Unless you are a saint with more will power than the average person, a Slimming World Christmas can be a huge challenge.
You have been sticking to your food optimising plan, going to meetings and watching the pounds drop off. But now you are faced with the prospect of boozy nights out, the work Christmas buffet, boxes of chocolates and mince pies wherever you turn, not to mention Christmas dinner itself.
You don’t want to feel as if you are missing out or to draw attention to yourself. But you don’t need to. With a bit of forward planning, it is possible to enjoy the festive season without worrying too much about the New Year weigh in. You can survive a Slimming World Christmas!
It may be that you decide to knock Slimming World on the head altogether over Christmas, but if you want to keep broadly on track I hope these ideas will help.
How to survive a Slimming World Christmas
The office buffet
Where I used to work we would all take in a dish and have a huge shared buffet at Christmas. There would be so much food it would keep us going for days.
All very sociable and lovely, but it wasn’t easy to stick to a Slimming World food plan when faced with so much temptation.
If you have a similar situation at work or are invited to a party, there are a lot of dishes that you can contribute that are low syn. You can also plan ahead and save your healthy A and B options for the buffet.
Take along a filling potato or pasta salad, some vegetable crudites or some low fat dips. Allow yourself a piece of brown crusty bread or some whole wheat crackers with a small portion of something from the cheese board to fill you up. You can have 30 grams of cheddar or 35 grams of Danish blue plus 2 Ryvita crispbreads, for example, making your healthy extra A and B choices part of the celebrations.
Hopefully someone will contribute some ham or chicken too (make sure you take off the skin of the chicken though).
If you know you won’t be able to resist something sweet, aim for something meringue or fruit based if you can. You could even take in your own sweet treat like a fruit trifle or low fat chocolate mousse so that you know the syn value but don’t feel as if you are missing out.
It is hard to avoid alcohol at Christmas unless you are teetotal. People are forever offering glasses of Prosecco or mulled wine!
I don’t find it difficult to say no to mulled wine as I really don’t like it. However, Prosecco is another story…. I know that a small glass (125 ml) is 5 syns. However, your hosts probably won’t give you 125ml! When I am counting my syns I tend to swap the Prosecco for a gin and slimline tonic, with lots of ice in a long glass. This is only three syns for 25ml, and if you top up with a sugar free mixer you can make it last.
Spirits are generally better options in terms of syn value than wine or beer. I often choose to keep a clear head and stick to sugar free bitter lemon after a glass or two of the hard stuff.
The Christmas dinner
You can have a pretty good, low syn Christmas dinner if you are cooking it yourself. Turkey is a low fat meat if you avoid the skin, of course. Whatever meat you choose, trim off all the fat.
You can also make your own pigs in blankets with some Slimming World sausages from Iceland wrapped in bacon (with all the fat removed, of course) – a syn free Slimming World Christmas necessity.
Roast your potatoes and veg separately with a couple of sprays of Frylight. I like to parboil the potatoes in stock for 5 minutes before giving them a shake to roughen up the edges a bit. They go nice and crispy like this.
You can roast a selection of vegetables together for Christmas dinner as well. Parsnips, carrots, red onions, garlic, sweet potato and fresh rosemary, mixed together well with more Frylight are delicious.
You can have a one syn Yorkshire pudding too with this recipe from Slimming Eats. No one will notice the difference!
Top it off with some syn free gravy, again from Slimming Eats. And don’t forget the sprouts!
Vegetarian Christmas dinner
If you are vegetarian, how about this low syn Slimming World Christmas veggie roast? The link takes you to You Tube so you can see how easy it is to make.
I also like the look of the Slimming World Quorn moussaka, which is completely syn free.
Maybe you don’t want the hard slog of cooking and prefer to buy something ready prepared? The Linda McCartney rosemary and onion sausages are syn free. The vegetarian beef, mushroom and spinach wellington bites sound nice, and are 2.5 syns per bite.
Puddings and sweets
Personally (and in all honesty) I won’t be saying no to the Christmas pudding or the odd mince pie with some custard. But there are some lighter choices when it comes to sweet things, such as:
OPPO salted caramel ice cream – 4 syns per 100ml.
Waitrose Christmas iced cake fruit bites – 3 syns each.
Sainsburys Iced Rich Fruit Cake Bites 9 pack – 3 syns each.
Slimming World strawberry santas (so cute!) – 1/2 syn each
Slimming World mince tarts – 2.5 syns each
Slimming World chocolate log – this looks awesome! – 3.5 syns per slice.
Don’t beat yourself up
Don’t beat yourself up if you fall off the wagon and don’t quite manage a Slimming World Christmas. You won’t be on your own at your next meeting! However, if you can cut the calories just a bit here and there you will find it makes a big difference.
By planning meals and having healthier alternatives to hand wherever possible, you might find it’s easier than you think.