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Who wants to take part in the Christmas Challenge? I have (been!) volunteered to run this, and want to get it set up before I leave on holiday on 25/10. You can of course join the challenge at any time, and I will be able to check in while away and see how everyone is going, but it will help me if I am organized beforehand.

The challenge will start on Monday 30 October, and run for 8 weeks right up til Christmas Day - though you can chose an earlier end date if that is better for you.

As well as your goal for the challenge (which will probably be weight related), please tell us what (weight) management strategies you plan to use to achieve that goal.

I will award stars based on how well you adhere to your strategies each week:
:star: :star: 2 stars if you follow the strategies all or almost all the time
:star: 1 star if you didn't quite follow them all the time, but are still happy with what you did (you tell me if this is the case).

You can of course change your strategies at any time.

As an example:
My goal is to lose some inches from my tummy and hips.

My strategies are:
- basic 5:2 whenever possible (I probably won't fast when on holiday, but hope to have a few light days if we are not too active that day)
- only eating after dinner if I am genuinely hungry
- minimizing the fatty sugary foods
- not eating the fatty sugary foods while doing other activities (eg reading or watching TV) - i.e. eat mindfully
- continuing my exercise regime

Any queries about the challenge?

Who wants to sign up? :reindeer: :present:

21 Oct 2017, 09:34
Thanks for running the challenge @Sassy1! I wouldn't say I volunteered you, I merely suggested that if you wanted there to be a Christmas challenge that you consider running it! I'm glad you did!

I'm definitely in but am trying to decide my specifics. I'm thinking of taking a week off after the Halloween challenge, but I don't know exactly what that would mean. Also, I have to see what my final weight is for that challenge, before I set a new goal. Since my weight loss is going soooooo slowly, my goal will probably be just to lose 3 more lbs. I'll definitely be stopping the week before Christmas, I think!

21 Oct 2017, 09:40
Count me in Sassy! My current weight is 65.5 kg. I am currently in a weight loss programme, couple of more weeks left. Not sure what to do after that, exactly, See what happens. My goal is to get rid of my excess fat and excess weight before Christmas. :wink: I have also quit eating sweet and fatty things. I try to exercise regularly, Walking about 5 km every single day and also doing some other indoor exercises 3-4 times a week. The idea is to enjoy Christmas, and if I can lose some of the excess weight now I can do that with a better conscience :grin: .

21 Oct 2017, 20:51
That's three of us - a start anyway! Hopefully some others will join us over the course of the next week.

@Cblasz, I totally support you taking a week off after the current challenge, I have been wanting to suggest you take a break from"diet" strategies and just concentrating on eating nutritiously according to hunger most of the time (you knew I would suggest that, didn't you?!). Easier said than done, I know. And you don't need to set a specific weight goal for the challenge, I think it is more important to work out what weight management strategies you want to follow and concentrate on finding what will work (is sustainable) for you - then hopefully you will get a pleasant surprise with the weight reading. Why not consider only weighing yourself at the start and the finish of the challenge? NB I was being a bit tongue-in-cheek re my reference to "being" volunteered... I was meaning to indicate that I was encouraged to take on the role but am happy to do so.

@Margotsylvia, being able to enjoy Christmas sounds like a good goal. Your weight does appear to be going down again at last. You must be relieved. Let us know your other specific eating strategies for the challenge when you have sorted them. Just checking - do you want to commit to not eating any sweet and fatty foods at all for the challenge period (I assume you are not including fruit or good fats in that?) and walking 5km every day (do you want to make it weather dependent or do you have a treadmill??).

Now, who else will join us? :?:

22 Oct 2017, 10:17
@Sassy1 if I could "eat nutriously according to hunger" I wouldn't need to be here.

22 Oct 2017, 21:11
Dear @cblasz, you make a very good point. My apologies for sounding trite - or worse.

So what is stopping us eating nutritiously according to hunger?? Why is it so difficult to do this? I assume most of us have given this some thought. I guess we look to diets (including different ways of eating) to help with our overeating, but unless that diet addresses the reason(s) we overeat, it is unlikely to have long term success.

I notice from your tracker that a couple of years ago you had a really great run of weight loss. What was happening then, and what has changed since?

Once again, my apologies. :oops:
A couple of year ago I was on what I called the "Death in the family" diet. Very effective, but I don't recommend it.

23 Oct 2017, 10:52
Count me in!

My weight loss has been slowing down, which means I really need to make sure I don't fall into the "screw it" mentality. Honestly, I think I need to embrace an entirely new thought mode to get me through the holidays: I won't have a weight loss goal this challenge :shock:

Instead I will focus on making healthier practices a daily habit, no excuses.

