Christmas and Weight Gain: Why Do We Do It All Wrong?

07/12/2011 06:51 GMT | Updated 05/02/2012 10:12 GMT

So what do you do if you want to lose weight but Christmas is approaching quickly? The most common response is to think to yourself "I'll think about losing weight after Christmas. I'll enjoy myself now and start afresh in the new year"

It's a common strategy but that doesn't make it right. It might seem quite reasonable to delay starting a weight loss programme until after the indulgence of Christmas but what does this really achieve?

Do you think that once you are slim, you will never be able to celebrate Christmas again? Do they think that all the slim people out there are miserable over Christmas?

What this signifies to me, is a separation between enjoyment and looking after your weight. You don't think that managing your weight and enjoying Christmas can happen at the same time. It's either/or.

This separation can be linked to one thing:


The dieting mentality has poisoned our society. Even people who don't think they are affected by it, act in ways that betray the fact they think that managing your weight means denying enjoyment.

The diet mentality assumes that once you start a diet, you can't enjoy life. That a diet is a strict set of rules for what you can or can't eat, and to stray off these is failure.

So if you do go on a diet and are one of the lucky ones to succeed on it, then what?

Do you stay on it forever? Do you stop it and then return to normal life?

If you stay on it forever, you are doomed to never eat freely again. If you return to your normal life, you will start gaining weight again.

The diet as a solution to weight problems is flawed because it is short-term focussed. Eating and being slim are lifelong activities! You can't solve lifelong problems with a short-term fix.

The fact is, if you are going to be a slim, healthy person, you need to know how to enjoy Christmas and still manage your weight. It is possible. And it's important you learn how. Because a normal life doesn't just consist of festive holidays but also trips away, dinners out and other temptations. If you are someone who thinks "the diet starts tomorrow", you are going to be forever at the mercy of events instead of in control of your health.

Don't wait till after Christmas to manage your weight. Don't deal in either/or. Do both.