‘Tis the season for overeating but can you create a healthier festive menu?
It was all going so well. You love eating healthily. Plenty of fruit, veggies, lean protein. It makes you feel amazing and you love spending time in the kitchen creating new healthy recipes. And then comes Christmas. With its days that seem dedicated to eating everything and anything you can get your hands on. I mean, a day that starts with a champagne breakfast, probably isn’t going to win any awards for being the most nutritious. But how do you avoid completely derailing on and around the big day? After all, slumping into a carb haze after eating 15 goose fat potatoes is never a good way to end a meal.
The sticky truth is, you probably are going to indulge over the festive period. And that’s ok. Heck, it’s a celebration after all. You should never deny yourself the things you love to eat, at any time of year. The trick is finding a way to do it in moderation, so you don’t feel completely overwhelmed and off-track by January.
I’ve brought together my tips on Christmas eating below.
Indulge in What You Really Want
When we eat mindlessly, perhaps when we are chatting away at a festive party. Or grazing at a huge family dinner. We can end up eating things simply because they are there. We don’t really want them. We don’t truly enjoy them. We are just shovelling food in because it seems like the thing to do. By bringing mindfulness into your eating habits, particularly at this time of year, you can prevent this unhealthy pattern. Consider a food, ask yourself if you would really enjoy it. If you would, whatever it is, have some. And enjoy every bite. If the answer is no, save yourself for the foods (and calories) you really want.
Recognise When You Are Full
We have all experienced the Christmas food coma. When you eat so much you can barely be bothered to reach for the remote and see what Christmas films are on the TV. Don’t hold back at Christmas, but equally eat until your satisfied, not until you feel like you are going to pass out. Learn to recognise your feelings of being full by eating slowly, sipping water as you eat, and listening to your body.
Christmas doesn’t have to equal welding yourself to the couch. You will feel much happier and healthier if you keep moving. Even if you are just dancing around the Christmas tree! Let’s be real, you aren’t going to hit the gym every day over the holidays but even something as simple as going for a brisk walk will get your blood flowing and can help you feel healthier. Which in turn leads to better eating choices.
Don’t Try To Deny Yourself Everything
Don’t try to be a Christmas monk. Unless you are actually made of steel, you will fail. Trying to completely deny ourselves the foods we love at any time of year is doomed to failure and can lead to a destructive cycle of binge eating. Instead, relax, indulge in a little of everything you want to eat, and accept that yes, your usual plans might slip for a few days. This approach is much more likely to see you happy through the festive period and ready to jump back into your usual routine come January.
I hope you guys are feeling suitably merry now December has hit. I know I’m starting to feel the Christmas vibes! Next week, we will have another festively themed blog with a Christmas fitness gift guide. Helping you to get your present list all wrapped up. Until then, stay amazing.