It’s almost Christmas, which means it’s that time of year where your calendar becomes jam-packed with festive nights out, family buffets and indulgent meals out to celebrate the season and you have the difficult decision as to whether you are coming off plan or staying in Ketosis.
If you intend to say in ketosis, here is some great advice from our blog – Christmas In Ketosis.
If you do wish to come off plan over the Christmas Period, and who can blame you at this special time of year, be prepared to accept that this will have an impact on your overall weight loss journey. However, if you can accept this and have the steely determination to return to Slim & Save with 150% determination in the New Year, then read on for some simple tips to ensure you can still enjoy the festive season sensibly without feeling deprived or like you are missing out, without going overboard.
- Decide how long you intend to come off plan – Whether it’s for two days or two weeks and hold yourself accountable. Set a strict time limit for being off plan and be diligent when starting back on plan where you left off. Don`t forget to save the date to your calendar as a reminder!
- Balance It Out – If you know you are heading out for a meal, aim to keep the rest of the day/week as healthy as possible to balance things out. Don’t throw in the towel because of a couple of bad choices. A lot of people say ‘well I’ve ruined it, there’s no point now’ but this can cause more harm to your weight loss efforts. Think of the 80/20 rule and stick to plan 80% of the time and aim to indulge just 20% of the time. Our range of low calorie meals and low calorie snacks are perfect for balancing out those indulgent meals.
- Plan Ahead – If possible, find a copy of the menu ahead of time. This way you can look at the options and research the best option that won’t ruin your healthy eating too much, thus avoiding temptation. We’re not saying you should go for the healthiest item on the menu (no one wants to eat salad at Christmas) but there are some meals that are more calorie-laden than others. Which leads us on to the next tip…
- What To Order – When ordering, it can be easy to either go all out or do the complete opposite and restrict yourself. Both of these approaches can be detrimental. Overindulging could mean ruining your efforts, but at the same time restricting yourself could lead to cravings later on, which if you give into could lead to over-consuming too many calories anyway. Instead, order something you are really craving and savour it. This way you can enjoy your meal out without feeling deprived.
- Avoid Carb Heavy Meals – Any dishes, which have a large number of carbs, are best avoided, as these are often higher in calories. Instead, look for dishes that are mainly protein and vegetables as these usually contain fewer calories than the carbohydrate-heavy meals. Also, try and avoid dishes with creamy sauces as these are often high in fat and calories too.
- Don’t Eat The Free Bread – A lot of restaurants offer free bread for the table and it can be easy to pick at whilst waiting for your meal, but these can be a waste of calories and carbs, so try and avoid eating it or ask the waiter to take it away. You don’t want to fill up on bread when you have a delicious meal coming anyway.
- Stop When You Feel Full – It can be easy to wolf down a delicious dish without giving a second thought to your hunger and end up eating more than you need. Most of the time the portion sizes in restaurants are a lot larger than needed, so try and chew slowly and savour your meal. It can take up to 20 minutes to feel full, so aim to slow down whilst eating and you may actually end up leaving some of it, reducing your calorie intake.
- Avoid Starters, Extras and Side Dishes – A starter can add extra calories to your meal and it’s not something you really need. Think about it, you wouldn’t eat a starter at home before your evening meal, so why would you do it while dining out? Try and focus more on enjoying just the main meal rather than adding extras, sides or a starter to your order. If you need a side, opt for vegetables or salad instead of chips or potatoes.
- Hold The Desserts – Most of us crave something sweet after a meal, but these cravings can subside after a while so hold off ordering straight after your main. If you really need that sugar fix, try and choose a sweet drink instead or opt for a coffee with sweetener. If you really can’t resist ordering a sweet treat, share a dessert with someone else and half the calories.
- Be Careful With Your Drinks – It’s not just the food that is high in calories when dining out. Alcohol contains nearly as many calories as fat and it can be easy to have a few glasses with your meal. Try and stick to one alcoholic beverage whilst dining out and ask for water for the table. Drinking more alcohol can also make you feel hungrier, which could lead to extra consumption of calories too. Remember you must be completely out of ketosis 48hrs before consuming any alcohol over Christmas.
- Remove Distractions – It may not sound much but removing distractions such as mobile phones from the table can help you to eat less during a meal. Research has found that being distracted whilst eating a meal can lead to consuming more calories. So if you do head out for a meal, keep your phone in your pocket and avoid any other distractions that may divert your attention. Instead, focus on enjoying your meal and the company you are with as much as possible.
So if you have some festive meals out planned over the next few weeks, don’t fret. Enjoy yourself and the celebrations, just try not to over indulge, stay motivated and remember to get straight back to Slim & Save.
Love mulled wine at Christmas? Enjoy this festive beverage without the guilt with our Mulled Wine Water Flavouring? Low carb and less than 10 calories per drink!
Why not plan ahead and get yourself prepared for your New Year diet with one of our plans? Take a look and see which plan is right for you to choose from, including 5:2 intermittent fasting and Gluten Free options too.
How do you plan to tackle the festive season? Leave a comment to be in with a chance of winning one of five £25 Amazon Vouchers in time for Christmas!
Our five favourite comments will be selected on Friday 13th December at 4pm. Be sure to add your comments before then and you could be one of our lucky winners!