For many people, gaining a few kilos at Christmas and then going on a New Year diet is a yearly event. It doesn’t have to be that way this year, you can continue to lose weight (or maintain if you’re at goal weight), and start the New Year in a positive mindframe and feeling fabulous.

So how do you cope with Christmas and the upcoming party season without gaining weight?

  1. Find alternative recipes! There will always be Christmas, summer holidays, Easter or Halloween. The secret is how to get through these periods without indulging in the traditional treats and without feeling deprived. So browse through the Atkins website, through low carb cookbooks or online. There are so many ‘alternative’ recipes for traditional dishes you can use, even desserts or typically high carb fayre and you may even create a few of your own!
  2. Luckily the typical Christmas dinner is very Atkins friendly so load up your plate with turkey, the many delicious vegetables available and just avoid the starchy carbs such as potatoes and stuffing; which tend to leave you bloated and lethargic anyway. Try making your own low carb desserts too, so this course isn’t your downfall. You can browse many recipes online including Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms or Chocolate Avocado Mousse 
  3. Eat a small snack before you go on works parties so you’re not tempted to over-indulge in high carb hors- d'oeuvres or order the meal with a starchy side like potatoes or rice. If you’re eating out on work’s Christmas parties then there are always low carb foods you can enjoy, so choose a main course with a protein; such as steak, salmon or chicken; and have with lots of vegetables. Instead of dessert go for a cheese & olive platter. Luckily buffets usually have lots of anti-pasto foods to choose from which are fun to pick at and won’t ruin your efforts.
  4. Avoid alcohol on Induction or keep it to a minimum if you can. Try tricking your mind with a diet tonic water & splash of sugar-free cordial served in a martini glass with some olives. If you do enjoy a drink, then stick to red or white wine or a spirit such as gin or vodka with a sugar free mixer. Avoid beer and flavoured liqueurs which are high in carbs. Remember to stay hydrated and have a glass of water for each alcoholic beverage you drink.
  5. Once you’ve finished eating step away from the buffet or food table. If there’s dancing then get up and burn some calories! Otherwise just socialise and keep the focus on enjoyment, rather than food.   

One of the most difficult aspects of losing weight is controlling your mind! Many of us naturally assume, and accept, that we’ll gain a kilo or two at Christmas however changing this thinking will get you to your ideal goal weight and stay there, if you really believe that this time you CAN and WILL do it!

Posted by Linda O'Byrne
Atkins Nutritionist