before checkout.. 
It’s beginning to look a lot like a nuclear calorie bomb Christmas. 
Supermarket isles have turned into a temptatous gaggle of shrill cocks during the big winter festive sales push. Teams of highly paid psychiatrist and marketing experts have colluded to uproariously splurge your anticipation of joy, fulfilment, satisfaction, and all that is good in the World. Just buy this, and your life will be better, your problems all solved. 
Jumping out to be purchased is the M & S Clementine and Spiced Sugar Plum Snow Globe Gin Liquor (wanker speak for an overpriced bottle of sweet orange gin that has fancy pictures on, please buy me one), think of the amazing Christmas you’ll have as you delight your families and friends with this tasty beverage. 
Or how about tucking into a Waitrose free-range Goose with quince, chestnut, and bacon, wouldn’t that make Christmas day just a bit more special as you masturbate on your middle-class privilege with every forkful. 
For pudding you could have the Morrison’s Best Billionaire’s Chocolate cake, served with cream to go with all the other chocolate, biscuit layers and cream within the cake. 
I must admit, I bloody love it. 
I am as guilty as my dog sat panting next to a recently sexually abused Christmas elf toy when it comes to over buying stuff at this time of year, my fridge, cupboards and freezer become packed with impulse purchases of pies, cakes, biscuits, snacks of every savoury and sweet variety alongside a huge selection of cheeses, crackers and jams. 
I’ve lost about 8kg in the last few months, and so far, I’ve managed to keep it off, this Christmas is going to be a challenge. So, let’s start with some perspective. 
Ideal vs Real World 
For a long time I’ve held the belief that everybody should be able to enjoy a little indulgence without guilt from time to time, the ideal as I saw it, was that a person would eat well most of the year, but on certain occasions such as holidays, birthdays etc, they would be able to just enjoy chocolate, have a take away and relax with friends without worrying about the calorie content of the snacks being served or the grams of fat in a Christmas meal. Weight might go up a little, sure, but most likely it would go again soon as normal routine returned. 
Whilst I’d still maintain this ideal for most people, I know that there are some who have worked hard to lose weight, they’ve tried and failed time and time again and only though perseverance, discipline and dedication have they managed to succeed and maintain their results. 
For these people, indulgences can lead to unhealthy eating behaviours, binge eating, force feeding calories in a state of extreme emotional turmoil and withdrawal from friends and society in general. 
It would be elitist of me to suggest that those who are working hard to keep to a healthy weight, should just relax and enjoy themselves, what works for one person doesn’t work for everybody, so this season my advice is first and foremost to just do you. 
Whatever works best, I hope you have an amazing Christmas. The rest of my advice is for those who want to cover their naked bodies from head to toe in Yule chocolate log and roll around in icing sugar whilst their partners catapult sugar plum gin-soaked marshmallows into their mouth as Bing Cosby sings White Christmas. 
The “Eat this First” Strategy 
What if I said that you could eat whatever you wanted and avoid putting on extra pounds, and not only that, but with this approach you might even lose a few lbs? 
Complete bullshit? Well yes, probably, weight loss will ultimately involve being hungry at some point as your calorie deficit tricks your body into thinking that the harvest was bad this year and to preserve yourself you might consider cannibalism. 
To some extent, you can avoid weight gain, and potentially even lose a few lbs with the eat this first approach. 
It’s very simple, make a list of healthy, bland foods, stuff you should probably eat every day but don’t. Below is an example… 
1 Full broccoli 
3 carrots 
½ bag of Kale 
½ tin lima beans 
90g wholegrain rice 
Tinned tomatoes 
2 Peppers 
1 Apple 
3 Rice crackers 
Now so long as you eat the above each day, you are welcome to eat whatever you want. 
Get how that works? 
Imagine eating a full broccoli and a carrot plus a portion of whole grain rice before tucking into whatever indulgence you plan on devouring. 
These bland, mostly low-calorie yet high in nutrient foods are quite likely to stop you from overeating, just by their sheer taste, it’s hard to overeat a kale, carrots and bean stew, there are very few obese people in England who put weight on with unprocessed foods. The diabetes wards are not overcrowded with people who just couldn’t stop eating broccoli. 
In addition to the above list, you could add a chicken or Quorn breast, or a large piece of fish or tofu or whatever you count towards a high protein food. 
This method will work for most people, except for those who like to take rules and push things to an extreme, so some people could eat a whole bag of kale, two tins of kidney beans, five carrots, a large chicken breast and ton of veg, and yet still find room for a massive cheese loaded pizza and huge slabs of chocolate. 
