Everyone puts on weight during the Christmas period


A promise is a promise, here are some pieces of advice gleaned during my last session with doctor Zermati, three days away from Christmas and all kind of looming banquets.

Wait, I say “advice” but don’t expect readymade solutions or magic tricks to “celebrate without putting on weight” or even “lose three kilos before festive season”. You have understood, that’s not how I do things, even less doctor Z.

Nevertheless on Monday, when we were reviewing – after one month without any appointment, thanks to imponderables that made me cancel twice – my food way of life[1], I confided to Mr. Z. my apprehension of the year end, synonymous of gorging.

— How will I manage to stop when I’m not hungry anymore? At home, usually, it’s fine, I more or less manage, I leave the table when I feel I’ve had my fill and no one asks me questions. But in a more festive context, it seems impossible to me.

— Actually, it is impossible. No one respects his or her hunger during this kind of occasion. You, not more than anybody else, rest assured. You must be realistic, most of the time, during Christmas Eve, you are full at the end of the aperitif. No one is still hungry when the turkey comes, after eating foie gras, salmon and oysters. However, no one usually leaves the table before the end. And you don’t want to do this, you’ll end up not being invited anywhere!

— Yes but then it means I’ll put on weight?

— Absolutely. Like the majority of invitees. Everyone put on one or two kilo during this period.

— Except that I usually put on twice as much and, guess what, I have a tendency to make them bear fruit. If Stock Exchange were as sure as my year end weight gain, Lehmann Brothers would still be with us.

— Not this year you’ll see.

— Barring a jump in the space-time and skipping the next week, I don’t see how.

— How? Simply by trusting re-gu-la-tion. Namely the days after Christmas Eve, you’ll listen to your hunger and without even realising it you’ll eat less, to compensate the overflow. But pay attention, it won’t happen over one day like for babies who can skip dinner if their snack was too copious. The older you grow, the more time is needed for regulation. As a result, don’t weight yourself the day after Christmas, unless you’re masochist. Wait for one week and you’ll see, everything will be fine.

— So I eat what I want, I don’t feel guilty and I won’t even put on weight?

— Basically … yes.

— But still, don’t you have one or two tricks which could help me limit the damage, like a spoon of oil before the meal or an apple around 17h to get there without being hungry and thus avoid grabbing everything in front of me?

— Actually, it’s typically the kind of things you don’t want to do. When you’re about to eat your favorite dishes, it’s absurd to get there without being hungry, since, may I remind you, you don’t put on weight when you are hungry. So avoid having a snack just before.  Then, it could be useful to have an idea of the menu, so that you don’t gorge on foie gras when it’s actually just pre-dinner. The best is to make your hunger last as long as possible, it’s the principle of the sentence: “I’m keeping space for dessert”.

— So basically your two recommendations are: 1) Be hungry, 2) get insight on the menu in order to make your hunger last?

— You’re forgetting 3)

— Which is?

— Take pleasure and eat without guilt. Because you know what is gained today will be lost afterwards.

— Amen.

Well, Ok, this dialogue is slightly revised, but these three pieces of advice are authentic. And it’s buoyed by my loss of 8 kilos in three months and an half of zermating that I assure you one thing, it seems to be the good words. I add a 4) pay even more attention to taste during this festive season. Take time to enjoy the first bites, focus on flavors, try to compare two different smoked salmons, two foie gras or two oysters. Grasp the meal as a gustatory experience and not as orgy making you feel guilty.

Personally, I find the program rather…mouth watering.

Isn’t it?

With this, I wish you an amazing and tasteful festive season…

Edit: This session has been rich on several accounts, I will tell you in a future article, it’s now time for holidays…

Edit2: Yesterday we were talking about “Christmas” movies, “La Bûche[2]” is part of my classical list, not a master piece, but for sure a Christmas movie…

[1] TN: in English in the original text.

[2] TN: French movie from 1999 directed by Danièle Thompson. The ‘bûche’ is a traditional dessert in France during festive season.

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