The nights are drawing in, slowly but surely the temperatures are dropping and the shops are filling up with decorations and BOGOF offers on big tins of festive chocolates. Christmas will be on us before we know it. We’ve been good all Summer, eating salads, exercising and getting outside in the sunshine, but now all we want to do is cover up in lots of wooly layers and eat stodgy, warming food in front of the TV. Then we remember all of the office parties that will be coming up and the pressure to fit into the perfect LBD without any unsightly bulges. Yes, there’s no getting away from it, the diet has to continue until we are past the run up and fully into the Christmas week where quite frankly we can shovel as much into our mouths as we want before having to return to virtue in January.
Well the good news is, is that there is still time and October 25th is the perfect date to start your mission to drop a dress size by Christmas. With 6 weeks until the big day, this is a healthy, realistic time frame to slowly lose the pounds in a sensible way.
New research recently undertaken by the diet guru Atkins reveals that more than half (53.7%) of women go on a diet before Christmas, of which almost two thirds (63%) of those are aged between 25 and 34.
Atkins chief nutritionist, Linda O’Byrne says, ‘There are lots of fad crash diets that can cause more harm than good and we have launched LBD Day to make slimmers aware that there is a sensible way to drop a dress size for the Christmas party season. Six weeks is the perfect time frame to realistically lose a stone in weight’.
1 in 10 women leave it until the last minute before panicking and going on a crash diet a week or two before their office party. The problem with this is that if they then go on to drink huge amounts of alcohol on the night of the party it can have disastrous effects because their food intake has been so dramatically reduced. You will get drunk quicker on an empty stomach and as is the case with all crash diets the weight will go back on a lot quicker and there will probably be more of it.
O’Byrne advises that ‘Slimmers must focus on eating and drinking healthily by cutting down on sugar and refined carb intake and getting some exercise. This, along with some patience, is the key to weight loss. Cutting calories too low will increase cravings, as will eating a ‘low fat’ diet as good fats are needed for satiety. Look to lean protein, vegetables, good fats and low sugar snacks; something that can be sustained and become part of a lifestyle and routine.’
Winter food doesn’t need to be calorific. Think warming stews, casseroles and soups, all of which can be packed full of healthy vegetables and pulses yet still fill you up and satisfy. Consider investing in a slow cooker which will save you time and allow you to cook in bulk, meaning you can freeze any leftover portions for a quick and easy meal when you may be in a rush and would otherwise have ordered a takeaway. Save time, money and calories!
There are lots of helpful websites out there offering 6 week diet plans, with menu ideas, exercise plans and support groups. Just remember to not beat yourself up about the odd accidental slip, nobody’s perfect all of the time so a sneaky chocolate bar here or there isn’t going to hurt but remember to keep moving. It’s all too easy to curl up on the sofa at night in front of the TV or to take the car to work instead of walking just because it’s raining.
You could set up a reward system with the prize at the end being a brand new party dress, one that you can fit into, do the zip up easily and feel amazing in. Maybe even do it with a friend so that you can support each other and then go on the shopping trip for the perfect party dress together. You need to work out what will work best for you.
Good luck everybody, I’m off to dig out my slow cooker!