I really like how you've set up the parameters of the challenge, with stars and everything, because this directly feeds into what I need for the next two months.

Continuing Goals:
1. Eating TDEE on non-fast days.
2. Eating 25% TDEE on fast days (but, allowed up to 600 calories if I consume 25g of fiber for the day -- see goal #5)
3. Fast 3 times per week.

New Goals:
4. Exercise daily: kettlebell swings x100, jump rope singles x100, and kettlebell Turkish get ups x10 (I have a hard time making a habit of something if it's not every day and these are all exercises I have enjoyed in the past, that won't take long, I can do at home, and happen to work the whole body)
5. Eat 25g of fiber on my Non-Fasting days (I generally get between 12 and 18) -- this will sway me towards healthier choices without entirely removing the treats I consume that make this WOE sustainable. It just makes sure I don't overdo it, lol

See you guys in a week!

24 Oct 2017, 02:39
Great to have you with us, @fancyfinch.

Your weight loss has been amazing on 5:2 / 4:3 - I can't recall many (if any) who have lost so much so quickly. So it is probably not unexpected if some weeks you don't lose as much. Your motivation still sounds really high, though, and your strategies seem achievable. I assume you have calculated your TDEE on your new weight - or, even better, on a weight you are aiming for. I also assume you do allow yourself some flexibility with the amount you eat on non-fast days if you are feeling particularly hungry. Upping the fibre should help reduce hunger. Hopefully!
Christmas Challenge 2017
24 Oct 2017, 03:15
Hi Sassy,
Thanks for running the challenge.
Sorry for late reply - I only joined this website today.

I aim to lose 5.1 kgs by Christmas Day.
Method: Stick to 5:2 and exercise every day. Eat sensibly on feed days.

Current weight: 94.1 kgs
Target weight: 89.0 kgs

Hope this is enough info and my format is OK, considering my newness.... :grin:

Enjoy your holiday!

24 Oct 2017, 03:44
Not late at all @loz17, and very pleased you are joining us.

All fine re your format - very clear. Just curious, what exercise do you like to do? There is a discussion thread about what exercise we are doing, though it has probably been a few weeks since someone last posted there. I walk the dogs for 50mins every day, and most days manage to do something else - cycle ride, hill climb walk, over 50s exercise class. I am retired, which makes this possible!

Do you mind me asking where you live - I wondered if somewhere in Australia given you are online while I am?

24 Oct 2017, 05:22
Hi again Sassy1.

Thanks for your message. I live in Melbourne, Australia (I think you do too?) and am also retired.
I used to be a gym junkie and have a (mature-aged) degree in Phys Ed training, before which I led treks in the Himalayas. After that I became a builder. Not meaning to give you my life story, but getting my history out there before I, ashamedly, tell you that I’ve done a lot of damage to my body with my decades of hard exercise, so now my exercise scope is limited. :bugeyes: I do aquatherapy at the pool, Pilates, light weights and walking only these days. So, not a very interesting batch of exercises to put on an exercise forum. But thanks for your thoughtful suggestion.
Cheers.... :smile:

24 Oct 2017, 10:53
@sassy1, yes, my calorie tracking app recalculates my TDEE daily based on my current weight (I compared it to the results of other TDEE calculators, and it's comparable). When I first started fasting, my TDEE was 1820, and now it's about 1715. I was thinking of just making it a straight 1700 to drop the calories a smidge.

As for fiber, I did a test run of eating 25g yesterday, and I couldn't finish all my food, I got so full! So, I definitely think my focus on fiber will help tremendously! Also tested a round of exercise on Sunday and I am soooooo sore, lol. I definitely have not exercised in a while!

Oh, and I got back my blood results, and everything is good! I usually have a few not good, so this is fantastic! My cholesterol and triglycerides have come way down out of danger and into the safe zone, and my blood glucose remains in the normal range. Yay! :grin:

24 Oct 2017, 18:49

I want to join please! I aim to lose 7 kg by Christmas Day.

Current weight: 79 kg
Target weight: 72 kg

My strategies will be: fasting 5:2 /TDEE on non-fasting days, 500 cals on fasting days, drinking less soda and more water, walking 6000 steps daily.


25 Oct 2017, 09:44
Reporting: weight now 64.6 kg :smile: I did a longer fast from Monday 16:00 to Tuesday 16:00. It was very hard. At the moment I am sort of doing a partial fast every day 16:18. Also avoiding any sweets and most carbs. Doing OK as it goes. :smile:
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