Are you crossing off the days on the calendar for that big night out, Christmas party or new year celebration? Are you overwhelmed with fear that you simply won’t fit into the dress you were planning to wear, or distraught at the idea of finding something new to wear to disguise your festive weight gain? You are not alone. Feeling overweight and self conscious at this time of year happens to all of us. I mean, it’s unfair to expect us to eat several three course meals, mince pies, Yule logs, glug on red wine every night and still slip into the dress of choice which this season appears to be MORE bodycon!
Let’s get one thing straight. There is no quick fix that’s going to make you lose a stone before Christmas. If you start with that mentality then you’re destined to fail, because you’re probably planning on overeating as soon as you open your first Terry’s Chocolate Orange on Christmas morning. Whether you’re aware of it or not, a super low calorie diet will almost certainly see you fall off the wagon in a dramatic fashion resulting in an equally dramatic weight gain. Sorry. This post is about starting to make the right choices NOW, not ‘after Christmas’ or ‘on January 2nd’ because if you can start making positive changes today you will sail through the holidays without that feeling if guilt and pressure to starve yourself in 2014.
Here are my tips:
Don’t starve yourself
This doesn’t mean ‘eat whenever you’re hungry’ it means eat three well balanced meals a day with 2 small snacks if required. Do not skip meals because your body will go into starvation mode and start storing any food you do eat as fat. Starving yourself is also a short term solution which usually results in over eating at another time (e.g. No breakfast followed by a muffin and hot chocolate at 11am-not cool) or making the wrong food choices due to severe hunger (e.g. You know you should have a salad but literally NEED a Big Mac and have no self control).
Make every meal well balanced
In my opinion, well balanced means a plate which is made up of 50% vegetables 25% protein and 25% low GI carbohydrates. This is easy at dinner time, but does your breakfast and lunch look anything like that? I promise if you make your breakfast to that plan, you will not feel hungry until lunchtime. Then you will make a healthy choice for lunch and the same for dinner. For breakfast I have eggs with whole grain toast and tomato and maybe a piece of fruit. Lunch is a big tuna salad with oatcakes and for dinner a beef chilli with onions, peppers and quinoa.
Snacks are great as long as you limit them to one or two per day and remember to keep portions small. Snacks are not a meal in themselves! Also, try to avoid falling into the trap of ‘grazing’ at all times; before you know it you could eat 700 calories worth of cashew nuts! My favourite snacks are Nakd bars, Eat Natural bars (I would limit these to a few per week due to sugar content), cashew nuts, almonds, blueberries, oatcakes, apples, boiled eggs and dark chocolate.
Think about the bigger picture
When in social situations it’s easy to get swept up in eating and drinking because everyone else does. I personally think on Christmas Day you should eat, drink and be merry. My problem is with all the flavored lattes, candy cane cupcakes and endless roast dinner which seem unavoidable in the month leading up to the big day. They are literally everywhere, and we are made to feel somehow obliged to eat and drink these goodies otherwise we are branded The Grinch! Believe me, I KNOW it’s hard to say no in front of friends, family and work colleagues, but think about the bigger picture. Will you really remember that third mince pie you had on December 11th? Or the free mulled wine at the market on the 15th? Probably not. Try and save yourself for all the glorious homemade food that will be lovingly made by yourself or your family on Christmas Day, and hopefully by that time you’ll be feeling a little healthier, a few pounds lighter and ready to savour the treats in store.
What are your tips for losing weight before Christmas?