Surviving Christmas – lesson one!

25 Nov

Well, it’s a month until Christmas. I can guarantee that the thought going through your head is that you are bound to put on weight over the festive season?

This will be my third Christmas of ‘losing weight and keeping it off’  and I can very honestly say that I have enjoyed the past two, continued to lose weight through the first and didn’t put on a single pound during the second.

Ok, it’s not simple, it takes just as much effort and organisation as present buying or juggling the relatives, but it is worth it not to have the feeling of dread in January of all the extra effort that you have to make or that you have to re-train your brain and stomach all over again wiping out all the fantastic work you’ve done all year. All for the sake of over-eating for a few days?

I do have an alternative plan, it follows my usual approach, minimal deprivation but also enjoying food! Over the next couple of weeks I will share some of my tips and tricks – and some of them are just that too and they do work.

As you will know by now, one of the things that made a huge difference to how I approached food was learning about it. If I visualise how many calories are in different portion sizes, I can live with having far smaller portion than I did in the past.

A Thanksgiving turkey that had been soaked for...

Image via Wikipedia

For example the average Christmas lunch with all the trimmings is around 1500 calories – almost your whole daily allowance! So if you reduce the things you know push that up – the stuffing, roast potatoes etc then you also reduce the impact!  And I bet you won’t notice two less potatoes?

One thing that did shock me wasn’t the main ‘meals’ but the extras that we only have at Christmas and New Year, these are really the things that make the difference and we’re not helped here by the supermarkets.

How many of us already have tins of chocolate and sweets in the cupboard because they were on a ‘buy one get one free’ offer or massively reduced?  Do you eat them because they’re there, even though you’re full? I don’t buy them anymore, I spend the same amount on a box of really expensive chocolates, by that I mean rather than the hundred or so in the tin, you get twelve if you’re lucky!  It feels more extravagant and I enjoy them far more, I don’t feel the need to eat them all at one, rather make them last.  Don’t knock it, it does work!

Then there’s the Baileys’, I love the stuff however it is lethal. I’m sure they put a chemical in it to ensure one is never enough!  Remember too that the measure you pour at home is bound to be far bigger than a pub glass, there are over 320 calories in every 100ml. It’s worth getting your measuring jug out to see what that looks like – it’s quite scary?  I use a shot glass now, simple but it works, I buy a smaller bottle too.

So lesson one:

1. Learn about the calories in festive food, especially the ones you only have at this time of year!

2. Continue to use the reduce by 25% rule.

3. Don’t get sucked into the supermarket offers – try a different approach for sweets and chocolate?

4. Buy a smaller glass for the Baileys!

Lesson two to follow…..

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