Struggling with your weight? It’s that time of year when our social calendars are bursting with parties, drinks, events and catch-ups. All of which spells overindulgence in food and drink and not enough time to make it to the gym. Here’s how to avoid piling on the pounds yet remain full of Christmas-time cheer.

Think before you drink

When you hear the corks popping off a bottle of champagne or sparkling, it’s hard to resist a glass, or two. And, why not? You’ve worked hard all year and have tried to stick to your health goals, so what does one or two matter? In truth, not much.  However, the ‘festive season’ often means consecutive nights of drinking alcohol and therefore consuming a high number of calories.

Rather than ditch the drink entirely, choose your poison and how frequently you consume it with care. For example, opt for a spritzer rather than a full glass of calorific wine or pick a low-calorie beer or lager. It can also help to pace yourself by drinking water in between drinks and spacing out functions where possible.

Remember, it’s not only what happens at the time of drinking (we tend to lose our willpower and begin to soften our stance on snacking and wrong food choices) it’s also how we feel and what we eat the next day to compensate for that groggy feeling

‘No’ to the nibbles

It’s so easy to consume handfuls of nuts, chips, dips and other nibbles when you’re hungry. Prevention is the best medicine, so avoid going to functions feeling ravenous. Pack healthy snacks that you can eat beforehand that will satiate and help you to avoid grazing.

What does a healthy snack look like? A small handful of raw nuts and seeds, a piece of fruit or a crispbread with low-fat hummus. Also, try to drink plenty of water as being hydrated helps you to feel fuller, and stop any ‘I’m thirsty’ signals rushing to your brain (which are often confused with ‘I’m hungry’ ones).

Don’t let your training slide

With so much going on, it’s easy to put exercise on the backburner. However, now’s the time you need it more than ever. Not only is a work-out a great stress-buster, but activities involving weights will also help to burn off calories both during and after use.

Keep your gut happy

Gut health is big news, especially when it comes to weight loss – mess with the balance, and your weight might rocket. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to damage your healthy gut microbe levels with too much alcohol. While the odd party drink ‘here and there’ is unlikely to cause too much trouble, continual drinking could lead to other health issues and complaints.

To help maintain a healthy gut microbiome, include fibre from natural sources such as beans, oats, lentils and rice. As well as promoting a healthy gut, fibre makes you feel fuller and therefore less likely to graze on calorific party foods.

Don’t stress about the big day

It can be all too easy to forget that Christmas is supposed to be a time of relaxation and happiness. In our current society, we are so focused on things being ‘perfect’ that anything less (or the mere thought of it being so) is enough to send us into emotional meltdown.

Unfortunately, stress triggers the release of the hormone cortisol, which in turn traps body fat around the stomach area and releases hunger signals (regardless of whether you’re hungry or not). These feelings eventuate in making the poor choices that come with trying to assuage a lousy mood (think chocolate, wine and fries).

If you feel your stress levels rising, act quickly to dispel them rather than succumbing. Exercise releases feel-good hormones that counterbalance the bad-feeling ones. So, get outside in the fresh air and take a walk or run, do your favourite gym class, meditate, listen to relaxing music, take a bath or go to bed early and catch up with some much-needed sleep.

Is 2019 the year to make changes to your body shape?

Of course, sometimes no matter how hard you try, your weight might still be an issue. A New Year and a ‘new you’ might mean considering procedures such as Vaser Liposuction. Vaser Liposuction can reduce fat in common gain areas such as the tummy, love handles, arms, legs and neck. To understand how much weight you might lose, take a look at How Much Weight Can You Lose With Liposuction? An alternative and non-invasive procedure to Vaser Liposuction is CoolSculpting.