My tips for not putting on weight at Christmas

Wafatips: How to save time and avoid setbacks by starting your ‘New Year, New You’ plan over the Christmas celebrations.

Why bother starting now?

I am aware that December is the worst month of the year to consider  will power.

We all want to enjoy a Happy Christmas and, in this way, the happiness will be more profound. Christmas lunches, dinners and parties which we want to enjoy with colleagues, friends and family are all accounted for when we check our bank accounts and also the bathroom scales.

We convince ourselves that these parties are to be enjoyed, that once a year it does not hurt, and that’s what the New Year’s resolutions list is for, to start over.

For years I always told myself  ‘’you only live once’’. I was working as a commercial director of a multinational company. The commitments of lunches and dinners with customers at this time of year, were an everyday event, so excess food and drink was inevitable. But during my process of personal transformation I came to understand that, as in almost every other facet of life, (at least some) prevention is far preferable than a long drawn out cure.

The simple fact is, that in just three weeks we can easily undo all we have achieved in an entire year of effort. It’s simply not worth it. Why work twice or three times as hard in January to lose a few kilos, when it really isn’t too difficult or complicated in December to avoid putting them all on in the first place?

How do I do it?

It isn’t rocket science. It’s as simple as common sense. But I’d still like to help you by outlining some simple guidelines. Here are my 5 tricks to avoid getting fat at Christmas.

1. I start the day with exercise.

Doing sports early in the morning helps reduce appetite for the rest of the day. It also helps us to think that enjoying Christmas is not incompatible with following an exercise routine. If we get this done before we start our day, we will get it out the way and then we will feel great. Nobody’s going to get to the gym after a boozy lunch.

2. It’s a question of balance.

It is impossible to have everything. Extra calories are stored by the body as fat. That’s just science. On the other hand, if we compensate for the excesses with control, the result will be much more balanced. Christmas meals are planned in most cases and that makes it easier to organize ourselves so that the three days before and after we compensate for them with a more sensible and clean diet: vegetables, salads, meat and grilled fish. Fewer calories and smaller portions is the golden rule to stay feeling and looking great whole still enjoying Celebration meals

3. Never take a doggy bag.

In family meals there is always more than enough food. If you take it home to eat the next day, the excess will have been double, that’s why I never store any excess food which is offered. For me it is so important to understand that I can enjoy a special lunch or dinner without feeling guilty. Therefore, I have to set limits and also limit that type of situation. They are special moments and I try to keep them as just that: specific meals. They cannot become the daily norm throughout the Christmas month.

4. Mindful eating

Saying YES to Christmas events does not mean you automatically get to overdo everything. Mindfulness or being aware of anxiety is very important. I become aware of the hunger I really have instead of letting myself get carried away by everything I can see around me. That also helps me to really enjoy what I choose to eat instead of constantly thinking about the next thing I?m going to binge eat or drink. And, of course, eating nothing or very little for the rest of the day will compensate for a binge. Basically, we should consider our food carefully when we’re not having a special Christmas meal: a good breakfast and a healthy snack mid-morning and in the afternoon will prevent us from arriving at Christmas meals feeling ravenously hungry and ready to seriously overeat

5. Wardrobe reality check.

There is nothing more effective than a mirror to remember what you are not willing to give up. We all have some item of clothing we’ve outgrown, but which we have kept ‘for when we lose the weight.’ Putting on clothes which have become too small for me, remind me that if I eat and drink everything infront of me all month, then all my favourite clothes now, will end up the same way. A reality check that always works well for me.

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