1. Keep up with physical activity; this helps to tone and keep the metabolic rate going and also helps fight the extra stresses that this time of year brings. It’s not necessary to schedule a solid block of exercise to get a good workout. For example, three 10-minute ‘mini-workouts’ throughout the day are just as good as half an hour of exercise.
2. A common temptation for dieters is to forget about their diet plans altogether after a minor glitch. Falling off the bandwagon is a good opportunity to get right back to the diet. Don’t be tempted just to give it all up!
3. Is there really a need to buy all those Christmas food extras and have them in the house? No one will really miss that massive tin of chocolates, those bags of nuts and packets of mince pies! Not buying them is a great way to avoid temptation. Hosts who do want these traditional extras for guests, should hide them well away from their own appetite.
4. Ask people not to show up with foodie pressies. Ask for perfume, toiletries, handbags and other calorie-free accessories to indulge in.
5. Don’t be tempted to skip meals to make up for previous or future overindulgence! This will only make the eating pattern out of balance, and may even result in hunger and temptation to eat more or the wrong foods.
6. Christmas can be fun but stressful, and people may have less time for themselves. They may be tempted to forget the diet, but shouldn’t this will make them feel rotten and resentful in the longer run.
7. Everyone should give themselves ‘me’ time and some space at this time of year. Treating yourself doesn’t have to involve food. What about a manicure, a long hot bath or a chat to a friend?
8. Having a non-weight loss day on Christmas day is of course perfectly understandable. But don’t go absolutely mad - there are traditional Christmas day foods that are very healthy and low in calories. Indulge in these: turkey meat (no skin), sprouts, carrots, smoked salmon and scrambled egg without too much added fat, fruit with just a few nuts. Don’t overindulge in the roasties, Christmas pudding and mince pies – just have a little taster of these.
9. Christmas doesn’t have to be alcohol free, but don’t forget that alcoholic drinks are quite calorific. More than one drink can also lower people’s mental ‘dieting reserve’, so that their attitude becomes: ‘I don’t care anymore about the diet, pass the nuts and chocolate!!’
10. Calorie-rich Christmas leftovers shouldn’t be sitting around in cupboards. Just throw them out. This may seem like a big waste, but to be frank: they will only be wasted sitting around on hips or belly after being consumed!
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