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Thinking of starting pre-Christmas party diets today? Read this!

Posted Nov 10 2009 10:01pm

Oh, dear, oh dear.

According to this article in The Telegraph, women will ’start Christmas diets today.’

Apparently ‘around 58 per cent of women plan to shed some pounds before their office party to make sure they are looking their best.’

The research was carried about by British Lion eggs who are keen to ‘debunk the”myth” ‘  that eggs raise cholesterol levels. A spokesman said:

‘The Christmas party has become one of the biggest events of the year, and for many, it’s an ideal time to impress a male colleague to be the envy of your female workmates,” he said.

So while January is well-known to be the time Britons detox to try to undo the Christmas indulgence, this study shows that women are also dieting in the run-up to festive season as well.’

I am not too keen on what seems to me a rather chauvinistic interpretation of the data from this research, portraying womankind desperately scrambling to impress the alpha-males in our workplace. After all, we know, don’t we, that the best way to make an impression at the office party is to drink lots of cheap punch, do knee-skids across the dance floor, show off our best John Travolta moves and play air guitar. That’s all that really matters… Ha, ha, ha.

However, there is a nugget of common sense to be redeemed from this article.

The anonymous spokesmen also says: ‘But simply cutting food out won’t work. The best way to lose weight is to eat sensibly and have three balanced meals a day, particularly breakfast.’ (He then goes on to advocate eggs for breakfast.)

Later in the article it turns out that the ‘research’ on dieting conducted  by British Lion eggs is, in fact, a poll of 3,000 women. The poll apparently found that:

‘While 71 per cent will eat a healthy balanced diet to shed the pounds, almost one in ten plan to skip the odd meal completely.

Another four per cent will cut out breakfast from their daily routine.

The poll of 3,000 women revealed 14 per cent even buy their party outfit in a size they know is too small in the hope they will fit into it by the time the big event arrives.

But more than half of those have had to buy an emergency outfit after failing to lose the weight in time.’

Hmmmm…

And here are more stats from the poll:

‘21 per cent of those who usually diet in the run-up to Christmas say they normally always put the weight straight back on during the festive period.

Another 17 per cent have usually gone back to their pre-diet size once the New Year is under way.’

Oh, dear. Why, oh why, are we doing this to ourselves ? You know, if you have ever put the wrong fuel in your car, I bet you modified your behavior pretty quickly to make sure you never repeated that costly damage to the engine. I bet you learned pretty quickly that your car did not run very well at all on the wrong fuel. So why do so many of us keep on doing the same old stuff that doesn’t work when it comes to our infinitely less replaceable and mendable bodies?

If you’ve been thinking of going on a diet, it can be very helpful to have something to aim for and visualising yourself feeling fabulous and sexy at a Christmas party can be a powerful motivator.

However, eating a healthy balanced diet and exercising regularly – adopting the mindset of someone who eats healthily and knows how to enjoy maintaining that health -  is going to be much, much more effective than faddy dieting, skipping meals, special diet foods and other ‘quick fix’ craziness.

I know that if I say to myself ‘I am forbidden to eat that delicious chocolate I love, no more chocolate for me…’ then all I can think about and see and taste and smell is that chocolate. That kind of thinking just doesn’t work.

Neither does putting myself on a miserable self-imposed diet. I often find that some of the people I work with are just not eating enough to fuel their metabolism. They are experts on all the different ‘points’ and ’sins’ and calorie counting they have tried over the years; or have literally been surviving on a couple of lettuce leafs and a Ryvita for lunch and then wondering why they are constantly thinking about food and ‘binging’ in the evenings.

Personally, I am getting back into shape after a period of time this summer where I couldn’t exercise and – what a surprise! – a few pounds crept on. I am focusing on how good I feel when I exercise, what it does for my energy and health, my general well-being. When I talk to myself like that, it’s a pleasure to get myself to the gym. I love that feeling.

Your self-esteem does not have to be tied to the office party. You can make changes to your eating and exercise habits because you want to do that; and you can feel wonderful any time you choose. If you need some support to (re)learn how to do that, why not get some professional help from someone who understands that it is your mind and not magic diet foods that will help you to feel good and stay healthy.


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