Stay on track all season
Who says you can’t enjoy the holidays and lose weight? From ham with all the trimmings on Christmas Day to bubbly on New Year’s Eve, the holidays are filled with temptations. That doesn’t mean you have to abandon your weight loss goals until January, though. Our simple strategies below will help you enjoy the season’s festivities to the fullest and still lose pounds.
- Navigating the office party
Good news: While a heavy-on-the-appetizers holiday party may seem like it’s a weight-loss land mine, it can actually be Food Optimizing friendly. “Crudités, shrimp, lean meats, and fruits are all Free Food,” says Sanders. Fill your plate entirely with Free Food on the first go-round, then enjoy far away from the buffet. Want more? You can use your Syns to enjoy other foods, guilt-free. Waiting until your second round means you won’t be famished, and will really enjoy the treat you choose. Another option: Bring Free Food you know you’ll love, such as a fruit salad. That way, you’ll find it easier to bypass the high-Syn dishes on offer.
- Raising a glass
No, you don’t need to toast the season with a glass of water while your friends share round the spiked eggnog. “By using your Syns, it’s absolutely possible to enjoy alcohol on the Slimming World plan,” explains Yvonne Sanders, head of U.S. operations at Slimming World. “Some good choices are spirits with diet mixers, which have fewer Syns than beer and wine.” Or mix white wine with a seltzer for a longer-lasting spritzer (a 5fl-oz. glass of dry white wine is around 5½ Syns and seltzer is Free). Next up, have a drinking strategy: alternate every alcoholic beverage you plan to have with a glass of water or a diet soda.
- Enjoying the big day
Instead of focusing on what you can’t eat, think of what you can. “The festive meal is actually one that has a lot of Food Optimizing and Free Food options, including turkey (with the skin removed) and vegetables,” says Sanders. “Offering to host the holidays or bringing new recipes you prepared ahead of time can be helpful,” she adds. Another option: Be honest with your host. “Explain to them that you’re trying to lose weight and you’ll be surprised how supportive and understanding they’ll be,” says Sanders.
- Savoring seasonal treats
Think big picture while holiday planning: What can you do with your family and friends besides eat? Create and decorate ornaments together. Go ice-skating, enjoy a bike ride, play flag football, sled, or go for a hike as a group. Having other activities planned can make it easier to get up from the table. And if you do go off plan? Relax. The holiday main event is just one meal out of 21 in the entire week, says Sanders. “The key is to get straight back to Food Optimizing. You won’t throw your weight loss efforts and you’ll love what you see on the scale in the new year.”