With every health blogger, nutritionist and influencer giving tips on how not to gain weight, how not to feel bloated and how to stay on track from your favourite treats and indulgences this festive season, I thought I'd do something different. Instead, here are my top 3 things NOT to do this festive season.
All or nothing approach
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying festivities that encompass Christmas! You can enjoy the entire spread, given that you focus on a few things.
Take less than you think you need. More often than not, our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. Instead, take smaller portions and plate up again if and when you’re hungry or craving another dish!
Chew your food and eat slower. When we don’t mindfully eat, we tend to overeat and feel sluggish and lethargic afterwards. Enjoy your food, wine and social company, but savour and enjoy every mouthful too. The food isn’t going anywhere; there’s no need to rush it down your gob.
Don’t stop doing what you typically do the other 11 months of the year. December is a crazy time of year, but if you managed to prioritise pilates, training or walking every morning for the other 11 months of the year, why stop now?
Balance! Having a restrictive diet will lead to this notion of all or nothing. Enjoy all that encompasses the festivities, but find your balance, whether that means having one slice of cake instead of two to make room for another wine and so on! Enjoy it all with no restrictions, and be mindful of how you physically feel at that moment.
Skipping meals to avoid calories
Skipping meals to make room for that Christmas or social catch-up is detrimental physically and mentally. Not only do you, more often than not, end up eating more out of hunger, but it cultivates a negative relationship between food and your body. Instead of restriction followed by feasting, we propose fuelling up on hearty plant-based whole-food meals that will keep you satiated until your designated social lunch or dinner. Take a more balanced approach and be mindful and enjoy in moderation!
Shame achieves zilch
If you’re going to feel guilty, what’s the point of enjoying the food or drink in the first place? Guilt is not the way to help anyone make a meaningful change. It does not encourage, inspire or promote. Don't let guilt be used. It's an awful strategy that ultimately is just going to make things worse.