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Lose the Christmas Belly

06 October, 2014

Christmas has come and gone, and in its wake it has left the usual extra kilos that we all desperately try to shift over the course of the New Year. There’s no magic wand to take away those extra fruit mince pies and white wine spritzers currently sitting around your middle, but there are a few techniques you can apply to shift them that little bit faster.

What to eat

Water, fibre and extra servings of vegetables are the golden triad of any kind of weight loss, and you likely weren’t getting enough of any during the silly season. It’s easy to mistake hunger for thirst, and drinking water has the added benefit of helping you feel full. You can add more fibre to your diet from a variety of beans, fruits, vegetables and whole grain cereals. These types of food will fill you up and keep you regular, just don’t rely entirely on one type to meet your needs. Eating more vegetables, especially leafy greens, means more vitamins, minerals and a generally healthier body.

Avoid processed foods, sugar and high-salt fare. These foods spell fluid retention, energy crashes and chemical additives you probably can’t pronounce.  These can all be aggravating to your body, especially when it’s not in tip-top shape, and make it that much harder to shift the Christmas kilos. Instead, try to eat small, frequent meals made up of fresh foods. This won’t tank your already overloaded system, and will help speed up your metabolism.

How to move

Exercising is a sure-fire way to get back in shape, both physically and mentally.  Try walking, swimming, cycling, group sport or whatever strikes your fancy. But remember not to take on too much too soon. By making too many changes in quick succession, chances are you’ll give up before you can reap any of the benefits. It has been suggested that people who focus on just the first 10% of their weight loss goals initially are far more likely to keep the weight off in the long term.

Food for thought

If your Christmas splurge is part of a long-term bad relationship with food, it may be time to start challenging your thinking. Stress and low self-esteem are two of the biggest reasons behind overeating, so it’s important to relax and accept yourself the way you are before you can make any real changes. Try taking up yoga or meditation, and remember to take things one step at a time.

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