Manage Your Weight during the Festive Season Feasting
We are approaching the end of the year. This is the time where most of us are planning to round up the year and probably planning for our year end meet-ups and company's gathering. This is also the period that we have the most invitations for lunches and dinners. If you are going to set weight management as part of your 2020's resolutions. It is good to plan now. Surely we do not want to sabotage ourselves. So how do we enjoy ourselves during this festive period and yet not put on too much weight?
Planning. Planning is one good way to track your input over your output during this period. What I like to do is to have a festive invitation calendar to keep track of my invitations and the type of food that I have during the period. Here is how a planner may look like.
You may want to consider 6 factors to include in your festive invitation planner to help you manage your weight during the festive season.
1) Set a goal and timeline for your festive feasting
It is important to set a timeline when you are starting and when is the last day. Most of us would stop our feasting after Christmas or the New Year. However , for those who are celebrating the Lunar New Year, it may stretch up to the 15th day of the Lunar New Year. So it is important to know when to start and when to end.
Next, how much are you prepared to put on? Maintain? Gain 1 - 2kg? This help you to monitor your weight and do something about it if it goes beyond your target. You can decide how much to eat, when to have the gathering, what type of food to eat and even decide that the gathering may not be necessary and you can substitute with a gift instead.
Decide how do you want to feel when you achieve your goals and write that down. Paste it somewhere you can see. This will serve a reminder why do you want to start in the first place.
2) Prioritise your invites
Not all invites are important or compulsory. By prioritising, it helps you to filter some opportunities of putting on weight.
Maybe you feel that the family gathering, company, department gathering is compulsory. Then log that in your invitation planner. Perhaps it's a close friend's wedding or friends who you have not met for the longest time, you can log that in. Some gatherings are not really necessary, then you may want to opt out instead.
3) Plan the choice of food
You may want to be the coordinator. This way, you can control the choice of food. We cannot be having buffet through the week, right? As a coordinator, you may be able to control the choice of food, by going Western on day 1, Chinese for day 2, Buffet for day 3.. etc.
If you are not the coordinator, you can plan the choice of food on your plate. Have a good choice of real food and less (if better, eliminate) processed food. Have a good source of protein, fibre and complex carbohydrate. You may want to start off your first mouthful of protein, like meat. The reason is because you need more time to chew the meat in order for it to let your body transmit signals to your brain that you are now taking in some food. Your body will tend to eat lesser food after that first input. Then you can alternate your fibre and protein. If your job or lifestyle does not require to do manual work, then limit your carbohydrates. Leave it till the last to consume from your plate.
4) Water in-between meals and during meals
During the festive season, it is important to watch out for in between meals. We do not want to unconsciously consume extra calories.
Check that we are well hydrated with water (yes, water, not bubble tea, sugar drinks) as our body may mistaken hydration as hunger. Take constant sips of water so that you keep yourself full and hydrated.
You can also drink water during meals so that it can help you to control your eating portion.
5) Check your weight and waist-hip ratio weekly
Do step up your scales and measure your waist-ratio weekly. This is a way to gain feedback on your feasting for the week, so that you can make necessary adjustment for the following week.
Personally, I am not a big fan of scales, but it can help us to track whether we gain, maintain or lose some weight. However, it can be inaccurate sometimes because the weight gain may be due to hormonal change for ladies during the time of the month. However, something is better than nothing.
I personally prefer the waist-hip ratio. That is taking your measurement around your waist divided by your hip (you can use either metrics). For men, it should not go beyond 0.90 and ladies should be less than 0.80.
6) Review your tracking monthly
Review your achievements monthly. Ask yourselves these questions
What did I do well this month?
What are the things that I need to do better for the following month?
A look back will help you to keep track of where you are in your goals.
I hope this helps in your weight management during this season.