My top tips on how to survive the impending season of Christmas do's, buffets and parties - and keep your results!
Tis almost the season to be jolly...or rather for many, uber stressed!
What with the impending season of work's Christmas meals, parties and dinners out; not forgetting the copious amounts of alcohol that often accompany these; it is no wonder keeping the results you have worked so hard all year to achieve can feel pretty challenging. And that's BEFORE we've even got to Christmas itself!
Consequently, I happen to LOVE this time of year. Whereas I certainly miss the sunshine and warmth of summer (my favourite time of the year) I always feel a great sense of excitement and anticipation of looking forward to Christmas, combined with reflecting on all the wonderful things I'm grateful for, that happened this year.
It is around now time is spent discussing strategies with my new personal training clients and boot camp attendees, on how to survive the holiday season! One of the biggest challenges they face is making the right choices when eating out and attending parties, so as not to cancel out all their hard work and results.
So here I present the top tips that have given my personal training clients and bootcampers the most success, as well as a far happier, healthier and less stressful holiday season!
Do your research
When many of my personal trainer clients first met me, they asked if I ever actually went out to eat myself. And if I did...HOW?!
Truth is, I LOVE eating out! I adore cooking (as you may have gathered by now...) so have subsequently adopted a very high standard of food quality whenever I do go out to eat 🙂 And if it's not somewhere that I know well, with guaranteed good meals and gluten-free options (such as my beloved Cafe Meon) then I always do my research.
Most restaurants have their menu available online; so have a look at what your options are as early as possible before your dinner date. Most places these days do cater for gluten-free and vegan customers, or can tweak dishes to make them suitable.
If you are still not sure, give the restaurant a call and ask your questions to somebody in charge. The more notice they have, the better it will work out for you.
Remember YOU ARE THE CUSTOMER
If it looks like there are no suitable options on the menu, remember as a customer you also have a right to order something OFF the menu!
For example, sandwiches can always be made into salads, dishes can be grilled rather than fried, sauces and dressings can always be omitted and just because something "comes with chips" does NOT mean they cannot be substituted for vegetables or a side salad.
The same goes for pre-set and pre-ordered menus; usually the option with work's Christmas meals. Again if you're not sure, ring the restaurant, make them aware of your requirements in advance and verify what your options are.
If this seems like hassle or a faff, just think about the alternative - would you rather end up eating something that's going to make you feel awful?! You're out for a special occasion, you may as well enjoy it as much as possible - not easy if you're bloated and sluggish!
I already ate...
When it comes to kids parties, buffets or an occasion where I KNOW there will not be anything that I can eat, this is my strategy.
By already having had my dinner, I will not even begin to get hungry or be tempted. I have occasionally taken a green juice with me to places as a back-up, in case I do end up getting hungry later. And funnily enough, no one has ever been offended!
I believe sorting myself out takes away any additional stress for whoever's hosting, to have to start worrying about me on top of everything else that comes with organising a party!
So there you have it, my most successful strategies for eating out and attending events at Christmas, as used by me, my personal training clients and boot camp attendees. I am extremely proud to say seeing their progress year after year, especially compared to where they were when they first started their training and lifestyle changes, is nothing short of phenomenal.
I hope you enjoy this year's dinners, parties and events and may they be your healthiest and happiest yet!