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COLUMN: Howard’s Health - ‘Be more Christmas cracker and less Christmas pudding this year’

John Howard ENGANL00120130210165810
John Howard ENGANL00120130210165810

Most of us loosen our belt or our clothes feel like they have been in the tumble dryer a little too long when the New Year rolls around.

We end up feeling less Christmas cracker and more Christmas pudding, but it does not have to be that way this year.

By following a few easy steps we can feel happy about our weight, our health and how we look. So here’s my Christmas tips to enjoy yourself – and how you feel about yourself:

1) Prioritize. If you look forward to the Christmas chocolates, desserts or pigs in blankets by all means blow your calories on them. It’s about making conscious choices, not mindlessly munching .

2) Avoid going hungry to parties. Eat something light beforehand to reduce your chances of snacking on high calorie party food. Some healthy snacks include zero fat Greek yoghurt and strawberries, or a boiled egg and thin sliced ham.

3) Focus. Have you ever had a full plate of food in front of you, only to look down a few minutes later to find it gone? In all likelihood, you ate while you were talking to someone or doing something else, like watching TV, which leads to overeating. So try to really concentrate. Appreciate how the food looks before you put it in your mouth.

4) Enjoy your food: Take the time to chew and identify the flavours. Stop and savour between bites and you will eat less, without feeling deprived.

5) Fill up with porridge, fruit, brown or basmati rice and pasta which will keep you fuller, for longer.

6) And sleep! Proper sleep is a key factor in weight management. On nights when you are not at a party until the early hours, turn in early. If you are out late, try to have a power nap the next day when your energy flags, instead of using a big snack to pick yourself up.

Don’t try to lose weight over the Christmas season. Instead, aim to maintain your current weight and then when the New Year comes, you will be in a really great position to reach your goals, whatever they are.

n Award-winning local diet coach John Howard understands how hard it is to lose weight – and keep it off.

He lost 7 stone in five months – and eight years on has kept his new shape.

Diet coach John Howard supports you one to one, from Eye, near Diss, and from the Stowhealth GP centre in Stowmarket, to lose about a stone a month and no longer be unhappy with your weight.

He can be contacted on 0787 231 4653, 01379 678416, or by email at john@live-everyday.co.uk For more details: www.cambridgeweightplan.com/JohnH

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