Saturday, December 11, 2010

Avoiding the Festive Bulge

Today, a somewhat sensitive (and dreaded) but timely topic - what with all the parties and work shouts and fabulous treats floating around at this time of year it can be pretty hard to avoid piling on the kilos. I am terrible at this and usually start eating non-stop around the beginning of December and don't stop until every last morsel of festive food is consumed.

The last couple of years I've realised that this is what I do - somehow I overlooked this behaviour for a long time (funny how we can blind ourselves to these things!) - and while I certainly don't believe in avoiding the good stuff altogether, I now try to find a balance between enjoying the treats I want to and still being able to squeeze into my suit when I get back to work after the break.  ;-)

I wrote a bit about this stuff back in May but when you're being sociable and relaxing, thinking about moderation is the last thing on your mind, so I thought it might be a good time to dredge up some ideas on keeping things in balance.

So herein lie a few of my tricks - and please realise that the only reason I have 'tricks' is that really I'm lousy at eating healthily if I leave it to chance, so it's definitely not with judgement I offer these ideas to you. ;-) And I'd love to hear your ways of dealing with festive goodies too!

Sharing - it is the festive season, after all! If you get a box of choccies share them around - you might feel a bit begrudging at the time but you know when you scoff them yourself it's the first couple you enjoy the most anyway - so share the love. I am terrible at this, I will freely admit, but I am learning, and the gratitude from others when you offer them a piece of cake or a truffle is almost as good as eating it yourself. ;-)

A common ploy in my book is making deals with myself - for example, if I know that I've got a big three-course meal the next day I go really light on dinner and maybe forego dessert (dessert is pretty much essential for me, so that's not a sacrifice I take lightly!). Or maybe I can have dessert, but only if I work out for longer than usual or something. Trade the calories. Just thinking about this kind of stuff in advance helps me, too - makes it harder for me to pretend that six trips to the buffet really isn't all that harmful. ;-)

Though Christmas parties galore can make it hard to keep up your normal habits, don't skimp on exercise - the weather is glorious, the days are longer, and you're undoubtedly full of energy from all those candy canes so get out there. Or, if you're a gym rat like me, hide away in the dark corners of the cardio room where no-one can see you sweating off the Christmas pudding. ;-) 

Rationing treats is nigh on impossible for me - if I'm given a box of chocolates I just want to rip it open and shove as many in my mouth as I can - delightful, huh? But I try (and often fail - but you know the adage "do as I say, not as I do," right?) to eke them out for as long as I can - then you can enjoy them a little every day for much longer.

Of course, the best way of all is not to eat too much to begin with, but I think that's a pretty tall order and I like my way better. ;-) Having my cake and eating it too?

So how do you deal with the holidays? Do you embrace the gluttony and pay for it later or are you disciplined like I wish I was and just don't overdo it to begin with?


  1. Argh. I'm having issues. We're in the middle of a proper cold snap (*shakes fist at unpronounceable volcano*) so exercise is pretty much out of the question. There's Christmas parties almost every night, treats a-plenty and I'm going to NZ in a week. Where I will have to reveal my pasty, bruise-covered (ok a bit of exercise, hula hooping which leaves me looking like a victim of domestic violence) legs to the world in general, and various judgemental members of family who will be arriving for the wedding.

    Due to said wedding and said judgemental members of family I am supposed to look pretty and skinny. Got the pretty covered. My skin hasn't seen sun in *weeks* so I am freckle-free and fashionably pale.

    I'm basically just trying to be very virtuous in between all the parties (and actually I'm skipping some as I have an essay to write). And winter makes a good excuse for porridge for breakfast, which is nice and warming and energy-giving whilst, *ahem*, keeping me "regular". Had a huge meal out last night including pudding which I don't regret as it was the best sticky toffee pudding I have ever tasted. Luckily today I was still hovering just over my target weight which is the closest I've come so far... one week left to lose half a kilo, I think I can do it!

  2. breast feeding! i tell you! i've been eating crap for weeks and am still loosing weight :P but i am one of the more fortunate of ppl in that weight doens't love me too much :) love how honest you are rosa. good luck, Merry christmas xoxo

  3. I might have to give up reading your blog...It ALWAYS makes me wanna eat more cake!

  4. Sarah, you can totally do it! I do that in an hour sometimes, just by going to the gym. ;-) (never mind that it all comes back when I rehydrate, it's the magic numbers on the scales that count, right?)

    Liz, thanks for the tip and I'll keep it in mind but not sure it's going to work for me for a while. ;-)

    Jacksta, oh no, don't do that! That would be terrible - everyone needs a bit of cake in their life. ;-)

  5. I get Kylie to hide all the yummy food. Or i eat smaller portions by pretending I am a french woman and nibble to make the yummies last longer, not sure what french has to do with it - but there you go! As well as exercise and all the other stuff you mentioned!


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