Although human bodies have the ability to maintain a stable weight under balanced lifestyle behaviours, we all know that we don’t usually follow the “normal routines” during the festive seasons.
There aren’t many high-quality studies that look at body weight and fat changes over the Christmas period, but the studies that have been done report conflicting results.
For example, a 2009 American study of 195 adults over the six- to eight-week winter holiday reported an average weight increase of 0.37 kg.Shared in ‘The Conversation’ which is written by academic research communities from Australian universities, the nutrition lecturer at UNSW Australia’s Medicine Faculty, Rebecca Reynolds offers great tips to avoid the chances of gaining weight during Christmas celebrations.
1. As painful as this sounds, try to choose leaner foods that are higher in fibre and protein:
- salads (including fruit, green, potato and quinoa, if there are some) over white bread
- oat slices or biscuits over shortbread biscuits
- nuts (great if they’re roasted) over potato chips
- turkey breast over salami
- seafood over sausages.
2. Eat intuitively: try to listen to your hunger and fullness.
3. Be conscious of how much you eat and drink. If you are a Fit Bit user or other wearable technology user, use the goal-setting and self-monitoring apps to help regulate the amount of alcohol or chips you consume each day.
4. If the weather allows, go for walks or swims to avoid spending the whole break binge-watching television.
5. Avoid soft drinks and excessive alcohol every day of the holidays. When you do drink alcohol, choose a soda mixer with a piece of fresh lime to have with your spirits and drink water in between each alcoholic drink.
It’s perfectly fine to indulge every now and then, even if it means going back for seconds of chocolate puddings. Just don’t indulge every other day of the holidays, too.
About ‘The Conversation’:
UNSW Australia currently ranks second among Australian universities on ‘The Conversation’ with 437 articles published in 2016.