We all know how hard it is to resist all that festive food. Nutritionist Chris Lynton gives us 10 tips to improve your willpower in time for the silly season.
1. Plan ahead
If you’ve been invited to a Christmas party where tempting treats will be rife, organise to take a plate of something healthy so at least you’ll know you have one healthy option when you get there.
2. Sharing is caring
In the instance that you host your own soiree, guests often bring sweet treats as gifts. While it’s a lovely gesture, left-over treats are a sure way to put your willpower in jeopardy. Make sure you share food gifts and left-overs with your guests so no naughty nibbles remain in the fridge to tempt you tomorrow.
3. Less is more
When eating, you experience 90% of the taste in the first mouthful, while flavour and taste decreases in every mouthful to follow. With this in mind, if you’ve decided to indulge just a little this Christmas, opt for small amount and savour it as much as possible. Remember – if you go back for more you won’t enjoy it as much as that initial first bite.
4. Christmas is no excuse
In addition to other annual festivities, Christmas comes every year so don’t undo all of your good work for the sake of Christmas. There are so many ‘excuses’ when it comes to indulging. From your friend’s birthday to the arrival of the Easter bunny, if you bend your weight loss rules in favour of each occasion, you’ll be off the wagon more times than not! If you’re working hard to lose or maintain weight, don’t let ‘special occasions’ be your downfall.
5. Fill the void
Before heading out for a meal, give your will power a boost by arriving partially full. Chris recommends a glass of QUICKSLIM so you don’t feel the need to demolish everything in sight upon arrival. Even when you make the decision to indulge, you simply won’t be able to fit in as much as you’d like to!
6. Rules and boundaries
Not only is alcohol full of calories, it lowers inhibitions and can really damage your ability to exercise willpower. If you are unable to avoid alcohol at an event, set yourself a rule to have a glass of water between drinks and cap yourself at a certain number of drinks. If you are to drink, opt for lower carbohydrate beverages such as vodka with soda and a squeeze of lime and stay away from the beer and wine. Nominating yourself as designated driver is another great way to keep the drinking at bay.
7. Think positive
Positive visualisation is a great way to stay motivated and keep up your willpower. Picture yourself reaching your goals over Christmas and imagine how great you will feel once you’ve endured the temptations of the silly season. Once you have envisioned what it would be like to achieve your goals you are more inclined to build strength and stay on track.
8. Set yourself mini goals
Mini goals are a great way to keep motivated and stay on track when the road gets a little rocky. Set yourself some small goals to achieve over the Christmas period and reward yourself as you achieve them (but not with food!). Perhaps for every Christmas party you endure without falter you could reward yourself with a trip to the nail bar, or perhaps a round of golf. This paired with structured weight loss goals will really assist with willpower during the silly season.
9. Distraction is the key
Emotional eating is something we are all prone to and if you catch yourself reaching for the bickies after a trying day with the relatives, make sure you distract yourself with something a little more positive. Hit the pavement to try and work off angst or make plans to catch up with a good friend for coffee. Keeping strong in trying situations is key, everyone hits hurdles, it’s how you handle them that counts.
10. Be the master of your motivation
Staying strong in tempting situations is a great way to keep up your motivation and strengthen your willpower. They say that willpower is a muscle, and the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets! Set yourself a reminder in your phone to drink water, leave sticky notes in your bathroom and kitchen to remind you of your goals and keep telling yourself how all your hard work will eventually pay off.
How do you stay on track with your diet during the silly season?