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Dieting in December is hard, right?
And December is just around the corner. Christmas is only one day. Three, if you stretch it out to include Christmas Eve and Boxing Day (for the record – I do). But the whole of December is a nightmare for dieting.
There’s always some excuse to fall off the dieting wagon. I know – I’ve used them all. There’s family get togethers, work parties, nights out with friends, just to name a few. Personally, I struggle with all the Christmas markets. I love Christmas markets. Unfortunately, I love the food they tend to have there, too.
I’m completely guilty of using December to undo all my dieting progress in the past. But I’m determined not to do that this year, and I think the key is planning.
It is completely possible to enjoy December (and Christmas) without ruining your hard work
There will days when you struggle to stick to plan more than others. Days when you have things planned that you either can’t get out of, or don’t want to get out of, and that’s fine! Just plan around them.
I have 3 days between now and Christmas that I know I won’t be on plan for. And I’m OK with that. They’re days that I’m looking forward to. I know it might mean that I’ll gain weight those weeks, but it’s just 3 days (not in a row, or even in the same week), so I might still manage to lose weight, if I make sure I’m 100% on track the other 6 days of those weeks.
Decide what days you’ll allow yourself to come off plan
If it’s part of a plan, it’s under control. It’s when it gets out of control that the problems start. If you plan and stay in control, you avoid that regret afterwards, and that’s really important. Because when you’re not in control and you end up having a big, unplanned blow out, that regret kicks in and – for me at least – that’s when you’re at risk of letting one day turn into two days and then into a whole week. Do you have that little voice that says “well, you’ve royally messed up now! Might as well eat another cake…”? I do. But if it’s all planned, there’s nothing to feel guilty about. Dieting in December is all about control and damage limitation.
How are you planning to handle Christmas?
Let’s face it, the reason why dieting in December is so tricky, is that we all seem to think that Christmas is a month long. It’s not. For me, Christmas is 3 days – Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. I will not be dieting on those days. And I won’t be feeling guilty about it, because it’s planned. I intend to stay in control and not go overboard, but I’m not going to be dieting. I also won’t be dieting on New Year’s Eve. Not because I’m particularly bothered about partying the night away (if you know me, you’ll know how hilarious that thought is), but because it’s my wedding anniversary and I’d like to have a nice meal with Mr Becca.
Other than those days, there’s no reason at all why I can’t stay on plan and limit the damage caused by those 4 days.
So the key to dieting in December is to stop thinking of “December” and “Christmas” as being interchangeable. Decide what days you’re going to allow yourself to come off plan – if any – and treat the rest of December the same way you’d treat the rest of the year.
Most importantly – don’t beat yourself up!
Even if you don’t completely stick to your plan and find yourself slipping a bit more than intended, beating yourself up over it doesn’t undo the damage and it doesn’t make you feel better, so what does it acheive? Absolutely nothing. Just dust yourself off and get back on track. Not “tomorrow”, but straight away. Having one meal off plan is better than having a whole day off plan. And having one day off is better than two. You get the picture.
Just be kind to yourself. Dieting in December is tough, but it’s just one month. If you manage to stay in control, you’ll be happier when January comes around and your holiday gain (if you have one) is smaller than expected and you’re already back in the zone!
Oh! And, Merry Christmas (because it’s never too early to say that!)