Christmas is the time to eat, drink, and be merry! (and when diets tend to go out of the window). But hold up there – what if there was a way to enjoy what you like without undoing all your weight loss efforts?
We spoke to three inspiring Nutracheck members who have lost an incredible 13st 12lbs between them for some practical ideas and tips. Find out how they're planning to manage the festive period below.
"For me staying in a routine at Christmas is important and it's what has worked for me the past few years. I will track but also allow myself to have a few days where I can enjoy the festivities and not worry about being over my calories. I'll still try to tick boxes with steps and exercises because of the benefits mentally."
"No, I won't change my exercise to offset anything I have eaten. I exercise because I enjoy it and it's part of my routine, I don't do it due to overindulging."
"I think it'll be very much the same as the last few years, success for me will just be allowing myself to have a few days off to enjoy some good food and spending time with family and friends. Will I weigh myself and have gained a few lbs? Probably. But, I know that a few days/weeks back in a routine and it'll be off again."
"I'm planning to continue to track over Christmas and the new year, but I may increase my calorie goal a little to bring it up to maintenance levels allowing me to have a few more treats etc. But I know from past experience that it is the worst time of year to not have some kind of control in place, especially if you want to continue losing weight or maintaining your weight loss."
"I don't have any plans to adjust my exercise routine over the holidays, I walk everyday as it improves both my mental and physical health and I don't ever want to see it as a "punishment" for what I have eaten, and as the old saying goes "You can't out exercise a bad diet."
"Success for me over the holiday period will be a balance of being able to enjoy some extra treats whilst maintaining my goals but also remembering what is achievable when things get back to normal. Even if I gain a few pounds, I know that I will be able to get back on plan and lose them very quickly."
"I will be treating Christmas like any other planned holiday & as a regular gym goer (6x per week) I like to take this time as a complete break, rest, reset and go into the new year with some new goals.
Food wise I will still plan but I like to plan around any outings and 'foodie days', and try and give myself a non-indulgent tracking day in between the indulgent days. I won't eat just for eating’s sake but I am already looking forward to the odd chocolate and mince pie. I will still have my 3 litres of water each day and stay hydrated in between the occasional glass of Pinot which I feel really helps flush out any toxins."
"While staying away from the gym for 2 weeks will be really hard for me my body definitely needs the break. It doesn’t mean I will become a complete sloth though and I like to arrange some lovely walks with friends. Things we don’t normally get time to do on a weekly basis and really make the most of this holiday season. Don’t get me wrong I will also enjoy a couple of duvet days watching films and spending quality time with my husband and family."
"Success over the Christmas period for me is going into the new year feeling relaxed, refreshed and with new body goals. Whilst using the app I have maintained my weight for the last couple of years and I honestly wouldn't be without it. But I am still getting results in the gym and constantly setting myself new goals and challenges. So I will enjoy the break but my goals will be set."
|A few days off won't stop your progress, enjoy the food and drink! You didn't gain all your weight in a few days, so you won't put it all back on again over Christmas.
|Gym closed and worried about not getting exercise in? Get some steps in. Any movement is better than none, and it's also a nice way to spend some time with loved ones.
|My final tip is just to have the best time because you deserve it. The most important thing is to do what is best for you! For some people that might be tracking everything, and staying in a calorie deficit, for others that might be a few days off, and for some it might be that you have two weeks off.
|If you have meals out planned over the holidays take advantage of the 'Easier Days' option in the app, this will allow you to enjoy your meal guilt-free while you stick to your goals. Also pre-plan what you are going to eat – most restaurants now have menus online showing the calories for each meal.
|Keep active, take the opportunity to get out of the house and take a nice walk in the fresh air. I don't aim for a step goal but I do try to be out of the house for at least an hour, you could wander to the shops to get that last minute present or even to the pub for the pre-Christmas drink, it all counts.
|Don't be too hard on yourself if you have some extra treats just try not to over indulge. Don't see the holidays as an all or nothing event, if you eat and drink in moderation then any negative effects will quickly be counteracted when you get back on track in the new year.
|Enjoy yourself over the break keeping in mind everything in moderation.
|Do some walking & stay hydrated.
|Plan ahead – use the time to set out your new goals. This way you are already planning ahead and will be raring to go in the new year.
Nutritionist Emma White (ANutr), MSc Human Nutrition is passionate about how food science applies to the human body, and how the nutrients in what we eat affect us and ultimately have an impact on our health.