I had to write this post because I was struggling so much yesterday myself. As a member that is. I spoke about it on my Snapchat and as I predicted I was not alone on this one. Staying on plan during a Snow Day is really testing. Staying on plan during a succession of Snow Days is even more difficult.
I suppose there are two days of approaching it. Some people have taken the approach of giving themselves a “few days off”. They’re eating what they want because it’s a once off, the kids are off and they are “making memories”. I get that. Really I do. I take the same approach for holidays and I don’t think I’ll ever be the kind of person who stays on plan when I am away. I work hard before I go, enjoy what I fancy and get straight back on plan after and start dealing with the inevitable gain. In this case it’s worth it to me. Holidays don’t come around every week and overall these gains don’t massively impact my weight over the course of a few months or a year. It’s worth it and I am comfortable with it.
If you are happy to take this approach for “Snow Week” (because it’s more like a week at this stage isn’t it?) then by all means do that but I wouldn’t do it without having a good think about it. Firstly, are you definitely OK with seeing a gain on the scales next week? We all know that getting to your weigh in every single week is paramount. It’s not just somewhere you go when you feel like you’re down. It’s a given. If it isn’t a given and you haven’t committed to it in this way yet then there is no time like the present to make that change. Once it becomes important to you in the sense that it happens every single week regardless of the week you’ve had – well that’s when the magic happens.
So, ask yourself are you OK with a gain and then have a think about the kind of gain you might be looking at? Would you be OK with half a pound or a pound but be devastated by three pounds or more? If that is the case then you’ll have to put a bit more care and thought in to the next few days rather than taking the “anything I want, whenever I want it” approach which could easily see you having 100 syns in a day (easily). If you will be fine with a small gain then why not meet yourself half way and have a few extra syns a day? You’ll still feel like you’re having a few extras treats but it won’t break the bank. Having an extra 10 syns a day for 2-3 days and then reducing your syns for the other days might make a difference. It’s such a personal decision but that could work? If it prevents you from having 500 extra syns then it probably make sense.
If you know that seeing a gain on the scales this week will really negatively affect you then I would strongly advise you to make a plan that will still result in a weightloss. It might mean giving your healthy extras some more thought or really mapping out your syns so that they are available to you and enjoyed at the times where you need them most. For example, I sat down yesterday morning with my cup of coffee (frothed milk from the Nespresso Aerochinno and Jordan’s Skinny Syrup made it better than a syn-ful coffee shop version) and a big bowl of speedy fruit covered in Muller Light yoghurt. I planned to have a hifi bar with it as I often do. For people who don’t follow Slimming World a HiFi Bar is a sweet bar available at group. They come in a variety of flavours such as Salted Caramel, Mint Chocolate, Fruit & Nut (my favourite) and Carrot Cake. The bars are high in fibre but low in calories and I find them a god-send. Because they’re high in Fibre many people use them instead of bread, oats or cereal. I do this about five days a week. I just find that having a bar with my breakfast and then one in the evening with a cup of tea really satisfies me and it means I don’t have to use my syns (the part of the plan that allows for treats or the little something nice that you fancy daily). So I went to eat the bar on auto-pilot and then I stopped myself. I didn’t really feel I needed it hunger-wise. The fruit and yoghurt had done the job and I was planning an early lunch. Instead I decided that given the fact that it was a Snow Day I might prefer to have the option of a bar in the afternoon when I have a sweet craving and fancy a treat. So I kept it and the truth is I really did enjoy it so much more in the afternoon.
I am one of those people this week. I don’t want to see a gain and I DO want to see a loss because I really want to get my target. At my last weigh in I was six pounds away from it and I’ve been working really hard both last week and this week to try and make a big dent in it once and for all. This week a gain would not be worth it to me. Other weeks it might be. So I’ve had to really think about it. I want to make the gorgeous memories with my little family. We might not see snow for years and years to come. It’s a special time. But realistically I can make those memories and still stay on plan IF I want to. That is the important part. IF I WANT TO. You have to want it. You have to accept that you can’t have it all. I really wish we could but we can’t. Something has to give if we want to continuously see weight losses. This week I’m feeling extreme cabin fever and I’m sulking because a weekend away which we were looking forward to is most likely impossible now with the snow. It’s major comfort-eating territory and I truly am finding it testing. I want to stay in my PJs and eat bowls of nachos with dip. I want three lattes instead of one. I want several large bars of chocolates and I want dinner to be a take-away. I want I want I want. I also want a weight loss.
