It’s that time of year again. Not only am I in shock as to how quickly it seems to come around each year, but of course I’m cracking open the Christmas excuses…
“Oh its Christmas, there’s so many social functions, too much temptation, that’s what Christmas is about – cheese and mince pies and over indulgence right?”
Yet again, another conditioned social convention dictates what I eat and consequently my health. I always joke about having a cold every Christmas and put it down to that ‘relaxing’ effect on my body. But could it be that vegetables (other than Brussel Sprouts, of course) take a back seat? I drink more alcohol? and have more late nights? All in the name of what is essentially one day!
Last Christmas I had a great time and didn’t intentionally hold back with what I ate. But guess what – I also didn’t over indulge to the point that I couldn’t move or needed a 4 hour nap.
What is just one day can quite often turn into a month of eating all the wrong things and drinking too much. So with all that indulgence is it any wonder we feel a bit deflated come January when it’s time to undo all our bad work and ‘be good’.
Working at Potential Personal Training I’m most impressed with all those people that have signed up to a whole new programme or a more intense kick start now and aren’t waiting until the New Year to bring in that change. Waiting for the New Year is essentially an extreme version of waiting until Monday to start the ‘balanced eating plan’!
So let’s keep focused over the Christmas period but still enjoy ourselves. Ask yourself when you’re eating things how good they actually taste and put things down when they don’t taste as good as the first mouthful. Stop eating things mindlessly, take your time and remember to slow down when you’re eating.
You don’t need to deny yourself foods but do you need to have your plate piled excessively high? There’s nothing to say you can’t go back for more if you are still hungry. At this time of year it couldn’t be easier to eat 5 times a day with all the snacks around but try and find a balance of what you are eating. Allow yourself the treats but limit them. Keep the balance realistic and achievable; as if it’s not, you’re more likely to go completely off the boil!
If you haven’t read them in this month’s seasonal foods here are some more tips to get you through the Christmas party season…..
1. Eat a big lunch during the day, so that you don’t have an empty stomach when you hit the party. Also by being more satisfied you are less likely to over indulge. Try and steer away from the ‘I’m saving myself for later mentality’. This will invariably lead to you eating too much too fast so as to satisfy your hunger.
2. Keep a bottle of water on your desk, and drink from it all day so that you don’t go out already dehydrated. Aim to drink at least 2 litres during the day. Not only will this be good for you and your hydration levels but you will be less likely to suffer with a hangover. During a hangover you’re more likely to eat high sugary foods as your blood sugar levels will be unstable and so leading to greater cravings. By avoiding the dip the next day you are more likely to stay on track!
3. Steer clear of the punch bowl – even if it claims to be non-alcoholic. Punches are notorious for containing a concoction of booze that surprisingly tastes great but is impossible to gauge how much you have actually drunk. Punches will always contain high sugar fruit juices too!
4. To avoid over-indulging, eat a plate of food and then put it down – rather than standing near the buffet and picking all night long. Also only eat what you actually like – not just what you are offered. Eating is not compulsory! Don’t give in to peer pressure!
5. Opt for crudités with hummus, meat, fish and fruit. The food choices you make will help not only to minimise the ‘bad’ foods you’re eating but it will also ensure you’re getting all your daily nutrients.
Finally – Dance the night away!! Think of the calorie burn and the fun.
Remember, everyone is in the same boat, so support each other and if you can’t limit the roast potatoes and mince pies let’s get moving more! Even a brisk walk in the fresh air will keep you out of the kitchen for a while and give that metabolism the boost it needs!
Merry Christmas Everyone!!!