Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Christmas Party Diet – Stuff the turkey, not yourself! (Pt 2 – Life is for living…)

Hello gorgeous people. I’ve generally had really good feedback from my last diet post so figured I would do part two for everyone who is interested. My last post focused on drinking, but now for the really hard part… the FOOD.

How do you get through Christmas without eating a whole turkey stuffed with a Yule log, and come out looking like the fairy on the Christmas tree, not Santa? It can be difficult, but it’s not impossible – read on!

Firstly, and most importantly…  

Christmas DAY is ONE DAY LONG – not one month!

There is absolutely no problem health wise in relaxing your diet for one day. Life is meant to be enjoyed and hey, it’s Christmas. Go mad. Eat chocolate and drink Bucks Fizz for breakfast. Have turkey with all the trimmings and 20 pigs in blankets (if you don’t think they’re the best part of Christmas dinner – you’re wrong!) and three different types of dessert. Wash it all down with champagne, then spend all afternoon idly eating Quality Streets, even the blue coconut ones that nobody likes.

But here’s the important part – you can only do this for ONE DAY. You can’t start eating this way, telling yourself ‘well, it’s Christmas’, on the 1st December – Christmas isn’t a month long! You can’t start on the 25th and then carry on through Boxing Day and all the way up to New Year either, thinking ‘oh well, I’ll start on the 1st January.’ If you eat crazily for one day and then immediately revert back to normal, healthy eating habits, you won’t do any damage at all. But if you do it for any longer, you’ll cause problems. Your body will start to crave the sugar and you’ll want to eat like that ALL THE TIME. Do you still want to be eating mince pies in May? Do you want to have to do some kind of insane bikini diet to stop yourself looking like a seal in the swimming pool in August? No. So enjoy yourself, but remember – on Boxing Day, PUT THE FORK DOWN.

Green tea is a life saver by the way – drink it first thing on Boxing Day. I don’t know how but it stops you from wanting to carry on nibbling. Have a diet coke as well. Treat it a bit like a food hangover!

Buffets are danger zones

Avoid them where possible. There’s more calories than I can tell you hiding in pork pies and mini pizzas and ‘just one more Pringle.’ It’s hard to tell how much you’re eating, and more often than not you have two courses (how often would you have two rounds of normal dinner? Exactly.)  

If you do go to a Christmas buffet, eat wisely. Now let’s not be silly, you’re not going to only eat the cucumber slices and the obligatory lettuce, are you? Let's not get all Victoria Beckham about this. But there are choices you can make that will help you out. Stick where you can to low carb foods because they tend to be the healthiest – so have turkey and beef, but limit your intake of sausage rolls and vol-au-vents. Protein = filling, so you might not even need that second helping! One piece of bread is enough for a meal. You wouldn’t have 5 pieces of toast for breakfast, would you? No. So just because this is gorgeous tomato and focaccia ciabatta, don’t feel the need to eat a whole loaf (use your loaf - don't eat it).

Don’t eat crisps – they are an utterly pointless food; they’re full of salt, they’ll never fill you up, and some of them are addictive so you’ll actually WANT to eat more.

But DO eat chocolate. A bit of chocolate will make you feel like you’ve had something naughty and you won’t eat as much of it as you think, because it’s quite sickly. Trust me and have a chocolate bar. Cheese is also good, especially without bread – again, you can’t eat as much of it as you think you can!

Fitspiration

I think ‘thinspiration’ brings up negative connotations (miserable anorexic girls staring at impossibly airbrushed models with thigh gaps) and the last thing you want to do is spend Christmas pushing lettuce leaves around your plate and munching an apple while your family digs into the turkey and mince pies. As Audrey Hepburn said, 'happy girls are the prettiest,' so NEVER eat in a way that makes you miserable!

HOWEVER, I find that having an ideal body in mind keeps me on track when I’m tempted to have thirds of Christmas pudding. I keep a photo of my fitspo crush of the moment (Victoria’s Secrets models are always a good bet) on my phone. If I feel really weak, I look at the photo and think – OK, would they eat this? Do I want to eat it? Will it really make me happier to eat this?

And if the answer is no, I just don’t.  

Stay young go dancing

Exercise is something that can get a bit forgotten over Christmas – and what a surprise. It’s freezing, so you’re hardly likely to pop out for a quick run (although it can make you feel really good, and if you need a saintly boost, then go for it!), and the gyms are shut (wooop), and before you know it, you haven’t done any exercise in a month.


I personally am a firm believer in sit ups. Do them as soon as you wake up in the morning – on the floor, not in bed preferably – as many as you like; I vary between 50 and 200 depending on time and how badly I’ve eaten the day before! It doesn’t take long and it genuinely does make a difference. A Wii Fit is also a brilliant investment – ask for one for Christmas! The exercises are short and fun, you don’t have to go outside to do them, and if you get the Wii Fit Plus package you can tell exactly how many calories you’ve burned, so you can earn your gingerbread latte!

Finally – stay active in general. Walking round the shops – that’s exerc
ise. Dancing all night at your work do – exercise. Have fun, go out, make the most of it!

Indulge… but like a lady

OK, here’s my real tip. Christmas, for me, is all about having a wonderful time and enjoying the finer things in life, and sometimes that does involve food. If you’re having a lovely home cooked meal, or you’re out for a gorgeous Christmas dinner somewhere, or your friend has bought you the amazing Christmas cupcakes from Sweet Couture – go ahead. Enjoy them. And provided this is all you do, it really shouldn’t affect you. Everyone can indulge every now and then without looking like an elephant.

What you shouldn’t do is use Christmas as an excuse to eat rubbish constantly. Eating an entire box of Celebrations on your own isn’t fun, it’s silly. Eating an extra packet of crisps at work is not Christmassy. Going to McDonald’s after a night out isn’t necessary.

Love yourself. Eat and drink well and you’ll be able to see and feel the effects.

And if all else fails and you put on a stone – don’t panic. After all, what is January for if not for detoxing?!

Happy Christmas everyone! Oh and follow me on Twitter (AboutagirlCC) or Instagram (catscruse)!



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