Ah, there’s nothing like Christmas! The freezing weather numbing our hands and feet,
The beautiful lights.
That cozy feeling of putting the feet up beside the tree.
The warm toasty feeling of hot chocolate in your hands.
There is a dark side to Christmas however. Forget elf on the shelf moving every night. We need to be thinking about the calorie monster.
The calorie monster who comes into our wardrobe every night during December.
Who tightens our clothes ever so slightly every night.
Until all of a sudden Jeans that once fit. are 3 sizes too small.
With all the cadburys heroes, the mince pies, the pringles, the cheese and the wine. We already face an uphill battle to maintain some sort of health during the Christmas period.
Before all of that however, there could be something less known making you fat.
It all starts with the beloved trek to try find a parking spot in the shopping centre.
A Day of Shopping.
“Oh is that a space?
“Oh what about there?”
“Look at that dick taking up two spaces!!.“
“Oh there’s one there let’s grab that”.
“It’s a bit far to walk!”
At last, some sweet old lady driving her little Nissan Micra.
She pulls out of her spot at the pace of a turtle in quicksand. UGH Finally,
On to the shops.
The Clothes Shop
Into the superdry store. The lights darker than a nightclub. You are not sure whether you should ask for shirt sizes or order a gin and tonic.
There’s a million and one different types of the same t shirt. You could go with Antique Raglan Crew Sweatshirt,
or perhaps the Northern Lights fashion Crew,
or you see the Applique Funnel Hoodie in 25 different colours. “Baby Blue” “Ice Blue” “”Blue de France” Byzantine Blue”,
or maybe the “Essential” Rib Grandad Hoodie.
What about the track and field Football bodysuit?. It’s on sale for €40!
The New York City crew jumper looks like it will fit well.
The Blue de France is the current choice. But with so many to choose from, the best idea is to have a think about it and decide when you come back.
The essential food after shopping
With much deliberation and fifty shops later.
All of this shopping has the belly rumbling like a washing machine.
Time for food
There’s a healthy salad bar beside a fancy italian restaurant.
Italian it is!!
Starved within an inch of life. The menu is read. There’s fabulous dishes that need a dictionary to be understood.
“Gnocchi di Patate Al Pesto” “Genovese Con Cappasente”. “Insalanta Caprese Moscardini Alla Diovola”.
Exhausted and starving, Scanning the menu up and down.
Up and down.
Searching for inspiration.
The tried and true “Ali di Polo” chosen for starters.
Not satisfied with just the Italian chicken wings,
It’s time to show off some culture for the main dish.
A dish called “Spaghetti di Bolognese!”.
All washed down with some Viano Bianco.
A grand total of 2500 calories in the dinner alone.
What seems like a normal day shopping resulted in the destruction of diet. Over 2500 calories eaten. And we haven’t even got home yet to food banquet at home.
Here we have mince pies, cadburys heroes, crisps, cheese, wine, beers and other assortment of drinks that are not usually available within your home.
All of these deliciously fattening foods come suddenly into hands reach.
Suddenly, our Spaghetti di Bolognese becomes the least of our diet concerns.
The Paradox of Choice
Unfortunately shopping presents us with an issue known as the paradox of choice.
Choosing what to do. Making decisions, no matter how big small, significant or insignificant.
Choosing,takes up our willpower!
Whether its deciding between the raglan hoodie or dress. Or if it’s making the choice between Gnocchi di Patate Al Pesto or Spaghetti Di Bolognese.
All this choosing fatigues us. When it comes to healthy eating, Tired and Hungry are a bad combination. I would say more bad decisions are made in this state than after five gin and tonics from the superdry store.
When tired you will always choose the easiest option- which usually has a tonne of Calories!
Christmas shopping is not going away anytime soon. It can be very enjoyable, even therapeutic for some people. For others it can be nothing but stress.
Here are five ways to prevent Christmas shopping from adding inches to your waist.
5 ways to prevent Christmas shopping from making you fat
1) Eat a Healthy Filling Breakfast
Carbs and willpower go hand in hand. Rather than going for the fry or a mcmuffin as soon as you feel peckish. Avoid the crappy breakfast temptation altogether. Have a filling Breakfast before you go out.
2)Know exactly what you will eat in the restaurants
Don’t dare try to wing it and just say you will get food after the shopping. After the 50 shops you visit, I am telling you you will want whatever is the saltiest, greasiest food you can get your hands on.
In the morning, sit down for two minutes and decide what you will eat after your day of shopping. Make it easy- do it after your healthy breakfast.
3)Drink plenty of water before any food
Sounds silly but trust me you won’t eat as much food.
Whatever your doing for your food on shopping days, be specific.
Be as clear as possible for each meal of the day.
For example tell yourself “For lunch I will have a salad bowl from Dunnes”.
For Dinner “I will have a chicken burger without the bun and drink as much water as possible before the meal”.
When the fatigue sets in and you’re starting to wonder what to eat. The first thing that will come to mind are these healthier options you planned.
The Wrap Up
These tips have ONE thing in common: PLANNING!
Christmas is a great time of the year. Looking at the thousands of novelty items in Ikeas Christmas section, the 100 different types of shoes in Penneys.
Making choices will kill your willpower, at a time when you need it the most
It doesn't matter who you are. If you are exhausted, the last thing you will want is a nice healthy salad.
No, You will want that Big whopper
and a dessert to go along with the burger.
Take the thinking out of the food with these five tips.