The Christmas season is upon us. Decorations are up, supermarkets have been playing carols for what seems like months and you’re probably attending a lot more after work drinks and Christmas parties/gatherings of all sorts. Which means during this season you are probably going to be faced with a lot of eating and drinking!
I have listed some tricks for you below so you don’t have to feel guilty enjoying food at this time of the year.
Mind your Portions
Mind your portions – Aim to eat larger portions of healthy foods as opposed to those that are higher in calories or sugar. That way you will not feel like you are depriving yourself if you are full. Watch how much you put on your plate, it can be helpful to eat off a smaller plate and go back for seconds if you need to.
Eat Slowly – In order to lose weight (or maintain weight), you should eat slowly. For two reasons:
1- By eating slowly you are giving your body the chance to recognize that you’re full. According to studies, it takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you are already satisfied. Imagine how much food you can eat within 20 minutes if you are eating nonstop?!!
2- By chewing your food more you are breaking your food into smaller particles which makes it easier on your stomach to digest. You are also allowing more saliva to get to work on starting the digestive process.
So savor every bite, relax, enjoy your food and enjoy the company of the people around you.
Limit your Liquid Calories
Limit your Liquid Calories – Let’s face it, we tend to overdo it at xmas and drink much more than we need to at parties. But the thing is, drinking our calories can lead to a massive calorie surplus and it can be done all too easily. Avoid sugary drinks and mix spirits with soda instead of tonic or coke etc. If you are having wine then why not try a wine spritzer with soda. If you are drinking beer opt for the mid strength beers. Also aim to have two glasses of water between each glass of alcohol this way it will help to fill you up, slow you down and rehydrate you.
Maintain a Healthy Routine
Maintain a Healthy Routine – The holiday season may be the busiest season of the year but try not to forget your healthy habits just because you are prioritizing something else. Find a workout routine that you love the best and schedule it into your day. That way you will have time for it. You can also maintain a healthy routine by just drinking lots of water and snacking on fruit, nuts and veg.
Say NO when it becomes uncomfortable – just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean that you have to eat and drink whatever somebody is giving you. You shouldn’t feel pressurised to accept anything if you aren’t comfortable with it. Do politely decline if you feel that you are already full and satisfied.
Move the candy dish – if you can always see chocolates and sweets sitting on the table then you tend to mindlessly nibble on them. Calories can creep up very quickly without even being mindful of how many you are eating. Save the extra calories for the food that you really love and look forward during Christmas and store away your candy dish in an opaque container or somewhere not readily visible.
Don’t Feel Guilty
Don’t feel guilty – research shows that the more you feel guilty about overeating, the more you actually overeat. There is no reason for you to restrict everything and not enjoy yourself during this season.
Follow my Yum/Guilt Scale:
Most people know that I love chocolate. But if I were to eat rubbish cheap dairy milk chocolate the guilt factor would be high and the yum factor would be low. However if I were to buy some expensive 90% Cocoa organic Chocolate then the yum factor would be high and the guilt factor low. I am also less likely to eat a huge amount of the yummy chocolate as I am satisfied quicker than when eating the cheap choc.
So let go of any negativity surrounding food, eat in moderation and have some fun.
I hope these tips and tricks will help you enjoy Christmas without feeling guilty. Keep in mind that no one is perfect, so go easy on yourself. There may be a night that you overdo it and indulge but that’s ok as long as you get right back on track the next day.
I hope you have a Happy Christmas. And if the guilt really is too much then book in for Personal Training! Haha! That will get you working off the Christmas calories in no time!