The average person gains around 7-14 pounds between now and New Year?  Will it be you?

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The nights are drawing in, it’s getting colder and the Christmas parties are already beginning!  The temptation is all around us so how DO we avoid that almost inevitable weight gain?  Make a plan of action and stick to.  By having a back pocket of tricks you can pull out anytime, you can avoid that terrible crush in the gyms during January and that muffin top over the top of your jeans!  Here are my top ten ways to avoid winter weight gain:

  1. Get plenty of sleep!  Aim to get to bed around 10pm at least 3 or 4 times a week. Lack of sleep is a sure way to help increase those cravings for carbohydrates and #beigedeadfood! A favourite technique of mine is to fast overnight for a minimum of 12 hours but you can increase for a greater effect. Read more here.
  2. Don’t underestimate the power of walking and the good it can do.  It can help lower stress levels which are typically high this time of year which also increases your appetite.  Daily walking will help burn fat and gives you time out from the whirlwind that occurs between now and spring!  Plus vitamin D stimulated in the body from sun exposure has been proven to help curb cravings and decrease low mood.
  3. Cut back on starches and #beigedeadfood!  Cut out cereals and bread and have eggs for breakfast and salads for lunch.  Focus on lean proteins and fibrous vegetables.  Drink plenty of water to keep you fuller and save your calories for those after work drinks and dinners!
  4. Do short burst high intensity exercise sessions HIIT!  Aim for 10-20 minute sessions where you really push yourself for short bursts such as 30 second hill sprints or sprinting on the treadmill!  Long gone are the hour long steady state cardio sessions that actually increase your appetite.
  5. Get in the weights room and LIFT!  This is the perfect way to make use of those extra calories.  By shunting them into muscle growth you will rev up your metabolism a notch and increase your lean mass too!  You are less likely to store the excess calories as body fat.
  6. Increasing your vegetable intake via soups, salads, steamed veggies to fill you up and help to avoid hunger and cravings for those naughty nibbles at the endless parties and Christmas dinners!
  7. Avoid buffets at all costs!!  Stand away from the buffet table as this will be the fly in your ointment for sure!  Those sausage rolls, crisps, #beigedeadfood and dips will be irresistible after a couple of drinks.  Before you know it you have had a day’s worth of calories in one evening!
  8. Never arrive at a party hungry!  Eat frequently to avoid excessive hunger.  By eating regularly, including some protein sources means your blood sugar levels are balanced and therefore makes avoiding the quality street tin so much easier!  For example eating fruit add nuts or yoghurt or keep a sachet of protein powder handy.
  9. Fidget!  Yes by moving about as much as you can during the day you can increase your daily calorie burn by 300 calories.  Try walking around while on the phone, getting up out of the chair and taking more water breaks.  Use the stairs more at work can all help!
  10. When dining out skip the bread basket, chips, pasta (#beigedeadfood) and save your starches for the wine or desert!  There is no reason why you can’t have three courses.  Just choose wisely and opt for salads or soups for starters, ask for extra vegetables in place of starches and request sauces on the side or leave them out.  And finally for desert share one with a friend or two!

So you can have your cake and eat it!  You just have to be a bit smart and make a decision before you go!

Big love, small tummies!

Jill – The Fat Controller

P.S. More recently people have been using FASTING (5:2) as a way to keep off the pounds. If you are accustomed to it then this is definitely a technique that can work for some. A word of caution however….. If you are relying on will power to sustain you, then over a short period such as Christmas can work but this technique seldom lasts long term.  Finding a method that suits your lifestyle for the longer term is a much better approach. Read more about my thoughts on fasting here. 

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