7 January: I want to weigh a kilo less

Many tell me that they pile on weight during New Year and Christmas, not the other way around, and they are partly right.

Many tell me that they pile on weight during New Year and Christmas, not the other way around, and they are partly right. But I also believe that it is not always like this, particularly with regard to athletes who are careful most of the year, eating well, training regularly and then … and then during the Christmas season let themselves go and undermine the work done during the year.

Since some years, Christmas is not just limited to a dinner on Christmas eve and a Christmas lunch with family. Now you can find panettoni and other typical Christmas treats in supermarkets as early as November and the gastronomic sections are ever more rich and attractive. We have aperitives and big dinners with friends from the gym, friends from work, friends from voluntary work and so on during the whole month of December.

What harm can just a drink with friends do or a slice of pandoro with mascarpone and Christmas treats which you found on sale at the supermarket?

It is not just the extra calories that cause the defeat of a nutritional regimen but also the quality of what we eat and the enormous amounts of sugar we take in without even noticing as soon we slightly lower our guards.

And then, helped by the cold and the frenetic pace of our days, we might also tend to diminish our training, undermining as such all those months of work.

However, with some adjustments you can enjoy the festivities without too much anxiety and guilt.

The way of life proposed by GIFT allows us to live this period centered around food in peace, starting with a rich breakfast, abundant and complete. This will help us maintain our insulin levels even so that we aren’t prone to overeat at the first sight of sweets. A balanced lunch will help us get to the evening aperitif with friends who want to celebrate where we are able to just nibble on some snacks without the need to stuff our mouths at any cost. 

That is why I always advise to eat a good breakfast, also and above all the morning of Christmas, and to avoid the mistake of thinking that by not eating breakfast you can save some calories. We need to eat in the morning to give our bodies the right signal and to allow our satiety to decide how much and what to eat during the rest of the day.

It is a good rule not to gorge on junk food which fill our tables but to always opt for quality food:

If we find ourselves in front of appetizers, it is better to choose the salmon than the potato chips or the vol-au-vent. Our grandmothers ravioli which, with their meat filling, lower the glycemic load are to be preferred over refined pasta while during a game of bingo after dinner take a handful of dried fruits and nuts rather than a second slice of pandoro.

If it still happens that, despite all our good intentions, the festivities leave us feeling a bit swollen and heavy, remember that caloric restrictions and fasting are not the panacea against the harm done. It is better to start over by eating high quality food and hearty breakfasts and workout regularly.

Remember that when it rains and it is cold you can opt for indoor training. It allows you to pursue your health plan even on days when, in addition to the weather, family commitments could make you feel like giving up.

And lastly let us enjoy these moments as good opportunities to slow down and take a breath before starting again with great seriousness and determination in 2018.

The New Year in fact is always a period of transition, a moment of balance sheets and forecasts which we can already begin to make and that can be used in preparation of great satisfactions that the new year, I am sure, will bring us.

Barbara Fedrigo

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