Christmas is a tricky time of year if you are planning on either losing weight or maintaining it over the festive period. It’s not quite as bad for us in the UK as for our friends over the pond, because at least we don’t have Thanksgiving to contend with, and no-one forces us to eat weird food like sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top.
However the season still brings plenty of its own challenges. If you work, people are more likely to bring in treats for the office and there are work dinners and parties to contend with. At home, people entertain more, and always like to have a choice of treats and desserts in, and end up with the leftovers to eat up.
You know your own personal nemesis. I commented to my Mum that December was more difficult because people brought mince pies and sweets into work and I have quite a few social events. She said that her problem was January with all the leftovers to eat up. I then said this to my Mum-in-law and she said she ends up doing both – too much social stuff beforehand AND too many leftovers!
So it seems we have three problems. The time before Christmas, the day(s) itself and the time after Christmas. Work out which period is your problem time for piling on pounds and plan in advance how you are going to deal with it. Here are my suggestions:
Devouring in December
- Come up with a stock phrase to refuse snacks such as, “Thanks, I’m not hungry right now”, “I’m cutting back on sugar before Christmas”, or “No thanks I have a big meal coming up this evening”.
- Always get out for a lunchtime walk.
- Bring your own sandwiches to work.
- Alternate alcoholic drinks with water at social events.
- At buffets avoid too much “yellow” food – pastry, crisps, bread and instead pile up the salad.
- At restaurants skip dessert and have a liqueur instead – just one though!
Consuming at Christmas
- Remember – your eyes will be bigger than your stomach – try and take this into account!
- You don’t have to sample absolutely everything!
- No second helpings.
- Don’t spend the morning or afternoon scoffing chocolates. Have one and put the box away.
- Have a glass of water before meals, it will hydrate you, and fill you up to stop you eating as much.
- At buffets offer to do the washing up – it will stop you hanging round the table.
Nibbling in the New Year
- Give away as many leftovers to your visitors as you can.
- Freeze some of the leftovers – meat and cheese freeze well, as do casseroles and pies.
- Ask your neighbours in for coffee and cake in the mornings to eat up the mince pies.
- If you don’t like something you are left with, don’t eat it. Throw it away. Waste is not ideal, but neither is eating food for the sake of it.
- See if you have any elderly neighbours who would appreciate some portions of casseroles or cake for their freezer.
- Consider taking any leftover unopened tins or packets to your local homeless shelter.
Wishing you all the best for a happy and healthy Christmas!