The festive season is quickly upon us and with it the mince pies, mulled wine, Christmas parties and drinks with friends.
If you’re on a diet plan you might feel like all your hard work is about to start unravelling in front of you. ‘Tis the season to be jolly after all.
For those of you just starting out you may be worried you’re about to enter in to an un-navigable few weeks.
So let’s be realistic and talk tactics!
Eat before events
If you’ve got a meeting with friends, works do or meal with family, eat before you go. Fill yourself up with some healthy options that are within your exisiting diet.
This is where a lot of people go wrong, they’ll reverse this theory and not eat all day to “make space” for their off plan meal, don’t do it! If you’re full you will be much less likely to be lured by the Christmas pud and brandy cream.
It’s easy to let all hell break loose when you’ve already committed your mind to having a meal that’s outside of your plan. You need to be conscious; although one meal is not going to ruin it all, you don’t want to allow yourself to binge and overeat.
No doubt there are going to be some culinary delights you just can’t bring yourself to resist, and, in my opinion, this is OK! Just try to pick the best options available to you and keep your portion sizes relatively small.
Know your alcohol
Pat mentioned in his last blog post about the danger of liquid calories. Alcoholic drinks soon tot up to a significant amount if you let yourself get carried away. Two glasses of wine is 318 calories, three pints of beer is a whopping 546 calories. Drink Aware has a really handy calculator (www.drinkaware.co.uk) that can help you work out what is a reasonable amount. Check it out, pick yourself a limit and try to stick to it.
Ignore the nibbles
As hard as it may be, try to ignore the nibbles presented to you. Forget the complimentary bread and olives and concentrate on your main meal. You don’t need to be ridiculously strict with yourself, but by eradicating these extra calories you can enjoy more of your main courses without overeating.
Always have a glass
….of water. Yes I know, I’m not giving you much fun here am I? Keep a glass of water topped up nearby, if you’re feeling tempted between courses, take a sip. It’s a great distraction technique and keeps your hands busy.
Meals out are often loaded with salt too, which may cause your body to increase it’s water retention. By keeping hydrated you’ll help to minimise this impact.
And finally, aside from all the above, give yourself a bit of flexibility and don’t harbour guilt for enjoying yourself!