Christmas is on the horizon and many of us have already started thinking about the perfect party dress to get us through the season. But leading dieticians are calling for people to start losing weight now instead of doing a dangerous crash diet in December.
According to research by XLS-Medical Fat Binder, 46% of people will aim to drop a dress size, while one in ten women will try and drop three dress sizes in time for the New Year.
Although over 50% of dieters want to lose weight to look good in their party clothes, 36% admitted they want to diet to impress at the annual family reunion.
Clinical Director at the National Obesity Forum, Dr Matt Capehorn, Dietician Helen Bond and Celebrity Trainer Eliise Lindsay are encouraging dieters to avoid the usual weight loss traps which can lead to crash dieting.
They recommend starting a weight loss programme now so you can lose two to three pounds per week in a healthy and safe way. Let the LBD diet commence....
Celebrity personal trainer, Elise Lindsay, told us: “We are all different shapes and sizes and there’s no one perfect dress size. Dieters should focus exercise efforts on the parts of the body which will be on show during the party season. Work on your shoulders and biceps if your dress is strapless or get working on those legs if your dress is short – extra squats before your party will do no harm at all.”
Unsurprisingly, two thirds of people want to lose weight to counteract all the extra calories they’ll consume during the festive season. When you can’t be bothered to go to the gym, think of all those extra Roses and Celebrations you could eat if you do! If that’s not motivation we don’t know what is.
Dr Matt Capehorn, Clinical Director at the National Obesity Forum, told us: “It’s important not to fall into the trap of last minute crash dieting, which is often unsuccessful and can play havoc with blood sugar levels and appetite cravings. As a result, dieters can end up gaining weight as they struggle to cope with changes brought on by such extreme measures. Undertaking a healthy eating and exercise plan now with a realistic goal in mind will ensure dieters are not only looking good but feeling great this party season.”
We asked Dietician, Helen Bond, to give us her top tips on getting party-season prepared…bring on Xmas 2012.
1. Set a realistic goal - A weight loss goal should be challenging and require you to make an effort, but not be an impossible mission. Over ambitious targets can be easily broken! By setting smaller goals, which you have a real chance of reaching, you can boost your confidence in your abilities to keep on track until you hit the office party. Aim to lose about five to ten percent of your initial body weight over a three to six month period. Once you've reached your goal, don’t be afraid to congratulate yourself.
2. Keep a food and mood diary - Most of us don’t know what we are eating, or how all the things we eat are adding up – canapés at the Christmas party, nibbling on the odd biscuit or pinching a chip! For long term weight loss you need to identify problem foods and ‘areas of weaknesses’ in your day. By keeping a food diary, you will become more aware of your eating patterns and the changes you need to make.
Carry a small notebook with you and write down all the things you eat and drink on a typical day, along with any associated feelings. According to research in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, dieters who jot down everything they eat and drink lose twice as much weight as those that don’t.
3. Forget crash diets - Rapid weight loss can certainly be an appealing prospect but ‘crash’ or ‘fad’ diets don't work for long-term weight loss and most aren’t healthy. The only way to lose weight is to have a nutritionally balanced and varied diet with appropriately sized portions and burn off more calories than you eat. Simple
4. Eat regularly - You are far more likely to raid the biscuit tin if you’re starving, so make sure that you eat three meals spread evenly throughout the day and choose healthy snacks in between, like low fat yogurt, a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts.
5. Balance your plate - To ensure that you are getting a good mix of nutrients, make sure that you are eating foods from the four main food groups in every meal. One third should be fruit and veg, one third starchy fibre foods (such as wholegrain cereals, brown rice or whole-wheat pasta), one-sixth protein rich foods (lean meat, fish, poultry, pulses, nuts and seeds, eggs) and the remaining sixth reduced fat dairy products.
What do you think?