Friday, 17 December 2010

Tips for avoiding Festive Fatness

A year or so ago, I was almost three stone heavier, and a good two dress sizes bigger. Through a gradual lifestyle change - exercising more and choosing healthier options - I now feel much more confident in myself and the way I look, which has helped me in so many ways. At the moment, I'm really happy with my size, and after all my hard work over the past 10 months, have managed to maintain my weight where it is for the past few weeks (yippee!)

Naturally, I was kinda dreading (and kinda really looking forward to) the party season and all the delumpcious food that comes with it, because I know that when people offer me the Quality Street tin, I am just absolutely hopeless and have zilch willpower to JUST SAY NO! That is the thing about Christmas time... I just want to eat. And eat. All the time. But I really don't want to undo all the past year's hard work. Family and friends come to stay bringing with them yummy treats, we exchange predominantly edible and chocolatey gifts, I am rather greedy with my two chocolate advent calendars (hey, don't judge me! they were gifts... I couldn't say no!), we go to Christmas drinks and nibbles parties (which are notoriously and very cleverly fattening - you think the food is so small you're not eating very much, but actually, you are, and just don't realise. Gets me every bloomin' time), we have packed social calendars which often include stuffing our faces, and I don't know about you, but in my family, at this time of year, we bake. A lot. I'm talking gingerbread men, Stollen, Christmas cookies, hazelnut cakes... Oooh yeah... *starts salivating*

Mmm... (Pic from

Oh right. Erm, where was I? Sorry. Yes - food. My point of all that is that it's bloody difficult not to put on a few pounds at this time of year, but there are ways in which we can reduce the amount of damage caused (AKA inches to the hips added) and still have a fabby time.

One of the things that really works for me is this: PLAN AHEAD. I know that if I'm going to a party or out for a big dinner, I'm not going to be able to resist indulging and I'm going to want to eat what I want (well - within reason. If I ate what I wanted, I would probably be the size of a swiss ball!) So what I do is, I counter-balance it. I do this by exercising just a little bit more beforehand, or for example, having a lighter, healthier lunch than usual. It seems to do the trick! I guess it's like storing up a bit of a calorie bank, so you can then spend them up at that party without feeling guilty. Huzzah!

Which is your fave?
Another things I've learned is not to stand aroud the buffet table at parties, as I find it impossible not to spend all night grazing when the food is right infront of my face. Try to fill one plate up (so you can see what a normal-sized plateful looks like) and then STEP AWAY FROM THE BUFFET.

If you're given a big ole tin of Quality Street (which seem to only ever appear at Christmas I swear!), or any other big box of choccies - this is a bit of a hard one for a chocaholic like myself - SHARE THEM OUT, thus sharing the calories too. (Just make sure you get your favourites (mmm... green triangle) before it's too late!

DON'T BEAT YOURSELF UP for indulging or for gaining a pound or two. It's inevitable. And realistically, if you're anything like me, festive food is all part of Christmas, and I know I'd be bloody miserable if I restricted myself to celery at parties and brussel sprouts for Christmas Dinner. On the subject of the big day, I've read that the average Brit consumes a pretty mammoth 6000 calories - just in one day! Although, thinking about my Christmas eating habits... that kinda doesn't surprise me! Personally, I'm not going to be caring about my figure, or calories, or weight on the 25th. I'm going to eat whatever I want, and blimmin' well enjoy it. And I suggest you all do too. There's always January for the cabbage soup diet and hitting the gym isn't there?

I hope these little tips may help y'all to have a healthy-ish and happy Christmas! I'd love to hear any other ideas you've got, so hit me with 'em!

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