Quick cheats for this Christmas – by Jenni Shaw

jenni-shaw-150x150It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas whoop! London is looking magnificent, all the lights are up and twinkling away and there is a fabulous chill in the air which warrants the wearing of cosy bobble hats and cashmere socks. I feel like I have grown in to my love of Christmas throughout the years and am now proud to confess that I am somewhat of a Christmas fiend.

Now, I am all for relaxing the regime over the festive period, I don’t beat myself up if I get up late and don’t make it to the gym or if I indulge in the odd glass of champagne or mince pie. HOWEVER, the bottom line is, I eat and exercise the way I do because that is how I am able to feel my best. When I am following a low carb diet and fitting in my daily endorphin release, I feel good about myself – my sugars are more or less within range and I am able to enjoy life to the full.

As much as I would like to treat the whole ‘festive period’ as a special occasion, it does seem to last from bonfire night right through until the first weekend of January therefore, I don’t think that would be the best strategy. Therefore, I wanted to look at a few quick cheats in order to stay on the straight and narrow this year…

1. Special time is family time. Although there are many festive celebrations and occasions throughout the month of December, for me, the main reason I love Christmas is that it is a time when the whole family get together; something which seems only to be possible once a year. I will therefore let myself have that mince pie, slice of Christmas Cake or roast potato when ACTUAL Christmas comes and all ten of us are together. It is literally three days that we will be under the same roof therefore, this is a more acceptable time frame for naughtiness I feel! Saying that, last year I actually steered clear of the carbs and sugar laden treats and was the only one who still had a spring in my step come 5pm on Christmas Day so that was definitely a plus point!
2. Communication is key. These days, I am a lot more vocal about my diabetes and my dietary choices, whether this be among friends or in the workplace, most people that I interact with on a regular basis are aware. This makes things A LOT easier as I am not subjected to any sort of force feeding or peer pressure. If I say no to something, nine times out of ten, the matter will not be pushed and I will get away with little to no fuss. I often watch team members at work who are maybe on a diet and have refused that slice of homemade birthday cake, get peer pressured into having ‘just a teeny slice’ and I can see them looking at me with a strange sort of jealousy as I am left to my own low carb, low sugar devices!
3. Stay away from the canapés. Canapés are my nemesis. I find them really tricky as they are difficult to carb count and it is so easy to lose track of how many you have eaten. It can be too easy to consume a whole meals worth of calories during the drinks reception and find yourself as stuffed as the Christmas Day turkey before you even start on the actual meal! I therefore do my best to stay away from these delectable little bites. The knowledge that I am usually going to be treated to a full three course meal very soon is generally enough to keep my willpower strong on these occasions.
4. Enjoy and don’t panic! I am a great one for maintaining such a strict regime for so long that when I do one small thing that is outside the rules I have set myself, I have a tendency to throw caution to the wind a bit and just go for it. If I am going to ‘fail’ (yes I know it’s not failure and we can’t be perfect all the time blah blah blah) I want to fail spectacularly. I therefore find the biggest challenge will be just having that one mince pie or those few maltesters and not inhaling the household’s entire supply in one sitting.

So, there you go, the guidelines that I am planning to loosely follow over the festive season, watch this space to see how it goes!

You can read more from Jenni on her own personal blog site

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