So, within reason, you can eat what you want with the “eat this first” (trademark Rich Mckeating) principle, so long as you don’t force feed yourself way past the point of feeling full just because you want to eat a full pack of every flavour of pringles. 
Drink this…
As well as eating to help reduce calorie content we can use hydration to slow down our fast fork hands, research shows that when people drink a large glass of water before a meal, they feel fuller afterwards and consequently reduce their calorie intake. 
Another trick I like to use is a making a protein shake in my warp speed nutri-bullet, which after a full minute turns my 600 mls of water and a couple of scoops of protein into three times that amount of bubbly fluid. The excessive bubbles help to fill me up more and reduce my desire for the chocolate coated cinder toffee organic yak’s testicles I bought as an impulse purchase at the checkout in Waitrose (I’ve changed). 
Drink considerations might also apply to alcohol, drinks vary in terms of calorific value but the ultimate point to make here before I continue is this… 
The less alcohol the better, both in terms of how much you drink in one day and how often you drink in a week. 
Now that’s out the way, the following suggestions can help reduce the calorific load of alcohol and slow down your drinking. 
Try mixing with diet lemonade or coke to reduce calories, you might also want to try sticking to singles rather than doubles and having a glass of water or diet soft drink after each drink or every two drinks. 
I try to stick to beer when I drink, because I like it, but also because it helps me to drink less, it’s gassy and because I drink quickly it helps me to get a little bloated and have to wait longer between sips. 
You might consider drinking diet lemonade with some of your beers to help slow you down, A nice shandy can help reduce both alcohol and calorie content. You can also make every second or third drink a water or alcohol free beer. 
Or how about starting a bit later or finishing a bit earlier. This is easily said than done, it takes a lot of self-awareness. Try to gage just how intoxicated you are, tipsy? Are you slurring your words? Repeating yourself? Repeating yourself? 
At a certain point in the evening, I like to have a cup of herbal tea, but that’s just because I’m so metal. These are just suggestions, like I said at the beginning of the article, just do you. 
If you’d like some more info I suggest you checkout drink aware 
The “Control days” principle 
Not every day has to be about calorie control, perhaps some days you want to party, meet up with friends and family whilst you can and before the government calls in the Army to shoot anybody who doesn’t have their weekly vaccine. 
So, you meet up, have fun, eat cheese, and drink wine, take part in a works quiz, create memories, feel good and do something positive for your health, but in the process maybe you snorted several lines of pig lard ice cream and now your tummy is bloated. 
Next day you have nothing on, so this is a good time to help make up the difference in calories, there are several ways to do this, you could skip breakfast or lunch, have a protein shake as an alternative, choose a large salad for meals, avoid any snacks, or maybe just make a conscious attempt to eat a bit less than normal, you could even track some of your food on myfitnesspal to help give you some perspective. 
Thinking of this another way, if you really do enjoy the peasure of food, then why not enhance that pleasure by having it less frequently and have more bland and healthier options in the build up to the next lard fest. 
Time off from work could be your best opportunity to move, every year when I go on holiday, I tend to absorb calories by diffusion and osmosis as I pass along the beachfront promenade and fish and chips, fudge, chocolate ice cream and sugary doughnuts are yanked into the vortex that is my digestive system. 
Yet often I come back from holiday a little lighter, given my high calorie intake this can only be because of the increased activity I do. 
My job is quite active, as a Personal Trainer in a little boutique studio in Hull I have to spend a lot of time sat down updating Facebook and insta with my biceps poses whilst clients whimper in the background under a barbell, plus I run a lot, some weeks I average seventy miles of running, yet my daily step count on holiday is usually higher, because I love going round from shop to shop looking at novelty stuff I think will be great in my house but will actually end up in a charity shop in a few months. 
The forecast is mostly good over the next few weeks, and this could be a great time to get out for walks, either by yourself or with friends or families, I recommend the app Alltrails to help you find a local route that you may perhaps have never tried before. 
God bless everyone 
I hope you have an amazing Christmas, even if you’re not religious, the winter solstice has long been a time to celebrate life and enjoy yourself, if covid has taught us anything it’s that we should value every moment we have, appreciate, and devour any opportunity we get to spend with friends, families and even strangers, and perhaps most of all, focus on the important things in life. 
Also that parties in lockdown are OK from some people, any critique of covid rules warrants being outcast from society and that we should argue over any small differences we can find and magnify them and move further and further apart until we are no longer a society at all, and Jeff Bezos and his tech friends can control all of us in a small life supporting pod that plugs us into the Matrix. 
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