As the festive season gathers momentum, we are staring down the barrel of over indulgence at every turn. If you are anything like us, by the time New Year’s Eve celebrations have finished, we are feverishly devising plans to detox, make resolutions to train for marathons and swear off alcohol until at least Australia Day.
A recent survey of more than 2,000 Australians, commissioned by QUICKSLIM Australia, revealed that it wasn’t lack of time, or knowledge about how to eat well that was to blame for people failing to lose weight, but rather, 86% of respondents claimed that their will power, or lack thereof was the major culprit when it came to failed weight loss attempts.
“Two of the highest-risk situations that people identified when it came to falling prey to dietary indiscretions were going on vacations and attending parties, with one in two Australians reporting these as circumstances that regularly caused their willpower to lapse. In addition, 60% of those surveyed admitted that drinking alcohol lowered their ability to “say no” when tempted by poor food choices.” Chris Lynton, QUICKSLIM nutritionist.
“There is no shortage of information about how to eat well and exercise, but as a nutritionist, a client’s willpower has always been the one aspect of weight loss that is difficult to control. And with the holiday season riddled with factors such as increased alcohol consumption, tempting treats and eating out with friends, this is probably the time of year most likely to challenge the willpower of even the most disciplined dieter,” said Chris.
We asked Nutritionist Chris Lynton from QUICKSLIM to share his top ten expert tips to amp up your will power as we enter the home stretch of the silly season.
1. Plan ahead.
If you’ve been invited to a Christmas party where tempting treats will be rife, organise to take a plate of something healthy so at least you’ll know you have one healthy option when you get there.
2. Sharing is caring.
In the instance that you host your own soiree, guests often bring sweet treats as gifts. While it’s a lovely gesture, left-over treats are a sure way to put your willpower in jeopardy. Make sure you share food gifts and left-overs with your guests so no naughty nibbles remain in the fridge to tempt you tomorrow.
3. Less is more.
When eating, you experience 90% of the taste in the first mouthful, while flavour and taste decreases in every mouthful to follow. With this in mind, if you’ve decided to indulge just a little this Christmas, opt for small amount and savour it as much as possible. Remember – if you go back for more you won’t enjoy it as much as that initial first bite.
4. Christmas is no excuse.
In addition to other annual festivities, Christmas comes every year so don’t undo all of your good work for the sake of Christmas. There are so many ‘excuses’ when it comes to indulging. From your friend’s birthday to the arrival of the Easter bunny, if you bend your weight loss rules in favour of each occasion, you’ll be off the wagon more times than not! If you’re working hard to lose or maintain weight, don’t let ‘special occasions’ be your downfall.
5. Fill the void.
Before heading out for a meal, give your will power a boost by arriving partially full. Simply consume a glass of QUICKSLIM so you don’t feel the need to demolish everything in sight upon arrival. Even when you make the decision to indulge, you simply won’t be able to fit in as much as you’d like to!
6. Rules and boundaries.
Not only is alcohol full of calories, it lowers inhibitions and can really damage your ability to exercise willpower. If you are unable to avoid alcohol at an event, set yourself a rule to have a glass of water between drinks and cap yourself at a certain number of drinks. If you are to drink, opt for lower carbohydrate beverages such as vodka with soda and a squeeze of lime and stay away from the beer and wine. Nominating yourself as designated driver is another great way to keep the drinking at bay.
7. Think positive.
Positive visualisation is a great way to stay motivated and keep up your willpower. Picture yourself reaching your goals over Christmas and imagine how great you will feel once you’ve endured the temptations of the silly season. Once you have envisioned what it would be like to achieve your goals you are more inclined to build strength and stay on track.
8. Set yourself mini goals.
Mini goals are a great way to keep motivated and stay on track when the road gets a little rocky. Set yourself some small goals to achieve over the Christmas period and reward yourself as you achieve them (but not with food!). Perhaps for every Christmas party you endure without falter you could reward yourself with a trip to the nail bar, or perhaps a round of golf. This paired with structured weight loss goals will really assist with willpower during the silly season.
9. Distraction is the key.
Emotional eating is something we are all prone to and if you catch yourself reaching for the bickies after a trying day with the relatives, make sure you distract yourself with something a little more positive. Hit the pavement to try and work off angst or make plans to catch up with a good friend for coffee. Keeping strong in trying situations is key, everyone hits hurdles, it’s how you handle them that counts.
10. Be the master of your motivation.
Staying strong in tempting situations is a great way to keep up your motivation and strengthen your willpower. They say that willpower is a muscle, and the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets! Set yourself a reminder in your phone to drink water, leave sticky notes in your bathroom and kitchen to remind you of your goals and keep telling yourself how all your hard work will eventually pay off.