Tori’s Seasonal Survival Guide

Posted on November 15, 2010

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Christmas is just around the corner … well, not far off anyway.  Admittedly, I missed out last year as I was half way up Aconcagua so I’m maybe a little over-excited and premature this year.  But, my brief for my column in SME Advisor this month was Christmas bingeing so here’s the copy.

Christmas is just around the corner and regardless of religion, background or belief, this usually means festivities in the form of the three F’s; Friends, Family and Food. What it need not mean however, is the fourth F; FAT!

Watch out for my top tips in  and you needn’t unbuckle your belt and watch your weight grow!

Watch out for your ATTITUDE

• Just because it’s Christmas, you don’t have a license to binge. Forget what other people seem to be doing and don’t feel rude refusing food – eat a little, enjoy a lot and don’t over-indulge

• Schedule in a rest day at least once a week when you can cut back on your food intake and reduce the calories. Use this time to stock up raw vegetables, fresh fruit and lean protein

• In the run up to the holidays, try to be extra vigilant. A sensible mini-diet will help with damage control in the event of any indulgence and will help to balance out the overall weight gain – reduce portions, cut out fat and up your veggie intake

Watch out for PARTIES

• Before you head out, have a snack so you don’t arrive on an empty stomach. An apple, a handful of almonds or even a bowl of cereal will make sure you don’t reach for the high-cal canapés

• At sit-down dinners, try to sit next to someone that you can enjoy conversation aplenty with – this will help you to focus on the chatting and not the plate of food in front of you. Eat slowly and give priority to your greens before the creamy carbs or rich sauces

• When faced with Dubai’s extravagant buffets, check out all that’s on offer before filling your plate. This way, you can plan in advance and ensure you stock up on salads and vegetables leaving just a little room for more decadent dishes

• Be as open as possible about your efforts to keep fit and trim over the festive period. This will mean others watch what you eat, which in turn will make you watch what you eat. Try it – it works!

Watch out for your DRINKING

• Only drink after you have eaten as alcohol lowers your willpower and raises your hunger levels

• Opt for white wines, vodka and gin over whiskey, beers or indulgent cocktails. Better still, stay away from alcohol completely

• Tell people that you don’t drink much or better, at all and then even if you decide you’d murder a cold beer, you’ll most likely resist knowing all eyes are on you

• Try to remain hydrated throughout the day to help your body get rid of toxins. Soups, drinks and herbal teas all count. Come party time, alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks or water

Watch out for your ROUTINE

• Continue to eat regular meals every day. Skipping meals followed by snacking all evening on cakes and candies will definitely not help your waistline. It also means you’re more likely to binge later on

• Try to keep up your exercise routine or even better, increase the duration and / or intensity of your usual routine. You will need to burn extra fats and calories afterall

• If you get home at a reasonable hour, instead of going straight to bed, heavy and bloated after eating and drinking for several hours, take a walk around the block. It’s fun, it’s exhilarating and that fresh air will help you sleep like a baby

Watch out for RESOLUTIONS

• Even with the best of intentions, most people will gain a few pounds over Christmas so don’t let the New Year pass you by without setting yourself a couple of saintly resolutions!

• A New Year is the perfect time to adopt good habits and banish old ones. The party invites dry up, the growing inbox needs dealt with and it’s far easier to be disciplined when you know others around you are doing same. So make it your mission to drop those extra pounds, get that little bit fitter, quit smoking or lessen the reliance on alcohol. Your body deserves it. You deserve it!

Armed with the above, I hope you enjoy the season of goodwill without piling on the pounds. Of course, if you do and you need some support to lose it, give Ignite a call and we’ll help get you into top shape in no time.

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