We are now fully into the Christmas season. The shops are stocked with rolls of wrapping paper, you can’t escape the cheesy music, and I am patiently waiting for the Doctor Who Christmas Special. One thing however that worries me about this time of year is the food. You can’t go anywhere without seeing: build your own gingerbread house kits, mince pies, selection boxes, fancy cheeses, and chocolate Christmas tree decorations. I want to continue my healthy eating, but it is all so tempting.
It’s Christmas, of course I am going to treat myself, but I have come up with a few hacks and rules to keep me on track, and so I don’t end up looking like a Christmas Pudding!
November and December can be hectic if you allow them to be, and it’s sometimes easier (and cheaper!) to buy a selection box, rather than a salad. By making a food plan at the beginning of each week, you can organise what you need to buy (saving food and money in the long run), and even meal prep for the week so you don’t have to worry about making a sandwich with whatever is in the fridge 2 minutes before you have to leave.
Make sure you also plan for overeating later in the day and calories been consumed in drinks in the evening. Consider intermittent fasting and pushing back your “break-fast” to early or mid afternoon. This allows you to indulge with your friends and socialise later in the afternoon and evening. Even if you have nothing planned for the evening be prepared for something to pop up. Things ALWAYS pop up over the holidays. Be sure you fill yourself up with healthy food before you do meet Dave in The Swan though as you will probably end up in Slices ordering a large pizza later in the night if you don’t.
Adapt your workouts
Be prepared to be unconventional
Sticking to your current and normal workout routine is going to be close to an impossible task so be prepared to made adaptations. If you can't make it to the gym for whatever reason don’t write off the day, simply change it up and do some exercise at home. Again this comes down to planning. Plan an emergency home workout that you know you can do at home. Make it short and sweet so things like our “Jemma's HIIT workout”, which can be done anywhere are perfect. If you have some heavy objects lying around try supersetting the main lifts that you do in the gym to create a short but intense workout you can get done and feel better about the rest of the day.
Don't slip into the "all-in" mentality
Many of us fall victim to this. Eating a block of chocolate, eating a bit more then deciding that because you’ve already eaten half of it it’s going to be a bad day so you may as well finish it. This mentality is very dangerous! You will often then over indulge on other things which you will later regret. Just because you’ve eaten too much chocolate already doesn’t mean you should finish the rest. Just stop! Think about why you’re eating it. Is it due to hunger? Then eat something with some more nutritional value. Bored? Get up and do something to take your mind off it. Staying hydrated is both great for your body but also your mind making you feel less hungry.
Don't stock up
Stay strong in the supermarket!
Easier said than done but being vigilant in the supermarket can make things a lot easier for you when you’re at home. Write your shopping list before you go shopping and then don’t be distracted by the Christmas music and aisles of chocolate and luxury cheeses. If you buy these thinking you ‘may’ use them for when guests come round then you’re making things much harder for yourself throughout the holidays. Having these snacks around the house means that when you’re ‘hungry’(bored) you will start eating them. If they’re not there then you won’t crumble during your moment of weakness!
It's okay to treat yourself
As mentioned it’s okay to indulge yourself over the holidays. That’s what they are for. It’s important not to deprive yourself because this will lead to breaking your routine and binge eating. You need to be healthy both mentally and physically. If you eat a cheeky mince pie then just make a mental note and then adjust your eating for the rest of the day accordingly.
Remember it’s Christmas! A time to see your family and friends, a time to be thankful, a time to treat your loved ones. Treat yourself, but surely you’re treating yourself more if you think before you eat!