christmas cracker by amelia wells via flickr
1. Eat before you go out

If you're going somewhere where there is likely to be a buffet or canapés on offer, then we recommend eating beforehand. You'll find it hard to control cravings for unhealthy food if you're feeling hungry when you arrive.

2. 5:2

There may be a day when you'd actually like to be able to have food at a party. If you are following an Ideal Weight plan, then perhaps you're attending a sit down meal where you know you'll be eating outside of your meal matrix. This is where you can take advantage of Ideal Weight's 5:2 plan for a few weeks when needed. Our 5:2 plan allows you to eat normally for 5 days a week and fast for 2 non-consecutive days by eating 4 Ideal Weight nutrition packs on these days. Even though this plan allows you to be flexible, if you over eat on the 5 conventional days you will gain weight overall so be considerate with your menu choices and pick healthy options or ask for a small portion.

3. Only choose what you like

When faced with a buffet of delicious Christmassy treats, we can easily fall victim to trying a little bit of everything, however a 'little' bit of each fancy finger food can quickly turn into a 'lot' of calories. A good rule to go by is to just pick a few things you like and only go up once.

4. Stick to smaller sizes

Many of us who struggle with our weight will admit that one of the reasons why we over eat is because we find it hard to leave food on our plates. There is an easy way to tackle this over the festive party season and this is by managing the size of your plates and portions. If you're drinking alcohol, make sure you have a small glass and if you are offered a slice of something sugary, make it a small one or suggest sharing with someone.

5. Delay

A useful tactic to use when at the office Christmas party is to delay when you eat or drink. Set a time in your mind when you're going up to get another drink or piece of food. This could be after you've spoken to 'x' amount of people, after a certain point in the night or at particular time. By delaying the intake of alcohol or food we avoid acting on impulse and usually, by the point it is actually time to go up to the bar or buffet, you may not be as eager to eat and drink as you where when you set the delay.

6. If you end up over eating don't let it throw you off track

Many of us have an all or nothing approach when it comes to weight loss. We set ourselves unrealistic goals and when we stray from the path we decide to give up completely rather than learning from our mistakes and getting back on the straight and narrow. If you do happen to have a day where you over eat during the party season, then make sure you don't allow this to de-motivate you. If you are following an Ideal Weight plan, it's actually a great opportunity for you to discuss with your coach why you chose to veer from the path, enabling you to find the route of the behaviour and learn ways to avoid the same thing happening next time.

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