Happy, merry, holly, jolly season’s greetings here

I love Olaf’s little song about That Time of Year.  Having a 4-year-old daughter means this film is often on in our household right now.  I don’t mind, the snowman is hilarious – more so than my daughter realizes.

The above image sums up this time of year perfectly in my eyes, sweets everywhere!  Treat tables where ever we go and sweets at work, there is just no break from it.  The power of will for someone who is trying to lose weight has to be strong right now, otherwise work that has already achieved something can easily be undone again.

Slimming World is very much aware of the impact these few weeks can have on one’s weight loss journey.  They have different recipes available for healthier versions of meals found around this time of year – which is great but that doesn’t help with the copious amounts of treats here and there.

I need more than just meal alternatives, I’m more than capable now at making a healthy meal on plan without too much guidance, it’s the rest of the day I struggle with.  We already have cut back at home to help minimize the temptations, but I can’t control where others like to share goodies.

This is where Slimming Worlds 3 different strategies come in.  These 3 options vary from going full blown no dieting, to keeping to plan as close to 100% as possible.  Two very different ends of the scales – literally when you get weighed after.

Not for the faint-hearted this option, especially if concerned about any huge gains over the festive period.  This strategy is basically as it says, forget about Slimming World altogether, enjoy eating and drinking whatever you like without a care in the world about your weight loss.

Apparently, this does work for some people.  The knowing that you decided from the start to let loose makes it easier to get back onto plan after the festivities have gone.  Ideally, you would only do this for like an evening or something, not for a full 3-weeks.  Say you are going out for a work Xmas bash, it basically means giving yourself permission to go and do what you like.  As you already mentally geared up to do it, there is little feeling of guilt or regret after, which means you find it easier to get back onto plan again.

This isn’t something I will be looking to do.  I have a Christmas Lunch coming up for work this week, but although the menu is set choices (as its the festive menu) I have gone with the best choices possible from the menu.

Those who don’t know Slimming World or are just joining my blog, syns are what we Slimming World members use to count the number of naughty things we’re consuming.

Depending on a few different factors, your syns limit each day can range from 15 to 25.  I’m male and I’m pretty large, so I am allowed the full compliment of 25 syns.  It’s not very often I use them, but it also means it’s not very often I have to be flexible with syns

Flexible syns basically means go and enjoy yourself for your Christmas meal, but still count as much as possible so you can stop yourself if you get too high.  This is kind of what I’m doing this week.  I don’t know the complete syn value of my works Christmas Lunch, but I’ve chosen options that I know will contain the lower number of syns.  I know I’ll be over my daily limit, but it’s one meal and I can help by not having any other syns allocated for the rest of that day.

Using flexible syns doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed a weight loss at next weigh-in, but it will help keep you on track and stop you going for a 10lbs gain.

Sticking with plan 100% is the hardest option, but can also be the most rewarding.  If you stick with the plan and count every syn and stay within your syns you are likely to keep losing weight each week over this time.  This requires the most willpower out of the 3 options, but from my experience can leave you feeling a little deflated – especially if you still don’t get the losses you want.

My wife took this option through the celebrations of her 30th birthday a couple of years ago, we went on holiday for a week and she even took her own Salad Dressing that she knew was syn free.  The end result was she kept losing weight and got to her target fairly quickly, but it left her feeling she missed out.  We’re wired up to enjoy celebrations, so when you feel you didn’t enjoy it you feel a little down about it (again, just from past experience I’ve noticed this sort of feeling).

But it depends on how much you want those lbs to drop off.  Christmas does come round every year, so going for Option 3 if you have the willpower could well be an option.  Personally, I will be sticking with Option 2.  Staying on plan most of the time, but when out with friends and family I will let myself have that gravy and stuffing, I will let myself have a little bit of custard.  But I know the rest of the time I will be as close to plan as possible.

If I go to my parent and have some nuts or maltesers, I won’t worry.  I know my next meal will be on plan and I will still enjoy it.  I’m prepared for a maintain or a gain this week, but if I do lose I know I have because I took control.