How can I not gain weight with celebrations all year round?

Pancakes

How can I possibly not gain weight with celebrations all year round? Even once Christmas is out of the way I find other festive occasions are already looming (Pancake Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, wedding invitations...). 

BHF dietitian Victoria Taylor says:

No sooner have we battled the food temptations of Christmas, then more celebrations appear. Opportunities to overindulge are so frequent it makes keeping to a healthy diet difficult. But there are a few tips and tricks to help you stay in control.

First, look at the calendar in advance. Identify the special occasions that you really want to celebrate with food. This may include Christmas, a wedding, a special birthday, a holiday or a big anniversary. This allows you to enjoy yourself, but also makes you think about how many occasions are coming up and how you will manage the ones you don’t want to overindulge at.

Far from missing out, this will give you scope to be inventive and find new ways to celebrate. Try going to a show, exhibition or concert, organising a walk, planning a sports event, going shopping... there is no health restriction or limit on your imagination!

Skipping meals to save calories doesn’t usually work and can have the opposite effect

On occasions you choose to indulge in food, stick to regular meal routines and normal portions. This will mean you’re less likely to deviate from healthy eating and will find it easier to make healthier choices. Skipping meals to save calories doesn’t usually work and can have the opposite effect.

It’s not always possible to choose who you celebrate with, but try to spend more time with friends or relatives who will support you and will not sabotage your efforts by offering unhealthy foods. Make it clear in advance that you’re eating healthily and why. Then make sure you stick to your plans to show you’re serious; you’ll be surprised how many people will want to follow your example.

Portion control is a good way to avoid weight gain, so if you end up at an unplanned celebration, watch out for the quantities on your plate. If you know you can’t resist certain foods, avoid starting with these to limit the amount you eat or steer clear of them completely if you don’t think you can keep to a small amount.

Always make a shopping list before going to the supermarket and stick to it. Retailers are experts at tempting us with celebratory foods. Your list will help you stick to healthier choices, and often ends up being cheaper.

Read our article on making eggs a healthy option, plus a step-by-step guide to poaching eggs

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