So what have I done? Well I’ve made a plan. I NEED to have nice meals to look forward to. I need to be excited about my food and not feel like I’m being punished or deprived. So I’ve sat down and really thought about my meals. I want comfort food and I’m figuring out the ways to make it happen but still be on plan. For example we had a tub of quark and a packet of hot smoked salmon in the fridge. We also had eggs and some parmesan cheese. I threw it all together with garlic, eggs and green beans and we had a beautiful creamy pasta dish for dinner last night. It felt so bold but was completely on plan.
I’ve also kept my healthy extras and syns for when I really want them. Today I’m making pancakes for a late breakfast. I’m using 20g oats as half my healthy extra B and using up the rest of the tub of quark, eggs and some vanilla essence. When blitzed this is a pancake batter. I’ll get 3-4 mini pancakes which I will devour with fruit and yoghurt. Only using half the oats (20g instead of 40g) means that I can look forward to my beloved Fruit & Nut HiFi bar tonight when little man goes to bed. That is the time of the day where I really really want a treat. I’ve been busy all day, I’ve cleaned up after dinner, I’ve had a shower and I’m in my PJs. I look forward to that cup of tea and treat all day. I can’t explain it!
In terms of meals I am focusing on free foods and really not losing sight of having one third speed on my plate. We are out of routine but if I lose sight of this then I’m not really food optimising am I? So I put the speed food on my plate first. Then I can build my meal around it. It meant that my portion of creamy pasta was considerably smaller than my husbands but bulked up with a salad and dredged in Balsamic Vinegar made for a delicious and filling meal which was much lower in calories. Remember that’s the maths behind Slimming World. We just don’t have to worry about doing the calculations. Food Optimising does that for us.
I made a big pot of Chunky Minestrone style soup so I have a handy ready-to-go comforting meal waiting for me. It’s got carrots, peppers, onion, garlic, bacon, tomatoes and tins of chopped tomatoes with herbs, spices, stock and pasta for added filling power. Having a warm comforting bowl of food ready and waiting makes a huge difference. It’s gotten me out of a few moment of temptation over the last few days. I serve mine with a generous amount of cracked black pepper and a drizzle of Sriracha hot sauce (only half a syn per tablespoon).
Syns wise I picked up some low syn crisps. Remember Bikers? I found a multi-pack in my local Centz store and each pack is just 60 calories each. 3 syns for a packet of crisps is just brilliant. Other low syn must-haves are the Kelkin 100 calorie per pack microwave popcorn (purple packet, 5 syns), low syn hot chocolate sachets such as Cadburys HiLights or Options (2 syn per sachet), low syn yoghurts and tonnes of fruit at your disposal. It’s better to be looking at these foods than for them, trust me.
If you’re getting a take away I’d recommend going for Chicken or Beef with blackbean sauce or something along those lines. Choosing boiled rice will make a huge difference as will opting for a diet coda rather than full-fat if it takes your fancy. A lot of places won’t have access to delivery drivers due to the red weather alert so this probably won’t be an issue. But the main thing is to have a plan for dinner. If you’re winging the day and taking it as it comes it really is a recipe for disaster.
If like me you love a cuppa then remember to weigh and measure your healthy extra A. I realistically want about six cups a day between tea and coffee but I just don’t have the milk for that and I would be codding myself if I said I did. What helps me is to mix it up and have a herbal tea on two of these occasions. They’re free and it still feels like a comforting hot drinks.
And finally, KEEP BUSY. This is my biggest trigger. Sitting around is the danger zone for me. I know we are going to be indoors for a couple of days so I’ve planned to do a few jobs around the house that I never have time for. I’m sorting through the little man’s toys, doing a stock take of my Slimming World bars and even cleaning out the fridge (and not with my mouth). ANYTHING that keeps me from boredom eating.
Nobody said it would be easy but we can absolutely enjoy the next few days with our loved ones and still stay on plan. In years to come when we look back on the photos we will remember the snow, the happy faces and the snuggles. We won’t remember the third bar of Dairy Milk or the handfuls of peanuts. Although I’ll definitely remember the clean fridge because that is not a regular occurrence around here.
Stay Safe & Enjoy The Snow,