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Christmas Weight Loss Tips

Dietitian Juliette Kellow kicks off with a series of top hints and tips to get you healthier and slimmer for the Christmas party season.

Christmas Challenge Weight Loss Tips: Week 6

Congratulations on completing the fifth week of the WLR Christmas Challenge.

There are just two weeks to go and friends, family and colleagues may already complimenting you on your slimmer shape. But what about those people who seem intent on ruining your good intentions? This week, I've put together some top tips to help you beat the diet saboteurs.

1. Recognise What Makes the Saboteurs Tick

Understanding the reasons why people seem so intent on ruining your diet will help you cope with situations when food is practically forced on you.

Often it's hard to understand why someone close seems to go out of their way to offer you biscuits, bring chocolates, encourage you to have a dessert or give you a huge serving of pasta? And the reasons for doing this often vary - sometimes people simply mean well, sometimes they want to keep you under their control, often they have no idea they're sabotaging you.

Try and work out just what it is that's making them act in such a way - and then develop strategies for coping with it (see How to Beat Those Diet Saboteurs, below).

2. Fight the Fear of Change

One of the main reasons people may try to sabotage your diet is a fear of change. The problem is, that while losing weight will create big changes in your life that you welcome, not all your friends, family and colleagues will embrace change in the same way and may feel threatened by it.

The key is to constantly remind yourself why you wanted to change in the first place - and don't allow other people's fear to put you off.

3. Don't Let Other People's Guilt Get in the Way

It's not uncommon for other people to feel guilty when they see you losing weight, especially if they are overweight themselves. If they can encourage you to 'break your diet' or 'stop going to the gym' with the result that you lose control, it means they no longer need to feel guilty about not being in control of their weight, either!

Similarly, some people may feel jealous or threatened by your success. If they've struggled to lose weight for ages with no success, it's natural they will feel jealous that you seem to be sailing through.

Why not suggest that these diet saboteurs join you in your weight loss campaign so that you can support each other? But don't let them bring you down or allow them to ruin all your good work with negative comments.

4. Give People the Benefit of the Doubt

It's easy to assume the worst when faced with a potential saboteur. But often, there are good intentions behind the move. For example, if your husband comes home with your favourite Indian takeaway, it could be his way of expressing how much he loves you, rather than because he wants to see you overweight and unhappy.

When the moment is right, gently suggest that next time he might express his love with flowers or by doing the washing up rather than with food!

5. Keep a Food Diary

As well as helping you to control your calorie intake, a food diary may also help you recognise those people that encourage you to overindulge - and this will allow you to develop strategies to deal with them.

For example, if you know there's always a 'chocolate run' in the office on a Friday afternoon, offer to go yourself. No one will ever know whether you've bought something for yourself - and the extra walk to the newsagent will burn a few more calories!

6. Stand Up To the Saboteurs

You wouldn't expect to have an alcoholic drink pushed on you if you were driving, would you? So you shouldn't expect to be forced into having high-calorie food, either. Quite simply, just say no!

There's no need to offer an explanation or feel guilty if you choose to avoid someone who frequently tries to encourage you eat food you don't want. And if you do find yourself in the situation where food has been foisted on you, simply leave it. It might seem wasteful, but you didn't ask for it in the first place, did you?

6. Ask for Help, not Hindrance

Get your friends, family and colleagues on your side and ask them to help you rather than hinder you. If someone doesn't seem to want to help, then don't feel bad about avoiding for him or her for the time being.

Instead concentrate on spending time with people who are prepared to help you reach your goal. And as the pounds fall off and you feel more confident, you'll feel stronger and be better equipped to cope with unsupportive people.

7. Take Control

At the end of the day, what you put in your mouth is your responsibility. Bottom line: while others may tempt you, ultimately you're in charge of your own life. After all, you're losing weight for yourself - not someone else!

