Christmas, what does that word mean to you?

A time of family gatherings?

An opportunity to let loose, gorge on chocolate and Christmas Fayre because ‘that’s what people do’?

Or a combination of all of the above?

OK, let’s look at this from a different perspective…

How have your weight loss efforts been going up until now? Are you delighted, satisfied or disappointed?

How happy will you be to continue losing weight and get to target sooner rather than later?

During these special, celebratory calendar events you will be inevitably challenged as normal daily life is abandoned and holiday mode comes into play.

Why not make this Christmas a little different?

Read our 5 tips to enjoy weight loss this Christmas and enjoy the ultimate reward of managing your weight over the festive period!

1. DON’T PANIC. Don’t look back to previous years when perhaps your efforts were abandoned and your waistline expanded due to chocolate overload. Re-living such experiences in your mind will only intensify feelings of guilt and doubt that this year can be better.

2. LEARN. When thinking about past experiences, use them as amazing opportunities to understand yourself. Think about WHY, WHEN and WHERE overeating took place. You will soon identify strong patterns. For example, was it when you were offered chocolate and were too hungry to say no (reactive hypoglycaemia)? Or when you were visiting and felt it would be rude to refuse and risk offending your host (lack of assertiveness)? Use these experiences as a good way to plan how you would like this Christmas to go and try to avoid putting yourself in the same situations

3. REPETITION. Daily self-talk is proven to have the strongest effect on how you feel and what you do. Imagine a STOP sign every time a doubt comes into your head as those thoughts did not serve you well in the past, creating negative emotions and therefore disappointing behaviours. Ask yourself simply ‘Do I want it? or Do I need it?’ making a conscious choice rather than a rash choice you will feel guilty about later.

4. VISUALISATION. Instead engage yourself in the powerful technique of visualising how you will look as the weather gets warmer, as summer approaches and you enjoy feeling energised, confident and attractive in that beautiful outfit that will show off your slim, toned body.

5. BE PREPARED – NEVER DEPRIVED. Who said Christmas had to mean chocolate. Let’s step away from commercialism and enjoy a time of sharing, a time of fun. Why not arrange an outing, a hill walk with amazing scenery, games nights with the kids and an exchange of non-edible gifts for the adults. If you fancy something, moderation is the key. Dark chocolate is a better option. Why not combine with berries and yoghurt, or enjoy one small piece of chocolate on Christmas day. This is easily balanced with a nice walk or reducing carbohydrates at the next meal.

No matter what you do, keep calm, plan in advance, carry snacks and have a fantastic Christmas.

Blog Post by Aisling Connolly