So, people often ask me for tips to minimise weight gain or even lose over the Christmas period. Everyone is different and everyone’s body is different but I hope that my tips will help someone to not have the gain they could have had in January. Even if it is a gain there are ways to try to do the best you can and minimise that rather than giving up completely.
1. Do not have every day off plan
The Christmas and New Year period can easily last around 2 weeks, children have about 2 weeks off school and some people have around a fortnight off work. Look at the days that are important to you and decide for yourself which days if any you are having “off plan”. The potential gain after 3 days of eating and drinking less healthily will be a lot less than it will be with 14 days of eating chocolate, mince pies and Christmas cake and drinking alcohol everyday! The choice is yours but worth remembering that you will have to lose the weight again so is it worth it, if it is go for it, if it’s not then minimise how many days off plan you have!
2. Make wise choices where you can
If you’re eating out or at a relatives with a buffet then chose the best things you can and fill up on things that are syn free or low calorie and ideally fruit and vegetables so there’s less room for the less healthy options! If you can not be totally on plan do not use this as an excuse to eat the worst thing on offer, try to be sensible and you will be proud of yourself in the long term.
3. If you can make it healthier then do it
Don’t waste syns/calories on things you could make or buy much healthier. Look at each item you intend making or buying and see if you can improve on it. Some pigs in blankets for example are 3 syns each, others you can buy are just one syn! Will you notice the difference on your Christmas dinner? If not then check out the options and buy lower syn ones! You don’t have to do without anything just be sensible and swap what you can!
4. Involve the family and cook the same for everyone
Try to cook everyone the same meal so there is less temptation for you and also less stress in cooking. Will your family notice that their vegetables are not served in butter when they have gravy on it? Do you want your children to gain weight if you can avoid it? A lovely family Christmas can be healthy too!
5. Do not buy things that you can’t resist unless you are willing to accept the gain!
I do not buy things for others that I know I can’t resist myself so I only buy Ben sweets and chocolates that I don’t like or can resist. I give them to Ben as a gift so that the few sweets he has are his and not a bowl or tin of sweets for everyone that it’s so easy to dip into without even thinking!
6. Plan, Plan and Plan some more
Plan everything! If you’re going to someone’s house where they may offer you a drink or snack then either save some syns for it, make wise choices and have a Diet Coke or small drink. Maybe eat before you go so you’re not hungry! It is hard to not offend people but if they love you they will understand if you don’t eat much or chose the healthier options. Make sure you have plenty of foods and drinks in that are low syn or syn free so if you have something else it is through choice not because of lack of planning!
7. Do not let one bad day roll into another
So, yesterday you ate half the tin of chocolates whilst drinking Baileys and watching a Christmas film, what do you do today? How easy is it to think “I’ve already gained a stone surely after yesterday why not enjoy today and eat what I want!”. The problem with this thinking is that one day rolls into another and into another and before you know it you have been eating a drinking badly for a week or more. Then getting back into healthier ways is so much harder. Instead wake up the morning after a day of eating and drinking more than you would have liked and think, “Today I will make the best choices I can so that my weight loss goal is not too far away”. If you dropped your mobile phone and it chipped in the corner but was still working fine would you stamp on it until it broke some more? No, of course not so do not do the same with your weight loss!
8. Don’t eat your emotions
Some people find the Christmas period difficult for many reasons and it is so easy to comfort eat especially during this season I think. Will eating actually solve your problems? Will it bring the loved one that has passed away back? Will it mean you feel less alone if you don’t have any family or friends to see? Will it solve your money problems? Will it solve relationship problems? Will it make you happier for more than the few minutes you’re eating or drinking for? I struggle a lot with emotional eating and I know many others do too, it is not easy when you are depressed and even on what should be a happy day you struggle. Please if you feel like this do not feel alone, chat to family or friends and try to find a way to avoid eating your emotions too much but if you do emotionally eat just remember you can still get to your weight loss goal eventually. Do not beat yourself up over it we are all only human and sometimes our emotions get the better of us. Do we have to eat, drink and be merry? Or can we just be happy without the excessive eating and drinking?
9. Have set meals not constant snacking
I think at Christmas and New Year something that often makes people struggle and I know makes me struggle is buffets and constant access to food rather than set meals. I think it is really important where possible to have a start and end to every meal because it is all too easy to overeat by nibbling on the wrong things because they are lying about. Also skipping meals is a big problem I find because if I skip a meal because the earlier meal was big then eventually I will get peckish and then temptation to snack on the wrong things sets in. My advice would be to have three meals every day even if it is just a small meal.
10. Sales are for clothes not food!
This is somewhere I really struggle! I love a bargain and am so easily tempted by the sales and new clothes, bags, shoes, and various things I don’t really need! The supermarkets often sell off all the Christmas food too though, selection boxes, rum truffles. cheeseboards, party food packs and all sorts of other yummy things. I get so tempted by these so this year I am not even going to go to the shops that I know do the best bargains on these so I resist temptation! I will also keep telling myself it might be a bargain but if I eat it then it will cost me more overall paying at Slimming World!!
11. Size matters!
Portion size matters! Yes on Slimming World in some ways it doesn’t matter but I think in many ways it also does! Have big meals that fill you, full of plenty of free and speed foods, and small portions of the high syn foods! The size of a portion does matter when you look at a cheesecake and see that a portion is only 9 syns and think “ooh I can have a piece of that”, however don’t take into account that the syns are for a twelfth of the cheesecake and when you share it with 5 others your portion is double the suggested portion size! Try not to guess anything when you can as one brand or packet size can be very different to another!
12. Don’t put off ’til tomorrow what you can do today!
So, are you someone who is saying today, “I will eat what I want and rejoin group in January!” or “tomorrow I will start afresh”. Why not ask yourself, why not today, why not do the best I can from today? Why would you want to add more to your weight unnecessarily before you start? Make those changes from today, make the changes you can right away, don’t wait because you could be waiting forever, tomorrow never comes, think what you want to achieve and start now. Start now and believe in yourself!
But most of all enjoy the season not just the food!
Christmas is a time of year we see friends and family. We give and receive gifts and cards. We are thankful for the lives we have and talk about what has happened in the last year, and we eat and drink more than we do any other time of the year! Do we need to eat and drink excessively to enjoy Christmas and New Year? I do not think so, I think it is possible to have a lovely time without eating and drinking much differently to normal with only a few meals that are a little different! Have a think, what makes Christmas and New Year celebrations special to you? What can you live without? What will you do so you can enjoy your time off work or with the Children or whatever it is you do during this few weeks but so that you do not feel regret when you next step on those scales?
Don’t forget to check out my other Christmas related posts here for recipes, gift guides and more.
Check out all my other Christmas related posts here!
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year and manage to put in place plans so that you are happy with your choices. Do not give up on your weight loss dreams whatever happens, you are worth it, you can get to your target and you can be the person you want to be when you look in the mirror. It wont happen overnight but it will happen, do not let Christmas and New Year stop it happening.
If you enjoy reading my blog please do feel free to click through the different tabs to find weight loss tips, reviews, light reading, giveaways, recipes and lots more! if you would like to sign up to receive my weekly newsletter containing all that weeks posts direct to your inbox so you never miss a giveaway or post that might interest you just pop your email address in the box below and don’t forget to also click to the confirmation email you will receive.