1. Cut your calorie intake NOW by around 500 calories a day in order to help with any unavoided excesses. Otherwise increase your daily exercise regime to help to burn off around the same.
2. Don’t start the Christmas treats too soon. It is easy to start on the mince pies, or other pre-bought food/drink items and then buy more when they have been eaten/drunk in advance of Christmas (Just think 1 mince pie takes around 1 hour brisk walking to burn off). Be strict with yourself – keep Christmas for Christmas Eve to New Years day and then throw away anything left over. In this way you can enjoy the treats for what they are – a once a year treat.
3. Eat before going to any parties and refuse snacks that are salty, deep fried or pastry based. If you find temptation too much make sure you don’t hover by the buffet table.
4. If you find yourself tempted by treats make sure that you use your non dominant hand – i.e. if you always reach for something with your right hand change to the left hand. The resulting discomforting action will ensure that you are always aware of when you are reaching for more.
5. Choose to drink spritzers – i.e. half fizzy water to wine. Try to stay away from cocktails, creamy liquor, or spirits where the calorie intake is much higher.
6. Aim for your Christmas dinner to be 50% vegetables, 25% carbs and 25% protein – Turkey is a great diet food if you avoid the dark meat and the cranberry or bread sauce.
7. When choosing a dessert refuse any extra cream/custard or ice cream, or just have a teaspoon so you don’t feel deprived. If you choose the cheese board remember Cheddar and hard cheeses are usually higher in calories, and you can always fill up on the fruit accompaniment and water biscuits.
8. Eat your food mindfully and slowly – chew your food 10-15 times a mouthful and enjoy the taste more. Put your knife and fork down between mouthfuls to stop you from eating without noticing what you are doing.
9. Stop when you are full – you will find that if you do then you can avoid that overstuffed, sluggish feeling and just enjoy the memory of a good meal having eaten just enough.
10. Finally, beware the very common large tin of chocolates that arrives at Christmas – apparently one large tin/box of luxury chocolates can contain as much as 1,000 calories (eeek!!)
But the best thing of all is to enjoy your time with friends and family, have a great time off and remember that you don’t need to put on a little bit of weight in order to have fun and good memories. So why not choose to enjoy a guilt free Christmas and start 2012 with a positive healthy mind and body.