1. Decide to have a lighter Christmas this year
You have a choice between stuffing yourself silly and enjoying the delights of Christmas more modestly. Eating too much will leave you feeling uncomfortable and remorseful. Eating just enough will leave you feeling great. It's up to you to decide how you want to feel at the end of the day.
2. Eat what you really want
So much of the food on Christmas Day is eaten “because it's there" even though you don't really want it. Eat when you're hungry, choose what you really want and eat just enough to satisfy.
Don't feel you have to fill up on nutritious food before you get to the chocolate gateau you hanker after. Save room for dessert if that's what you really want. You'll not suffer from vitamin deficiency by not eating properly for a single day! Don't pile your plate with anything and especially not with food you do not care about.
3. Don't let boredom set in
The other reason we eat food we don't really need is because it passes the time. Cooped up in a roomful of relatives, gradually losing the will to live, can have you nibbling away before you know it at whatever's on offer.
Instead of sitting around, get active. Help with the preparations. Concentrate on trying to make a meaningful conversation with your old aunt. Suggest a walk after lunch or a game of charades. Keep busy even if you land with the washing up!
4. If you are the cook
Look for some lighter foods to serve and offer these as an option, for example strawberry pavlova or fresh fruit salad as an alternative to Christmas pudding. And choose a light salad based starter too. Look online for hints and tips about reducing the fat content in a typical Christmas lunch. You can reduce the calories by half and still serve up a delicious meal. At the very least remove the skin from turkey and any visible fat from meat and make the gravy ahead of time so that you can skim the fat from the surface when it cools.
5. Go easy on the alcohol
Alcohol is not only full of calories but it also lowers your inhibitions about eating everything in sight, and, lets face it, there will be a lot of temptation around. Sip your drink slowly and drink plenty of water so you don't end up drinking a lot just because you're thirsty.
6. Shrug off hurtful comments
Families are not always the most tactful bunch and whether you're overweight or not and whether or not they mean any harm, their comments and probing questions can sometimes hurt. They won't change just because it's Christmas, no matter how many messages of “Peace and Goodwill" they send out on cards.
When the barbed comments hit their mark, avoid drowning your sorrows in drink or a faceful of cake. You are only hurting yourself more. Remind yourself before the event of the likely comments you'll get - they may be the same from year to year - and think about how you'll deal with them. At least have some positive things you can say to yourself when someone gets you down. And smile to yourself whenever someone comes up with one of the things you thought they might say. So predictable!
7. Forget Perfection
Your Christmas like my Christmas and everyone else's Christmas will not be perfect. We have real families who, apart from making comments, will have their own idiosyncrasies. They might very well annoy you, fall asleep after lunch, argue and make boring conversation. That's families for you! Decide how you want Christmas to be and do all you can to make it as you want, but just enjoy it for what it is, in the end, for it will never be perfect.
8. Looking good
Wear your best clothes and do your make-up and hair so that you feel at your very best. A beautiful fragrance and good grooming will make you feel special, help lift the day out of the ordinary and make you feel that it really is worth watching what you eat, even just a little.
9. Wrap it Up
Sometimes we spend ages choosing and wrapping special gifts for others only to be disappointed when we open our own parcels. Make sure there's something you really want under the Christmas tree this year by buying yourself a gift and wrapping it beautifully. Show yourself you deserve the very best - because you do!
10. And the Day After?
Whatever you ate or didn't eat on Christmas Day is immaterial. What's done is done. Get rid of the leftovers (throw them out or give them away) and get right back on track by eating normally again. Don't starve yourself to make up for eating too much, you'll only set yourself up for a binge. But it won't help you either if you decide that you might as well wait until January to work off the excess pounds you've gained over Christmas. Another week of overeating will simply add to the pounds you have to lose. Unless you still have wall-to-wall parties to cope with, the day after Christmas is a great time to start planning your new trim figure for next year and making an early start on your weight loss goals.
Copyright 2005, Janice Elizabeth Small
Janice Elizabeth is a weight loss coach and slimming club owner with a no diet approach to permanent weight loss. Subscribe to her FREE weekly “No More Diets" ezine full of tips and recipes and receive a 24 page special report “How to have a Great Christmas without piling on the pounds ". Subscribe at http://www.SimplySlimming.com/Christmas TODAY!