Ek! How do you get through Christmas and not gain a dress size!? It's all about giving yourself 'permission'!
Let's face it, with the abundance of celebration food and alcohol every where we look, it's easy for many of us to use Christmas as our once-a-year excuse to overindulge. In fact, it's kind of an accepted and expected part of Christmas day. Stuff yourself until you're so full that you fall asleep in the afternoon! That wall we hit mid afternoon is often because we've driven our glucose levels so high at lunchtime, that when they come crashing down we feel sleepy and tired from what's called an 'insulin' hangover. But, you can navigate the Christmas table differently and enjoy everything on offer if you follow my 5 tips!
1. Give yourself permission!
Don't make the foods you love taboo! When we make the foods we love taboo, our mind tends to fixate more on them and after a glass of bubbles or two, it's very easy for our mind to say 'stuff it' and before we know it we are chowing down on wayyyy too much of that sugary Pavola, or Christmas trifle!
You are far better off giving yourself permission to eat what you want at Christmas and thereby eliminating the taboo aspect. That allows you to relax and enjoy each little morsel and stop at one serving. Believe me, this way you will find it easier to stop at one serving.
2. Forget your diet for a day!
Everyone is on a diet these days, but it is Christmas so enjoy all foods, but just in moderation. If you know you are a compulsive over eater, or really can't control yourself to stop at 'just one', you may be better off avoiding certain foods, but you could try some reverse psychology by placing no restrictions on yourself, forget the diet for a day, and you may find you stay in control.
3. Drop the excuses!
It is easy to use Christmas as an excuse to say 'damn it' and eat whatever we want and as much as we want! But if you stop and think for a moment, you are going to wake up on Boxing Day and either feel remorse or pride on how you handled the Christmas feast. We attach so many things to Christmas and you could use this year to create some new associations. I suggest overindulgence isn't one of them. We can totally enjoy the day and all it has to offer without binge eating and making ourselves feel sick!
4. Be present with your food!
If you slow down your eating and enjoy each and every morsel, not only are you far more likely to eat less, you will truly enjoy your meal on a much deeper level than someone who shoves it down. It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you're full, so slowing down helps us enjoy food more while eating less!
Try to chew each mouthful at least 30 times, give yourself permission to be the last person to finish eating. Put your knife and fork down while you are chewing and enjoy long meals with great conversation, that is a lost art in modern society. I say we bring back the 2 hour long meals!
5. Get straight back on track!
Stop thinking in days, weeks or months and start thinking 'each meal'. If you overindulge in one meal, it doesn't mean you have to give up healthy eating for the entire day or week. Focus meal to meal and get straight back on the wagon if you fall off. This will strengthen your resilience and cut down your 'off plan' time considerably and that all makes a difference! Slim people overindulge too, but the next meal they eat well again!
The difference in mindset between a slim person and an overweight person is this.
Slim person thinks "I give myself permission to enjoy small amounts of whatever I like, nothing is taboo if I consciously choose to have it. This is one meal, and one day, tomorrow I'll return to my usual healthy eating and cut back a bit in the following days to compensate."
Overweight person thinks "I shouldn't really eat all that sugary dessert, so I better fill myself up on mains. But then again it's only Christmas day once I year, so I might find room for dessert as well! I can restart my diet again on Monday next week. I can get my head around restarting then, in the mean time I may as well enjoy all this delicious food and worry about the consequences later!"
By following these tips you might find Christmas Day is more enjoyable without the bloated, 'blah' feeling and you wake up the following day feeling great.
I hope that you all have a fabulous day, and even if you don't do 'perfectly', forgive yourself as self-love and compassion is a much nicer present to yourself than self-loathing over a Christmas binge.
Lots of love and Merry Christmas,