Christmas is just around the corner. If you’re dieting, this might fill you with a sense of dread. There’s the endless invites to parties and dinners, not to mention all the tempting Christmas food on the shelves. And then just as soon as Christmas has come and gone, Chinese New Year is here, with all the well-meaning aunties foisting pineapple tarts on you.
So how do you stay on track and reach your weight loss goals while still having a social life? Here are a few tricks to keep up your sleeves…
Be snack savvy
Even for the most committed of dieters, being confronted with an array of yummy canapés or buffet treats proves too tempting to resist on an empty stomach. If you know you’ll be faced with diet saboteurs like mince pies, cream cakes and greasy noodles, plan ahead. Have a healthy, light meal before you head out the door so you won’t be ravenous later on. It will also help soak up the alcohol, if you’re going to a drinks party.
And be wise about what foods you pile on your plate. Crudities and healthy dips like hummus are great, as is steamed food like dim sum. Avoid anything encased in pastry like curry puffs and stay clear of the desserts altogether – sugar is far more likely to be stored as fat if you don’t burn it off.
The key to surviving Christmas, Chinese New Year, Diwali or birthday parties without piling on the weight is balance. If you eat a little too much one day, up your intake of fruit and vegetables the next and go to the gym. Exercise really is key: you’ll be far less likely to want to undo your hard work by pigging out at a party if you’ve gone for a long run, and it will help you burn off any extra calories you might be consuming.
Nicole Scherzinger, who has one of the most enviable figures in Hollywood, is a fan of this approach. She’s been quoted as saying:
‘I like to pig out over Christmas and I’ll work it off in January.’
Try to find something you enjoy, whether it’s a morning swim, a long run or a team sport. And if there’s a dance floor at a party, make sure you’re always the first one on it – dancing is one of the best ways to shape up and burn fat.
Know when to ask for a helping hand
If you’ve been slogging away at the gym and avoiding the junk food but are still struggling to get rid of problem spots around your arms, thighs or stomach, it may be time to try something new.
As annoying as it is, you just can’t target fat in certain areas of your body through exercise and diet alone, although weight-bearing exercises could help you build muscle tone there. If you want to spot reduce, you’ll have to consider opting for a minimally invasive treatment like zeltiq coolsculpting with a specialist clinic. Unlike a surgical procedure, these treatments are designed for busy people who have a specific goal in mind or want to see fast results with no recovery time.
Get fashion savvy
If all else fails, you should always have a few reliable pieces in your wardrobe to fall back on. Black tends to be slimming, but it’s also important to consider your shape and draw attention to your best bits with colour and accessories.
Are you pear shaped? Stay clear of skinny jeans but do go for a halterneck top which will even your shape out by broadening your top half slightly.
If you’re trying to get more of an hourglass shape, raid your belt collection and try to clinch your waist in to make the most of the curves you have and draw the eye to your narrowest point.
Embarrassed about your tummy? Thankfully the 20s look with a dropped down waist is both very fashionable right now and perfect for skimming over a generous mid-section.