Becoming unhealthy over the Christmas period is almost an inevitable occurrence for many people. Christmas often includes big family get-togethers with an abundance of food. Many people find losing weight, or even keeping your weight the same, during the holiday period to be quite difficult. 

Christmas and seasonal holidays often include overindulging on calorie-rich foods and a more relaxed lifestyle. Therefore, it’s no wonder that many people have an overall increase in weight throughout the year.

But, Christmas doesn’t have to spell an unhealthy disaster. If you’re trying to maintain your healthy lifestyle, we have some simple and easy tips to help you stay on track this year.

Stay active with friends and family

For many families, the holiday season is a time to relax and indulge in some sedentary activities. Your family might choose binge-watching a tv show, watching movies or playing some video games. But, as an Australian Christmas falls throughout the warmer months, this is a great opportunity to get active at your next gathering instead.

Whether it’s going to the beach, trying out some stand up paddle boarding or just going for walks, hikes or bike rides, think about some active options for you and your family. If you’re meeting up with friends, why not go for a walk along the beach instead of sitting with a coffee (or you can even do both!). Choosing active projects to work on together will help keep you moving.

Think about your snacks

We’re not saying you’re not allowed to snack at all (because let’s face it, every home is prone to a few extra snack bags this time of the year). But rather, we suggest thinking about your snack choices and choosing healthier alternatives. 

Cookies, cakes and biscuits seem to be in abundance. Try and avoid them in the workplace or when visiting peoples’ homes. If you’re at home, you can keep snacks hidden away in cupboards so that you’re less likely to grab a bag and finish them on your own. 

If you’re preparing some snacks for visitors, you may want to include some healthy snacks alongside your normal snacks. Some good options include sliced vegetables, low-calorie dips and pieces of fruit. 

Consider portion sizes

It’s easy to overeat when it feels like there is a never-ending pile of food waiting for you. There is plenty of food available for seconds (and thirds) and many family members will encourage you to “eat up”. This is where controlling your portion sizes can be quite beneficial. 

Portion control plays an important part in losing or maintaining a healthy weight. Even if you choose healthy foods to eat, if you eat too many you may still gain weight. 

Keep an eye on your stress levels

For some people, going home for the holiday season can be a stressful time. But, even extended travelling, shopping and everything that comes with Christmas can be stressful for many. 

When you are stressed, the hormone cortisol is released. In general, it is thought that increased cortisol levels can lead to weight gain and increased food intake. This is why it’s important to keep your stress levels in check to reduce the chance of overeating.

Think about some stress-relieving activities you can take part in such as meditation, yoga and deep breathing exercises. If you need to, take a break from visitors or family and focus on yourself if you’re feeling too stressed. 

With some continued focus on your healthy Christmas vision, you’ll be able to stop overeating and keep reaching your goals. Even if you don’t lose weight during Christmas but are able to maintain your weight, that will be a better achievement than undoing all your previous hard work.