek says.
“Having those healthy options available to you, whether it’s skinny girl cocktails, and just understanding what is in the food you’re eating, will make sure you don’t go too off-course.”
Pick your drinks wisely.
Bec says to choose alcoholic beverages that aren’t loaded up with calories.
“If you’re going to have more than one or two drinks, which let’s face it, most of us do, try to only have one or two glasses of wine or Champagne, then switch to a vodka mixed with soda water and fruit, like a lime,” she said.
Vodka, soda, and lime is one of the healthiest alcoholic drinks because it is very low in both calories and sugar.
Never go to an event hungry.
Eat a snack before going out at night will ensure you don’t arrive on an empty stomach and immediately reach for whatever food — however unhealthy — is on the table.
“Never go hungry to an event,” Bek said.
“Eating something that has a bit of protein, fat, and carbs will tide you over and help you pick from the healthiest options.”
If you’re going straight from the office to a Christmas party, a quick and easy snack like a plain greek yogurt topped with berries, a protein ball, crackers with hummus, nut butter on rice cakes, or carrot sticks with dip, are all great options.
Intermittent fasting is your friend.
The idea behind intermittent fasting is that you stay away from solid foods for between 12 to 16 hours a day, eating within an eight or 12-hour window.
If you feel like you might have overindulged the night before, intermittent fasting is the perfect way to get yourself back on track.
For example, if the last thing you ate was at 10 pm, there’s no harm in waiting until 10 am or even midday the next day to eat breakfast.
“Intermittent fasting is a good tool to use at night when you’re eating more at night or having a late lunch. I would listen to your body and miss breakfast if you want to,” Bec said.
“If you start to feel hungry, just return to your normal way of eating and go for a long walk to help yourself feel better.”
Don’t stop exercising.
“A lot of people have an all or nothing mentality,” Bec said.
“They’ll exercise through the week, but if they have a blowout, they feel like they shouldn’t exercise. But exercising on the days when you do indulge will help you feel a lot better.”
And Bek echoed this advice: “Keep your routine as much as possible. “When you train well, you want to eat well too. You might not be able to exercise five times a week, but you could do three workouts,” she said.
When you fall off the wagon, just jump back on.
After a big boozy night and too much greasy food, it’s easy to feel gross the next morning and just do away with your healthy eating altogether. But Bek suggests starting again by adding just one healthy habit back into your lifestyle at a time
“People get really overwhelmed when they feel like they have to do all or nothing,” she said.
“But just by drinking [eight cups] of water a day, or adding veggies back in, or keeping up three days a week of some form of exercise, those are great healthy habits to implement in the meantime.”
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.