Christmas holiday season is an exciting period of the year. Whether you are going for a vacation or just staying back in town with friends and family, we are certain there are going to be more parties, baked goods, snacks, drinks and stress. It is also a time when people tend to gain weight easily.

According to a 2014 article published in Physiology and Behaviour, adults gain an average of 0.5-0.75 kg of weight over the period of mid November to mid January. Unfortunately, most adults don’t lose the weight gained over this period, and it has become the main contributor to their overall weight gain over the years.

The good news is maintaining weight over Christmas can be done easily. Here are the 5 simple steps for you to enjoy the holiday without stretching your inches.

#1 Portion control by choosing a smaller plate

When the food is delicious, people tend to overeat. Those who eat a larger portion are also more likely to gain weight easily. However, bringing a food weighing scale to a party is not exactly the coolest thing to do on the planet.

So, whenever you found yourself in a situation where there is a barrage of delicious treat, instead of weighing or measuring your food, use a smaller plate. As long as you don’t over fill the plate, most people will find it pretty easy to watch their portion.

#1 Eat mindfully

Between vacation preparation and party planning, people are often on a rush. When we eat under distraction, we are unable to pay attention to our body’s fullness signals.

In order to eat mindfully, we have to set all distraction aside, which includes all electronics and work.

Another way of mindful eating, is to chew your food and take a few deep breath between each bite. This allows our body to sense the fullness from food.

#3 Get plenty of sleep

Do you know that sleep deprivation increases hunger hormone level and lead to higher caloric intake? People who don’t sleep well tend to be hungrier and eat more the next day.

Even though it may be tempting to stay up late at night during holiday season, for the sake of being able to fit into the designer jeans of yours next year, hit the snooze by 11pm. This will allow the body to rest and recuperate.

#4 Enjoy desserts wisely

Let’s face it, whether it is the gorgeous chocolate cake swirled with Nutella or the banana ice cream you have been in love with since you were a child, we all love to have a sweet treat after a meal.

However, if you are watching your weight, you may not want to devour the whole dessert to yourself, consider sharing it with your friends and family. That way you also share the love (and calories) with your love ones.

Another trick to not overdoing the dessert is to savor it slowly. Just like mindful eating, ingesting your dessert slowly allows your body to have a better sense of fullness.

#5 Avoid or limit liquid calories

Often time, people who are concerned about their caloric intake of food also oversee the calories from beverages they drink.

This is a huge mistake. As alcohol, sodas and other sweetened beverages can completely ruin your otherwise well planned low calorie meal.

To avoid empty calories from your drinks, always read the bottle label and take note of what have been added into them.

If you are watching your weight, it would a good idea to limit your liquid calories.

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