Tips for not gaining weight during the holidays

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How to lose weight before the holidays?

Many people, approaching the Christmas and New Yearfocus on their weight and fear gaining a few pounds because of gourmet products enjoyed at Christmas and New Year. However, there is no reason to want to lose weight before the New Year's Eve meal. You just have to follow the few recommendations given by Marie-Anne Clément-Talleux, agricultural engineer, dietician-nutritionist, WW Program & Nutrition manager.

  • There is no point in starving yourself during meals the few days before Christmas or December 31. The risk is then toarriving on New Year's Eve very hungry and rushing for the petits fours, the flute of champagne, the foie gras…
  • It is possible to eat light the same day by favoring foods rich in fiber like vegetables, fruits, and by turning preferentially towards steamed or grilled fish or lean meat of your choice.
  • You have to eat your fillfavoring variety and remembering to move!
  • Can also practice eating mindfulness by alternating focus on your plate and on distractions. That's to say ? We concentrate on our plate: the different colors of the food, their texture, their taste in the mouth, then we concentrate on the conversation. This allows you to listen to your body, your hunger and to stop eating when you have reached satiety.

How to enjoy a meal without bingeing on the food?

Sophrology can be a valuable help in enjoying the end of year celebrations without gaining weight. Clémentine Joachim, certified sophrologist, propose a sensory concentration exercise which will allow you toenjoy New Year's Eve dinner without seeing the scale show an unpleasant number.

Starting position : sitting, eyes closed.

How to practice : take a few moments to refocus : breathe freely and observe the rhythm that your breathing gives to your body, without trying to amplify it or slow it down. Identify the place in the body where your breathing is most present, most perceptible.

Once refocused, imagine the plate of a festive meal. Focus all your attention on this object that emerges into your awareness.

You will now awaken your senses to this plate to understand it as an element of contemplation to be appreciated in all its aspects. Focus first on what you see: look at the different foods which make up this plate: their colors, their arrangement on the plate, their appearance. Observe this plate from all its angles, as an object of contemplation, as a work of art: look at it from above, then from the side. Imagine that it turns in one direction, then in the other and observe all its components like a dance, depending on your viewing angle.

Then use your sense of smell : imagine the smells, the scents that emerge from this festive meal. Let them perfume your nostrils. Distinguish each of them, each smell one after the other to identify them all.

Then imagine you start to enjoy this meal. You take a first bite and focus on the textures: is it hot or cold; is it tender or crunchy; is it sparkling or velvety. Imagine these textures melting on your palate.

The aromas explode in the mouth: identify the different tastes that bloom in your mouth: is it rather spicy or mild; is it fruity or bitter. Taste each flavor like a discovery, like a treasure in its own right. Take the time to give space to each flavor, to appreciate each bite one after the other. Slowly, feel these flavors coming to delight your taste buds.

All your senses are now focused on this festive meal. All you have to do is enjoy it with full awareness.

Why shouldn't we focus on Christmas pounds?

“There is no need to worry about possible additional kilos gained between December 24 and January 1,” reassures the WW Program & Nutrition manager. Even if you eat beyond your hunger for one or two meals, the body regulates itself at subsequent meals. »

It is true that often, the opportunity to eat rare dishes like foie gras, petit fours, chocolates, stuffed turkey, chocolate log, encourages you to eat more even if you are no longer hungry, because we know that we will then have to wait a year to find these delicious products.

Advice from a dietician-nutritionist to avoid gaining weight during this festive period

“Above all,” warns the WW Program & Nutrition Manager, “ Christmas and January 1st are festive meals where it is important to treat yourself. » But here is some tips to put into practice so as not to gain weight during the holidays.

  • Prioritize food quality over quantity. For example, rather than chips and peanuts as an aperitif, choose snacked scallops and smoked salmon which are festive products without being 'calorie bombs'.
  • During the meal, don't force yourself if you don't like it foie gras for example. Don't eat it. There is no obligation.
  • Remember to hydrate well : for every flute of champagne drunk or glass of strong alcohol consumed, drink two glasses of water. “Water helps eliminate waste and it also prevents dehydration, as alcohol is dehydrating, which often leads to a headache the next morning,” explains Marie-Anne Clément-Talleux.

