The traditional season of goodwill and countless Christmas parties might not be such a prospect of good cheer if you have spent months diligently sticking to a weight loss diet. It might well seem that you are being positively encouraged to overeat during this month of madness, and maybe just when you have succeeded in reaching your target. The vision of all that mouthwatering Christmas fare and everyone else tucking in can be too much to withstand. In addition is the depressing thought that you are heading back to square one and will have to start dieting all over again in the New Year.
But it does not have to be such an ordeal. Remember, you have already done the hard part. You have slimmed right down and now you are looking fantastic in your new party clothes, so why not go out and enjoy yourself? As long as you bear in mind a few simple tips there’s no reason at all why you shouldn’t party with a clear conscience.
1 Think what you drink
Alcohol has a surprisingly high calorie content, but you can reduce your intake with a little thought.
- Keep within the recommended safe number of units.
- Switch to a low calorie mixer when drinking spirits.
- Alternate each alcoholic drink with a low calorie soft drink or mineral water and you will effectively halve your consumption of alcohol.
2 Try the quick serviette test
If you’re not sure whether the item of food you are contemplating is high in saturated or trans fat, you can do a quick check by picking it up with a paper serviette. If it fails the test by leaving an oily mark on the paper, then leave it on the plate.
3 Beware the buffet
The tempting spread of food at a buffet can make or break your good intentions. Just remember it is not a competition to carry off the largest quantity of food heaped up on a plate.
- Let the rush die down and be one of the last to join the queue.
- Take the smallest plate you can find.
- Resist the temptation to sample a bit of everything.
- Limit yourself to a few choice selections.
If you’ve got the timing right you should find that some of the dishes will have been cleaned out or no longer look quite so appetising.
4 Pass by the nibbles
An important strategy to losing weight and maintaining your target is to eat only when you are hungry. It takes will power to avoid those tempting little bowls of nibbles cunningly placed here and there to entice the unwary. Once you start picking it is all too easy to carry on and after a while it becomes impossible to tell how much you have eaten. If you aren’t able to go and clean your teeth after your main meal, you can try chewing sugar-free gum or sucking an after-dinner mint when the temptation gets too much.
5 Eat before you party
It’s not easy to stay in control of your appetite if you arrive at a party feeling ravenous. Take the edge of your hunger before you leave home by eating a light snack that is nutritional and low in fat such as fruit, yoghurt, wholegrain crackers or crisp-bread. This will help you to resist the urge to overindulge.
Christmas needn’t herald the failure of your weight loss plan if you prepare your strategy in advance and stick to it. The people around you might succumb to the temptation of overindulgence, but they will also be suffering the consequences later. And it means that you get to choose something different for your New Year’s resolution in 2016.