The twelve days of Christmas are between the 25th of December and the 5th of January. During that time there are three bank holidays; Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day. You will have probably had three Christmas dinners before the big day including your works do. That's a lot of Christmas weight.
Weight loss seems impossible during the Christmas period due to the amount of drinking and eating we end up doing. Our shopping trolleys are piled high as if we are preparing for a siege and we buy enough alcohol to sink a ship.
As well as the turkey we also stock up on nibbles, nuts, chocolate, biscuits, mince pies, crisps and a variety of different goodies. We generally see Christmas as a time to indulge and expect to have to loosen our belts.
If you are in the middle of a weight loss diet Christmas is likely to be your worst nightmare. Here are twelve ways that you can beat the battle of the bulge and not sabotage your diet over Christmas.
A Partridge In A Pear Tree
Whatever type of meat you eat it is guaranteed that it will be accompanied by gravy, Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes, pig in blankets, bread sauce and anything else that makes it fattening. Reducing your portion size is one way to enjoy your Christmas dinner without overindulging you’ll still experience the great food but not put on too much weight.
Two Turtle Doves
Weight loss is easier if you have a buddy to support you. Make sure you spend as much time as you can in contact with your weight loss buddy. We all need someone to tell us, ‘put down that cake’, or, ‘move away from the fridge’. They will also stop you from eating all of the biscuits because you have already broken your diet.
Three French Hens
Go for quality, not quantity when eating and drinking. The French make the festive season last for days and only indulge in high-quality rich food. You won’t need to eat as much rich food to feel satisfied resulting in less threat to your weight loss.
Four Calling Birds
Walk to your friends' houses instead of calling them on the phone. Exercise will burn off those extra calories as long as you don’t feast on treats when you get there. Organise a group walk so you can chat and burn off the Christmas fat.
Five Gold Rings
This is the most prominent line in the carol because everyone enjoys turning it into an epic line. Why not go carol singing instead of sitting at home watching the television. You can join charity groups who sing to raise money for those less fortunate. You will feel full of joy and use up energy while singing. You will be too busy to eat if you are entertaining crowds of people.
Six Geese A Laying
Eggs are a good source of protein and can be served in many different ways. Boiled eggs and soldiers are good for tea time on Christmas Day. They are low calorie and are good for you. Avoid adding cheese and other fattening ingredients so you can stick to your weight loss plan.
Seven Swans A Swimming
You don’t have to force yourself to swim in a cold lake to go swimming - your local hotel or leisure centre will suffice. Swimming is a great form of exercise especially if you have weak joints or back problems. Swimming lengths of the pool will help to maintain weight loss and you will feel good afterwards. Make sure you dry your hair and wrap up warm before going back into the cold.
Eight Maids A Milking
Dairy products are extremely fattening and will sabotage any weight loss plan. Cheese, cream, liqueurs, chocolate and coffee are consumed in abundance adding inches to our hips. Avoiding milk products altogether would result in a very dreary Christmas so aim to cut down a little so you can still enjoy it.
Nine Ladies Dancing
Dancing is a wonderful form of exercise particularly as it doesn’t feel like hard work. Whether you have a disco in your kitchen, throw a house party or go dancing in the street you will feel energised and refreshed. Many weight loss plans encourage dancing as a form of exercise - you could even enrol in a dance exercise class.
Ten Lords A Leaping
Again jumping and running are great ways to get fit and lose fat. You could either use a skipping rope or just run and jump around your local park. Aerobic exercise is an efficient way to get your heart beating and increase circulation. Make sure you build up a sweat and get out of breath so you can see that you are really burning calories.
Eleven Pipers Piping
Muscles burn off fat even when you are not exercising. The best way to increase your muscle mass is by going to the gym. Free weights or multi gyms damage the muscle fibres which get stronger when they repair. You will be able to eat more without putting on weight as well as looking toned. This could be a good start to your New Year’s weight loss plan.
Twelve Drummers Drumming
Apparently drumming is a fantastic method of weight loss. This may be a good opportunity for you to break in the drum kit you bought for your nephews and nieces. Your sibling won’t like it but hey no drummer in history has every silently practised. An hour-long session should burn up enough calories to help your weight loss plan.
Obviously, you don’t have to do all of the activities but just bearing them in mind may reduce your food intake this Christmas.
If you have reached a plateau in your weight loss regime and have a BMI over 30 you may benefit from taking weight loss tablets. They work by preventing the absorption of fat and disposing of it. It is best to avoid high-fat foods when taking this medication due to very undesirable side effects.
By Birpal Virdee (December 2017)