Christmas is such a wonderful opportunity to catch up with loved ones and friends you’ve not seen for a while and this means our diaries look fuller than Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve.
It can be a bit of a nightmare for those of us trying to keep to a weight loss journey at this time of year but there is no reason that you can’t head into 2020 a slinkier version of yourself!
The best way to start when it comes to socialising is to think about how you want to feel in the new year. Do you want to look and feel better and have more confidence as you’ve made better choices over the festive period?
This mindset change can help when making decisions about what to eat and drink when you are out and about.
One of the best ways to do this, if you’re heading to a restaurant for a meal, is checking the menu. Let’s face it, who doesn’t like looking up the menu online of the place they’re visiting for dinner? Have a glance over the menu when you’re less hungry, maybe after lunch, and this could help you make better choices when you come to order later in the day.
Most restaurants also include their nutritional information online too but not on their printed menus, so it’s a great chance to see the healthiest dishes to choose!
Also try and stick to one course. It’s easier said than done when others are indulging in two or even three courses around you, but it is a great test of willpower and you’ll feel better for it when you’re not really full in bed later in the evening!
Go easy on the alcohol
Whilst it’s a harder time of year to avoid alcohol, there are better choices to be made. Try avoiding sugary drinks like mulled wine and cider or calorie-heavy drinks like Irish cream or egg-nog and stick to low calorie mixers with clear spirits.
It’s also advised to stick within the recommended daily units of alcohol (2-3 for women and 3-4 for men) per day and try to alternate any alcoholic drinks with sugar-free soft drinks and water to stay hydrated.*
Don’t skip meals, skip unhealthy snacks
If you are headed out for a few social drinks or a dinner, stick to your normal eating habits and patterns and don’t skip meals.
Skipping meals will make you hungrier later and more likely to choose less wisely than if you’ve maintained a normal eating pattern during the day.
Try to minimise the amounts of unhealthy snacks that you consume in the day and take your own snacks with you if necessary. The festive period is rife with high calorie nibbles like mince pies, chocolates and biscuits but by carrying your own healthy snacks with you it can help your willpower enormously and stop you reaching for the naughtier treats so often.
Minimise the buffet blitzing
It’s pretty likely that at some point you’ll be faced with a buffet with lots of temptation on the table. If that’s the case, try not to sit facing or near the buffet – as you’ll end up eating more from it than you might have intended to.
Take time to browse the selection before putting things on your plate. Assess which options will be the healthiest for you and pop those on your plate first. Also make sure you don’t pile your plate high – just because the food is little, doesn’t mean it’s not easy to overeat and take in lots of calories. Stick to one layer of food on your plate and once you’ve been up to the buffet, don’t go back for seconds or thirds.
Why not considering hosting your own party at home? Invite over friends and family and try making the nibbles and food yourself! This way, you can control the food that is being served and stick to healthier options.
In general, it’s advised to stick to the 80:20 rule when it comes to eating and drinking over Christmas. This means eating and drinking healthily 80% of the time and relaxing it 20% of the time.
Sticking to this rule means that you should go into the New Year a healthier and happier you!
But above all…
Don’t give up! Whilst there are temptations everywhere during December, your willpower and determination is stronger than you think.
Imagine yourself stepping onto the scales at your next appointment maintaining, or even weighing less, during and after the Christmas period and what an amazing boost that would be for your mindset going into the new decade!
Don’t make your weight loss promise another forgotten New Year’s resolution, start now and feel better than ever going into 2020.
*Please speak to your clinic Doctor about alcohol consumption alongside your medication