I know that many of my clients are starting to feel a little vulnerable about their weight loss as the onset of the party season begins. Meals out with friends, work parties, Christmas dinner on the 25th December, and more socialising- all of this can really be challenging when you are trying to lose weight and eat healthily. Don’t despair! With a few tweaks, you can still enjoy your Christmas social activities and not ruin your weight loss. Here’s how:
1) Stay Focused:
yes you have a few more social events on the calendar that involve eating and drinking, but you know exactly what you are working to achieve and how good you are going to feel when you achieve your weight loss. You know why you want to lose weight, why it is so important to you and you know that it is possible to lose weight. Before you go out, remind yourself of why you are losing weight and set yourself a limit of what you will drink in the evening. (Remember alcohol is liquid calories!) Focus on what you do want rather than what you don’t want!
2) Plan ahead:
In many restaurants at this time of year, you may well be given the menu before the event (especially at work outings, due to the large numbers often involved) so in the cold light of the office (when you are not seduced by spontaneous cravings or fuelled by a couple of glasses of wine) make your healthy choices for your dinner. Could you choose a clear soup for starters or a salad or melon? Choose the healthiest option for dinner (Turkey is usually ok!) and if you are choosing a pudding, could you choose sorbet or fruit? If you decide that you wish to have a richer dinner, maybe decide not to have a pudding, or share it with a colleague or friend.
3) Watch your alcohol intake:
We all like a glass or two of wine at Christmas and you don’t have to deny yourself your favourite treats – just keep it all in balance. Select drinks that are lower in calories or maybe have a spritzer (wine and soda or with diet lemonade). Spirits and a low calorie mixer are also a good option as they are lower in calories and a longer drink. Drink plenty of water in between each glass of alcohol, this will keep you hydrated and will slow down your alcohol intake too.
4) Treat the buffet table with caution:
If attending a buffet, if possible sit well away from it. Don’t linger chatting with your plate in hand at the buffet as there is the temptation to eat what’s on your plate and then keep picking as you natter. If having peanuts or crisps, take a handful and put them on to a plate (rather than cramming the handful immediately into your mouth without a moment’s thought!) and eat each peanut or crisp separately. You will be more aware of what you are doing, rather than mindlessly just stuffing food into your mouth. Perhaps have a healthy meal before you attend the buffet and then just choose a couple of things for your plate: crudities with low calorie dip, fruit, hummus, oat cakes are good “picky” options if they are available. Ensuring that you are not hungry, will stop you from over indulging.
5) And finally….if you do eat or drink too much, don’t turn that into a full stop. Just remind yourself that it’s one day in amongst 365 and be flexible. The next day, drink plenty of water and eat healthily to counter balance, or up your exercise a little. It’s not failure it is feedback – what can you do differently next time, so that you can still have fun and remember what your goals are and why they are important?
So have fun, enjoy the party season and think about how wonderful you will feel next year, when you have managed to not only lose your weight, by making sensible choices, but also be able to maintain it – and be able to get into an even more gorgeous outfit for the party season!