Christmas can seem to be filled with one social event after another. Mince pies, chocolates, mulled wine and canapés are everywhere. So what can you do to stack the odds in your favour this festive season?
Here is an action plan for enjoying Christmas without compromising your health and weight loss goals.
HAVE A PLAN
Before you go to bed each night, plan out your food for the next day. This is always a good idea but never more so than at Christmas, when parties and “treats” are just about everywhere.
DON’T START A NEW DIET NOW
Unless you have a weight loss programme already firmly established, it could be better to set a maintenance goal instead. It’s often much more realistic at this time of year. It will also give you the freedom to enjoy yourself without feeling deprived, or that you’ve failed, which in turn means you’re more likely to rebel (and head straight for the box of chocolates without a second glance).
Eat mindfully keeping an eye on your portion sizes, eating slowly and chewing thoroughly. Savour each mouthful and recognise when you are full. Take restorative time out for yourself when you can. This might mean going for a walk in the countryside or a park, meditating, or simply sitting quietly with a book or magazine away from the hustle and bustle.
EAT WELL AT OTHER MEALS
Fill your plate with lots of vegetables. Have protein-rich foods and healthy fats at each meal. Then enjoy the times that are for celebrating. Head to your party, have one or two drinks, a few nibbles and – most of all – enjoy time with the people you love!
NEVER GO TO A PARTY HUNGRY
If you do, you’ll be fighting a loosing battle. Have a healthy snack before you go – my go to pre-event snacks are a protein shake or a palmful of mixed nuts. Both are easy to keep in your bag or grab in a local health food shop.
KEEP CHOCOLATES AND MINCE PIES OUT OF SIGHT
A good tip for day to day – keep the festive treats out of sight. Whether it’s in the office or at home, if there are always treats in your eye line, it’s a whole lot easier to be tempted. Take them into the office kitchen. Store them away in a cupboard. Only get them out when (or if!) you make a conscious decision that you want to enjoy them.