How to lose the Christmas kilos the healthy way

Red and white Christmas themed dinner set-up with flowers

Forty percent of Australians gain, on average, 3kg over Christmas but here are five ways to lose the Christmas kilos the healthy way.

Christmas is that time of year where the delicious food and celebrations ruin your nutrition goals and fitness plans.

More than 2,000 Australians participated in the 2019 Shape of Australia survey, which revealed that two-fifths of respondents gained weight over the holiday season, on average gaining almost 3kg.

Many people fear the awaiting downfall of weight gain especially before the new year, but here are five ways to lose (and prevent) those Christmas kilos the healthy way. 

1. Increase Water Intake

Image of a glass of water on a flat surface, increased water intake can help lose the Christmas kilos
High water consumption can help you lose weight

More water consumption has been linked to weight loss, regardless of diet or exercise, according to research. Drinking plenty of water will help reduce sugar cravings and boost satiety. Water is also required for the body’s process of burning fat for energy, known as lipolysis.

Jordan Morello, a Florida-based celebrity trainer who works for the fitness platform Sweat Factor, recommends drinking 8 ounces (237ml) of water eight times a day as a minimum water consumption. Once they include this guideline into their daily routines, Jordan Morello’s clients are frequently amazed by how much it may reduce cravings and help you feel fuller for the rest of the day.

One more water trick? Consider consuming two glasses of water prior to every meal. According to studies, this straightforward action can increase weight loss. 

2. Analyze your week as a whole as opposed to day by day.

Closeup photo of ballpoint pen near camera on top of a weekly planner
Consider your overall week rather than every day

Beating yourself up after enjoying high-fat foods like mince pies is the quickest way to feel inadequate during the Christmas season.

Instead, plan your week to include time for enjoyable pleasures and consider the overall picture rather than each specific circumstance.

Jillian Michaels, celebrity trainer and fitness icon, advises finding balance during the course of your week and integrating everything on a daily basis, within reasonable limits. By doing this, “if one day is a little heavier on the food front, the next day should be a little less intense.”

3. Lift Weights

Three sets of assorted-colour weight plates
Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat

Compared to fat, muscle burns more calories. So, how can you increase your muscular mass? Strengthening your muscles. In addition to the calories you’ll burn while exercising, resistance training is a wise addition to any weight loss programme because of the “afterburn effect.”

Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC, is a measure of how long oxygen intake is raised following exercise to aid in muscle recovery. The metabolism is boosted both during and following strength training sessions by this rise.

And your resting metabolic rate (RMR) increases as you add muscle to your frame. The number of calories your body requires to function at rest is determined by your RMR. The more you can consume without gaining weight, the higher your RMR must be.

Registered dietitian Ellen Albertson, Ph.D., author of Rock Your Midlife, states that it’s frequently stressed that strength training is essential for losing weight and keeping it off. This is especially relevant beyond age 50 when muscle mass, which burns calories, falls at a rate of 1% to 2% a year. Albertson says that strength training helps halt the loss of muscle mass.

4. Do Not Overdo It

Shallow focus photo of balance stones
Balancing what you eat is better than food group restrictions

Jillian Michaels advises against certain diets that ask for the elimination of entire food groups that promise quick weight loss.

Your cells, or macromolecules, are composed of nucleic acids, protein, fat, and carbs. You starve those cells when you don’t consume one of those three macronutrients. According to Michaels, those macronutrients play a crucial role in your general health and welfare.

Restriction can also lead to feelings of deprivation for particular foods and spark binge-related behaviours or episodes. Moderation always prevails over excess during a season that features a wide variety of food groups.

5. Increase Your Protein

Cooked dish with eggs, chicken, and salad on a white ceramic plate
Eating more high-protein meals prevents muscle loss

Increasing your protein intake can suppress appetite and prevent muscle mass loss.

According to Dr. Albertson, eating 25 to 30 grams of protein per meal—two scoops of protein powder or 115g of chicken breast—can help you better regulate your hunger and maintain a healthy weight. The ideal strategy is to make sure each meal includes one serving of high-quality protein.

Additionally, Albertson claims that compared to men and younger women (who require 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily), women over the age of 50 require much more protein (1 to 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight daily).

“Women need more protein after 50, especially as they approach menopause, because decreases in the hormone estrogen result in a loss of skeletal muscle mass, strength and regenerative capacity,” says Dr. Albertson. 

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