Surviving Christmas Tip: Plan Your Meals

With all the festivites going on, Christmas and New Years is undoubtedly one of my favorite time of the year.  I get to meet friends, catch up over lovely meals accompanied by weather that is nice and cool in winter. It doesn’t snow in Thailand, but the temperature drops to the mid-twenties (celsius).  It’s lovely and cool.  Perfect.  And as one of my friends put on her facebook status it is the “perfect weather to get fat.”  I think this perfectly describes how we all feel.

A lot of activities during Christmas and New Years undeniably revolve around eating.  We meet, we eat.  We celebrate, we eat.  We travel, we eat. Then we sleep in between those “meets” and “eats.”  Oh how easy it is to pack on those pounds that won’t just go away.  Nevertheless, do not fear them…there is a way to overcome them and one tip is to Plan Your Meals.

I used to never plan my meals.  I’d just eat what I felt like eating each meal and if I had a big party coming up later that evening so what?  It was an added bonus.  It also added weight.  Now, I plan my meals.  It doesn’t mean that I have to bring my own food or count calories, I do it in such a way that I think is more sustainable in the long-term. 

The first step is to check your schedule and be aware of your dining engagements.  Most of the time, parties and get-to-gethers are scheduled beforehand so you know that on those occasions you will be eating.  You probably don’t want to go to party and not eat right? That would be no fun.  So go to those functions and eat.  Portion  control though, don’t overstuff yourself to the point of no return.  There will be other occasions to eat.

Once you know your schedule, plan out your meals.  For example, if I know I am going to have a buffet dinner tomorrow night where there are a zillion delicious foods awaiting me, I will start controlling my portions more closely the day before.  I’d have a light dinner (the night before), light breakfast and light lunch.  I’d cut down on the snacks and save my eating (and calories) for that buffet.

Third, work out.  Yes, if you know you are going to have a day or two of non-stop eating, work out.  Before a buffet, I’d go running the morning before the buffet and I’d make sure I go running again the day after the meal.  This way, I know I won’t pack on pounds.

If you say you have both lunch, afternoon tea and dinner engagements, then my answer to you is to go run in the morning.  Have half of what you would normally during lunch, tea and dinner.  Basically portion control.  You know you will have a full day of eating so don’t stuff yourself since the first meal.  Then just make sure you go run it off the next day and the day after if you can.

I have been doing this since I lost my 15 kgs a year ago and I have to say it works wonders.  My weight has not been a yo-yo and it has remained steady in a 1-2 kg range.  After my recent trip to Singapore where I spent a good time eating,  I feared the weigh scale. I didn’t have one at the hotel so I had no clue how much I weighed, so all I could do was plan my meals and do my runs.  It worked.  I was 0.5 kg heavier when I returned which is normal.  Weight cannot be that steady all the time.

So fear not the Christmas Weight Gain and Plan Your Meals! 🙂  Merry Christmas!

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