Choosing festive foods wisely

Each person has their own tastes. There are those who love foie grasand those who prefer smoked salmon, oysters. Without forgetting, as a main course, the Christmas turkey stuffed or not, capon or red meat, and the log with butter or ice cream, or sweet petits fours. Obviously, not all of these foods provide the same number of calories! But, as the Weight Watchers Nutrition Manager reminds us, “Christmas should be a celebration: not only a convivial celebration, but also a gourmet celebration.”

However, we can think of preferably putting certain foods on the menu : vegetables, legumes and fruits. “They are rich in fiber which has a satiating effect during the meal and therefore help regulate the appetite »recalls Marie-Anne Clément-Talleux.

Here are some ideas for seasonal fruits and vegetables, rich in fiber and festive: Jerusalem artichokes, parsnips, leeks, turnips…And on the fruit side: mango, dates, dried figs, guava, passion fruit…

Then, salmon, oysters, shellfish and seafood are, of course, lower in calories than foie gras, but there is no reason to deprive yourself of them. The first provide heart-healthy omega-3s and iodine. But there is no reason to completely deprive yourself of foie gras if you like it!

As for the main course, there is no reason to skip a turkey or a stuffed capon. We can simply opt for a light stuffing. Marie-Anne Clément-Talleux offers a stuffing with bread, thyme and mushrooms, a vegetarian stuffing with chickpeas, onion, carrot, celery stalk, button mushrooms, tomato coulis…

When it comes to dessert, ice cream log or buttercream log, it doesn't matter, everything is good.

The dietitian simply recommends “to take small portions of each dish so that you can have more if you are still hungry, rather than feeling obliged to finish your plate if you are full. » And to add:

Above all, the important thing is not to feel guilty, what matters is not what you ate between December 24 and January 1, but what you eat between January 2 and December 23 ! Marie-Anne Clément-Talleux, dietitian-nutritionist

How to properly digest Christmas dinner with a sophrology exercise?

“Nauli is an exercise that promotes digestion in anticipation of hearty meals,” explains Clémentine Joachim, certified sophrologist. Here's how to do it:

Starting position : standing or sitting; eyes closed.

How to practice : the particularity of this exercise lies in reverse breathing : instead of starting by inhaling through the nose before exhaling through the mouth, we do the opposite: we start by exhaling through the mouth then inhale through the nose.

Concretely, it goes like this: standing or sitting, start by exhaling by blowing through your mouth while leaning forward. If you are standing, once tilted forward, support yourself on your knees with your hands to relax your abdomen. If you are sitting, your hands are relaxed on your thighs.

Once you have exhaled all the air from the lungs through the mouth, hold your breath and make back and forth movements with your stomach. Inflate and deflate your stomach several times in a row. These movements promote flexibility in the abdomen and diaphragm. They act like a massage of the viscera and help to unwind the stomach for better digestion.

Stop these movements when you want and inhale through your nose, gradually straightening up. Keep your eyes closed and welcome the sensations in your belly.

Repeat at least three times in a row. As you practice, you will perceive sensations of relaxation, flexibility and unwinding in the stomach which will help you digest the hearty meals of the end-of-year holidays!

How to lose the weight gained during the holidays?

First of all, you should know that weight is not something linear. It is normal to experience deviations.

The WW Program & Nutrition Manager still advises “not to weigh yourself on December 26 or January 2 to check if you have gained a few hundred grams, or one or two additional kilos. This may make us more anxious than anything else. » There is no point in worrying yourself unnecessarily, in a few weeks the weight will be regulated. To do this, all you need to do is return to a varied and balanced diet, providing satiating fiber and proteins, and get moving by practicing physical activity several times a week.

Happy gourmet holidays!

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