By Westmeath Slimming World consultants
Lots of people make resolutions to lose weight and improve their health in January, and our members know they can do it, that with the right support. Here are our own tips, and you’ll find more slimming support, advice and inspiration at our Slimming World groups.
1. If going out for a meal, checking the menus online beforehand can be a wonderful way of feeling in control. You can decide before what you might ask to swap to make a better choice – like swapping chips for a baked potato or salad or asking for a fresh fruit salad for dessert, reducing the calorific value of that meal enormously. Asking for sauces on the side will help too and steering clear of choices that are deep fried or including pastry.
2. If at a buffet fill your plate sky high first with satisfying free foods (unlimited on our ExtraEasy Plan) like cooked meats, salads, chicken drumsticks, rice and pasta salads and prawn ring. Then if you fancy a treat on your plate, choose one that will really hit the spot and enjoy it. The trick with a buffet is to fill your plate and walk away from the table as people often tend to hover round a buffet table and keep grazing on things like cocktail sausages, sausage rolls and crisps and it is so easy to overdo it with such high calorific foods.
3. Find ways to protect your best intentions, like fill up before you go out with a satisfying healthy meal so the temptation to graze on the high calorific foods isn’t a difficulty, or offer to drive if you think you might drink and then eat more than you intend.
4. If we do go overboard and our best intentions go out the window, sometimes guilt will set in and we feel we have blown it. That can then lead to feelings of annoyance and to further sabotage, so being able to forgive ourselves for slip-ups is an absolute must. Then just move on to the next meal with positivity and readiness to make a great choice. Learning to be kinder to ourselves and recognising that we’re only human and all have lapses at times can make it easier to get back on track and choosing sensibly.
5. Adding some activity on a regular basis improves mood and increases resolve to make good choices, so clearing out the cobwebs and getting a good walk at any opportunity is a great idea too. Or plan in some family activities that get the whole family moving.
6. It is easy at every opportunity to be up-sold unhealthy food and drink as a result of verbal pushes in coffee shops, fast food outlets, restaurants and petrol stations, like adding cream and marshmallows to your coffee, going large in a fast food outlet or adding extra sides in a restaurant. It will happen at every opportunity, so being armed with your response can be empowering – ‘just this thanks’ is all it takes.
7. Alcohol can play a huge part in weight gains for those that enjoy a tipple. Drinking affects our eating and activity habits and through Slimming World’s own, we know that once the average person passes their personal tipping point (that point where resolve weakens and our best intentions go out the window ) on a night out, we consume more than 6,300 more calories in a 24-hour period. We will eat and drink more than intended that night plus lots of extra calories the next day, thanks to cravings for high fat and sugary foods. We may well even cancel physical activity the next day too. This can equate to a weight gain of up to 2lbs per week for those that do this just once on a typical weekend.
Tips that our members would share for alcohol would be to choose measured portions of spirits and top up with lots of slimline mixer; if in company, skip every other round and have a diet soft drink instead of alcohol; or opt for beers and wines with lower alcohol content that will drastically reduce the calories (and the hangover).
Wishing all our present, past and future members and Westmeath Examiner readers a healthy and slim 2019 – Michelle, Liz, Caroline, Cathriona and John (Westmeath consultants).