Christmas weight loss can seem like an impossible concept to many…
- Minced pies
- Christmas pudding
Not to mention the numerous Christmas parties and gatherings…
Or, god forbid, the stress of the in-laws coming to stay.
What’s more, when you’re over 40 the weight doesn’t seem to stay off as easily as it used to (especially if you’re menopausal).
A few glasses of wine and a minced pie or two can see the number on the scales shooting up.
It’s no wonder most women over 40 think, “Sod it, I’ll sort it in January” and give up on even trying to keep the weight off over Christmas.
But it doesn’t have to be that way…
Over the past 5 years the majority of our clients haven’t gained a pound over Christmas, whilst still enjoying themselves.
In fact, some of them have even lost weight over Christmas. All they’ve done is follow the simple steps outlined in this post.
These aren’t women in their 20s and early 30s who find it easy to lose weight either. These are women in their 40s, 50s and 60s, with busy family lives (and many of them are menopausal too).
So how do our clients do it?
How have they achieved the holy grail of Christmas Weight loss, or at the very least maintained their weight over the festive period?
Let’s get right into it…
Step 1. Set a clear realistic goal
The biggest mistake people make over Christmas is waiting until January to have any kind of fitness goal.
They get into the mindset of “the Diet starts in January”.
This then means they consume huge amounts of snacks, alcohol and chocolate, leaving them with an additional stone or more to lose.
Losing a stone in a sustainable way typically takes 6-12 weeks of consistent hard work, which can be especially demoralising if you’ve just packed on another stone over Xmas.
Just think how much easier it would be if you got to January and you didn’t have to “undo” all the excesses of Christmas (and deal with all the regret and guilt that comes with it).
But don’t get this mixed up… we’re not saying you shouldn’t enjoy Christmas and cut out all the nice stuff.
We’re also not saying you should aim to lose weight over Christmas, as this is too extreme and restrictive to fit into the lives of most busy women over 40.
In our experience what works much better, is to aim to maintain your weight over the festive period (see the image below):
This means you can enjoy some flexibility in terms of what you eat and drink, so you can maintain relatively easily without having to feel like you’re missing out.
However, there’s a bit more to it than that. The following steps are essential if you want to make Christmas weight loss, or at least maintainence, a reality for you…
Step 2. Create a Christmas weight loss (or maintainence) plan
Does it feel like you have too many parties and meals out to succeed with your diet in December?
A lot of people put off doing anything about their health and fitness until January because they feel like there’s no chance of succeeding in December.
In our experience, this usually isn’t the case (even for the busiest of people) and just looking at the facts can give you a totally different perspective.
To see the facts clearly, plot out all the Christmas events you know you have coming up on a calendar and see how many meals are still within your control.
You still have the opportunity to get 80-90% of your diet right, which is more than enough to achieve Christmas weight loss, especially if you combine it with the right exercise…
Step 3. Keep exercising, manage your calories and move more
If you know the saying “you can’t out-exercise a bad diet”, then it’s easy to think you may as well give up on all things healthy over Christmas.
Whilst it is true that you can’t out-exercise a really bad diet, such as…
- 3 minced pies
- Huge portions
- 2 servings of dessert covered in double cream
- Half a box of chocolates with…
- Half a bottle of wine in the evening
…exercise can help you to maintain your weight if you’ve got a balance diet with a few treats thrown in.
For example, if you were to eat the following…
- 1 minced pie
- A moderate portion (with plenty of protein)
- Half a dessert shared with someone else
- A couple of chocolates
- 1 glass of wine
…plus you did a 40-minute workout every other day (from home or the gym), plus a few long walks with the family… then that may well mean you’re able to actually lose weight over Christmas (as well as improving your fitness).
Not only will that make you feel better because your clothes won’t be making you feel like an uncooked sausage bursting at the seams, but you also won’t have all the guilt of knowing deep down you’re totally out of control with your eating and exercise.
Which brings us onto your mindset – a key element to achieving Christmas weight loss (or at least maintaining your weight)…
Step 4. Work on your mindset
All of the above is great, but if your mind is swimming with excuses and no plan to tackle them, then it’s more than likely you’ll cave and give in to temptation:
- One more won’t hurt
- Screw it, I’ll start again in January
- I’m too busy/tired
- Everyone else is having it, so I should too
- It’s not fair – they’re skinny and eat what they want
Any of these sound familiar to you?
These thoughts are not unusual, but let them run free in your mind and they’ll quickly derail even the most motivated person.
But it doesn’t have to be this way…
We teach members of our Fit Over 40 programme a powerful tool called the Thought Transformer that means they can easily overcome these excuses and stick to the plan.
It’s one of the reasons our members maintain their weight over the festive period, and many actually lose weight!
But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy Christmas – remember, in our plan we factored in Christmas day AND Boxing day off…
Step 5. Enjoy Christmas itself!
Christmas day and Boxing day are just 2 days out of the whole year.
Just like 2 days of exercise won’t turn you into Jessica Ennis-Hill, 2 days of slightly indulgent eating won’t make you fat.
It’s only when people give up for the entirety of December do they end up a stone heavier in January, feeling guilty, miserable and bursting out of all their clothes.
So if you find a balance in December following the steps above, then by all means take Christmas day and Boxing day off and enjoy them – that’s what we tell members of our Fit Over 40 programme to do.
What’s more, Christmas dinner is actually pretty healthy!
It contains lots of protein and veggies, and provided you don’t have 15 roast potatoes and a litre of gravy and bread sauce it’s actually a pretty good meal choice nutritionally (and many people skip a meal on Christmas day, saving calories too).
It’s only the extras that pile up. So enjoy a couple of chocs, a 1-2 glasses of wine or champers and a small portion of dessert and you should have no problem maintaining your weight over Christmas.
Repeat the same on Boxing day and and you’ll go into the New Year feeling amazing, most likely even fitter than you were at the start of December (and miles ahead of everyone else)!
So it is possible to achieve Christmas weight loss (or at least maintain your weight)…
Most people gain weight over Christmas because they deicide it’s impossible to maintain or lose weight over the festive period, and therefore don’t even try and make it work.
Looking at the facts, almost everyone can achieve Christmas weight loss, or at the very least maintain their weight over the festive period.
Even if someone has 5 Christmas parties, they can still take Christmas day, Boxing day and New Year’s day off and keep over 80% of their diet on track – that’s plenty to achieve Christmas weight loss.
However, trying to achieve all of this on your own can be tricky, especially if you know you usually gain half a stone over the festive season.
In our experience, having someone to guide you through it and hold you to account can make all the difference…
We’re here to help with your Christmas weight loss or maintainence goals
Our area of expertise is helping high-achieving woman over 40 to overcome everything that’s stopping them being able to lose weight as they’ve got older and as their bodies and lifestyles have changed (you can see their results here).
We typically work with women who have tried lots of different diets, slimming clubs, shakes and exercises classes in the past but they’ve not been able to see or maintain their results as they’ve got older and life has got busier.
Inside our Fit Over 40 programme we help women over 40 to get back into healthy eating and exercise habits that fit around their lives and support the changes happening to their bodies… so they can get to their ideal weight and size in 12 weeks but be in a position where they feel quite confident they could maintain that long term.
It’s kind of like having a personal trainer, nutrition coach and mindset coach on board to take all of the stress and uncertainty out of the process.
If you want to find out more about how you can lose 1-2 stone and 1-2 dress sizes in 84 days or less (even over Christmas), without having to give up wine or chocolate, click the button below: