It’s that time of year again CHRISTMAS! Time for parties and family, fun and frivolity… AND that Christmas party food – YUMMO! A whole month of indulgences with celebrations stretching from December well into January. Most of us are guilty of upping our intake of high sugar, fatty, carb-loaded foods, as well as overindulging in alcohol – Hey! it is Christmas after all. But… Come New Year we begin to regret our choices as the aftermath of the Christmas that was takes it’s toll as we stare forlornly at the bathroom scale. Studies show that weight gain over Christmas is one of the largest contributors to excess weight gain over the year. This was especially the case in people who were already overweight or obese. The good news is these studies also show festive weight gain can be reduced when you are aware of your body weight-energy balance and you change some of the behaviours that can lead to weight gain. 1. Eat and Drink Mindfully. Did you know almost one quarter of the food we consume is forgotten the instant we swallow it! Enjoy small amounts of everything you love at Christmas, but do it in moderation. Slowing your intake will not only help you to reduce your weight gain but will also help you to enjoy every mouthful more! More information about mindful eating can be found here. 2. Plan your intake. Whether you’re creating a holiday feast at home, visiting friends or eating out, the key is to plan your intake. If you’re ordering from a menu or selecting from a buffet try to select meals with lots of fresh ingredients. If you’re taking a platter to a party, ditch the cheese and cabana in favour of an avocado, beetroot or yoghurt based dip with vegetable sticks made of carrot, celery, red and green capsicum, green beans or snow peas. If you know you’re main meal will be lunch, plan to have a lighter option for dinner such as a salad to balance your intake across the day. 3. Eat lighter. To counteract the heavier meals that are usually served around Christmas, select lighter snacks such as seasonal fruit or nuts. Eating a handful of cherries in place of lollies or chocolate can save you from consuming an extra 300kJ and 16g sugar. 4. Save room on your plate. You don’t have to try EVERYTHING on offer. A little bit of everything ends up to be a big pile on your plate and totally blows portion control out the window. If you’re someone who really just can’t resist try using a smaller plate when you’re serving your meal. A smaller plate will fit less food on it and stop you from heaping on the kilos. 5. Make smart drink choices. People often don’t realize the impact their choice of beverage has on their overall caloric intake. Aside from the fact that overindulging in alcohol will leave you with a nasty hangover, certain types of drink will have a greater impact on the amount of weight you might put on over the festive season. Try to balance each alcoholic beverage with a glass of water or a non-alcoholic alternatives. Click here from some yummy alternatives to soft drink, which is also responsible for unwanted weight gain.