It’s that time of year again! The trees are going up, the decorations are coming out and all your favourite festive treats are appearing everywhere – so how can you possibly stick to your health goals over the holidays?
Christmas can be a really daunting time for many of us trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, the parties, the pubs, the pies – it can feel like you just want to give in to Christmas and start again in January but why go back on all this progress? Even if you went to 10 festive events and indulged on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, that’s still only 12 meals out of 93 meals in December – 12% of your diet that month! So, what about the 88%?
I’m going to give you 5 top tips on how to wave goodbye to food guilt, maintain some of your healthy habits AND enjoy Christmas fully! Admittedly, the holidays may not be the easiest time to try to lose weight, but it is absolutely possible to not gain weight over Christmas and it all starts with your mindset…
Tip 1: Avoid ‘all or nothing’ thinking
This is something I’ve covered in previous blogs, but ‘all or nothing’ thinking is the enemy to consistency. Like I mentioned above, even if you went all out for 10 evenings this Christmas and enjoyed festive lunches to the fullest, you’d still only be looking at 12% of your entire diet in December! So, why sacrifice the 88%?
‘All or nothing’ thinking can drive us down the path of food guilt when we overindulge, push us into over-restriction and ultimately encourage us to write off our brilliant progress by saying, “I’ll start again in January”. The magic middle ground between ‘all’ and ‘nothing’ is where we can maintain our consistency and keep hold of the healthy habits that make us feel great where we can!
Tip 2: Control the controllable
When the festivities are in full swing, there are bound to be times when you simply don’t have control over what’s on the menu, so focus on what you can control! Our willpower has limits, so don’t put yourself under more strain by bringing treats into your home that you know you’ll have to try and resist.
I guarantee, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to enjoy some of your favourite festive treats when you’re out, so when you’re at home, make it easy for yourself to stick to your healthy habits. I recommend stocking up on healthy snacks and talking to your partner about how they can help support your health goals this Christmas!
Tip 3: Plan your meals
If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know I’m a big fan of meal planning! It’s helped me and so many of my clients gain back control over their diets and find real consistency. A common mistake people make around the festive period is to not eat before a big meal or evening out in order to ‘make up’ for the additional calories – when in fact, you would likely benefit from the opposite.
When we leave the house hungry, we’re that much more open to temptations that we’d likely be able to gloss over if we felt full and satisfied. It’s also very difficult to eat mindfully when you’re hungry!
Planning your meals ahead of time and sticking to it wherever possible is a great way to stay consistent through the holidays and make sure your body has all the nutrients it needs! If you’d like to learn more about meal planning and how to create a plan that will help you work on your health goals through Christmas and beyond, you can download my free meal planning guide here.
Tip 4: Don’t go out hungry
Eating balanced, nourishing meals throughout the day before you go out in the evening is a great way to make sure your body gets the healthy fats, fibre and protein it needs so you don’t feel too hungry when you head out! Try this green smoothie recipe or these chocolate energy balls for a pre-party snack that won’t leave you craving all the carbs and sugar you can get!
Tip 5: Bring your healthy habits out with you!
Even when you’re out or don’t necessarily have control over the food around you, there are still things you can do to help you stay on track!
Focus on connection rather than food: Try to focus on the conversations and making real connections and beautiful memories over Christmas rather than making it all about the food.
Eat slowly and mindfully: When you do choose to indulge in your favourite Christmas treats, I encourage you to really savour them! When we eat slowly and mindfully, we’re far more able to consciously enjoy what we eat and we feel more satisfied with less.
Pace yourself with alcohol: Alcohol is one of the biggest culprits for reducing our willpower and our ability to stay mindful with what we eat (not to mention the hangover cravings). It’s in abundance around the festive period so if you’d like to enjoy your favourite Christmas tipple, I recommend regularly drinking water in between drinks and stay tuned because later this week, I’ll be sharing my tips on how to avoid a hangover!
These tips are all about helping you enjoy the festive season to the fullest while staying on track with the healthy habits that make you feel great!
If you would like some support with how to create a truly sustainable healthy lifestyle in the new year then go ahead and book a FREE personalised weight-loss strategy call with me! Let’s do this together!