 

How to Beat those Diet Saboteurs

SABOTEUR TECHNIQUE 1: Concerns About Your Health

Typical Statements They Make:

  • "You're wasting away"
  • "Are you sure you aren't losing weight too quickly"
  • "Is that diet really good for you?"
  • "You used to love your food, now you seem to have gone off it"
  • "It's good to have some fat on you for times when you're not very well"

How to Beat Them:

Tell them you are eating healthily and losing weight at a safe, sensible rate. You still enjoy food, but you also enjoy feeling in control of what you eat. And as for being ill, because your diet has improved so dramatically, you're much less likely to fall ill in the first place!

 

SABOTEUR TECHNIQUE 2: Foisting Food on You

Typical Statements They Make:

  • "There's one doughnut left, go on have it"
  • "It's Sandra's birthday - she'll be upset if you don't have a piece of cake"
  • "A second helping won't hurt, surely"
  • "I've bought you a box of chocolates to cheer you up"

How to Beat Them:

Explain that you're not hungry and don't want anything else to eat. If pushed into a corner, infer that you might indulge later on. Just make sure 'later' never comes! No one will ever notice.

 

SABOTEUR TECHNIQUE 3: Lack of Understanding

Typical Statements They Make:

  • "You don't need to lose weight - you look fine to me"

How to Beat Them:

Tell them that you do, in fact, need to lose weight - not only for health reasons, but also because it will make you feel happier and more confident. Who can argue with that?

 

SABOTEUR TECHNIQUE 4: Confusing Food with Love

Typical Statements They Make:

  • "You used to come to dinner every week - you don't love me anymore"
  • "We always used to have lunch together - now you seem to prefer the gym to me"
  • "I miss the old you"

How to Beat Them:

Explain that you still love them and enjoy spending time with them. Suggest that you replace activities that involve eating for exercise, for example, going for a swim and sauna or a walk in the park.

 

SABOTEUR TECHNIQUE 5: Being negative about Diets

Typical Statements They Make:

  • "I'm really proud of you even though you know that 95% of diets don't work"
  • "My friend lost weight but piled it all back on in a few weeks"

How to Beat Them:

Nod sympathetically but simply use negative comments like these to strengthen your resolve to succeed.

 

SABOTEUR TECHNIQUE 6: Making You Feel Bad about Yourself

Typical Statements They Make:

  • "You don't seem to be as funny since you lost weight!"
  • "You looked better or I preferred you when you were more cuddly"

How to Beat Them:

Tell them you're still the same person, except now you're healthier, fitter, happier and more confident. If they can't get to grips with that, it might be time to break away.

 

SABOTEUR TECHNIQUE 7: Acting Insulted

Typical Statements They Make:

  • "You don't like my carbonara anymore"
  • "You're too good for my chocolate cake now"

How to Beat Them:

Explain there's nothing personal involved. You still love pasta and chocolate cake. It's just that your health is the main priority at the moment. Suggest that perhaps the next time you get together you help out by bringing along a dish.

 

SABOTEUR TECHNIQUE 8: Making You Feel Left Out

Typical Statements They Make:

  • "You can't eat Italian on your diet so there's not point in you coming to dinner with us"
  • "There's no point in getting you any chocolate - you're on a diet"

How to Beat Them:

Explain there's no reason why you can't go out for dinner (after all you're confident enough to know what to choose from the menu) or eat chocolate. And if that doesn't work, ditch them. With friends like that, who needs enemies?

Start a Free Trial Today

Take a 24 hour free trial and join the Challenge by posting news of your progress, advice and tips on the Christmas Challenge Message Board. Share in the fun, support and camaraderie of a WLR Challenge. Try it free for 24 hours.

Take our FREE trial »

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Take a 24 hour free trial and join the Challenge by posting news of your progress, advice and tips on the Christmas Challenge Message Board. Share in the fun, support and camaraderie of a WLR Challenge. Try it free for 24 hours.

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