Katy Bulmer-Cooke: Five tips to avoid gaining weight

Time is ticking'¦dare I say it, it's nearly Christmas, and with that comes the Christmas party season, filled with nights out, more alcohol than usual, chocolate everywhere and several meals out.

Sunday, 12th November 2017, 3:00 pm
Updated Monday, 11th December 2017, 5:09 pm
A Generic Photo of co-workers celebrating at a Christmas party. See PA Feature HEALTH Indulgence. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature HEALTH Indulgence. / office party

This, coupled with the dark nights making heading out to the gym feel next to impossible, it’s almost inevitable that a few unwanted pounds will creep on during November and December.

Of course we all want to enjoy ourselves, but neglecting our health and fitness at this time of year will make ‘getting back in the zone’ in January a whole lot harder.

With that in mind it’s important to maintain as many healthy habits as possible during winter, so, here are my top tips to avoid excess weight gain in the run up to Christmas.

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The reality is that there is no secret or magic solution (sorry to disappoint you), instead there are five simple things you need to do better to lose weight.

First up, you have to care more about yourself. You have to put yourself first and prioritise your health and fitness, because if you don’t, it will always end up being pushed the bottom of your list.

So the next time you think about swapping your planned gym session for the sofa, a handful of biscuits and an episode of Corrie…think again.

Secondly, be realistic and stop trying to lose a stone in the two weeks before Christmas.

Set yourself a challenging yet achievable goal. At this time of year, an appropriate goal could even be to maintain your current weight/size/fitness level.

Next up it’s time to take your sleep more seriously. Sleep plays a huge part in the body’s ability to recover and greatly impacts mood and motivation (especially important during the winter), so if you want to stay focused, recover well between workouts and keep that fire in your belly for staying healthy, it’s time to catch an extra forty winks.

Be sure to get to sleep at a decent time, aim for 7-8 hours of good quality sleep each night and stop playing on your phone or answering emails when you should be in snoozeville!

Being more consistent in everything you do from nutrition and exercise to sleep and reducing stress really is the key to success.

It’s time to ditch the fad diets and the ideology of ‘eating clean’ one hundred percent of the time (this always leads to falling off the wagon big style), and instead focus on making good choices most of the time over an extended period, rather than ditching several food groups for shorter periods.

If you know you have a Christmas party planned, for example, make good food and drink choices throughout the week and then you can enjoy your meal out or a few drinks.

Finally, you need to move more, whether that’s a walk during your lunch break, changing your mode of transport or simply just getting up more at work.

Yes, getting those solid gym sessions in is important, but being active in between those sessions is equally as important, so grab yourself a step tracker and let’s get moving.

We are so lucky in Sunderland to have lots of brilliant parks, such as Barnes and Herrington Country Park, to name a couple, so let’s take advantage of them, and use them for a fresh-feeling winter walk.