Find balance at Christmas – is it even possible?!
In terms of weight loss, exercise only makes a fraction of difference…FOOD is the main player. If you get food right, everything else will fall into place.
HOWEVER, now is probably not the time to overhaul your diet.
Over the Christmas period, 99% of us overindulge. I could tell you that you need to try to be in that 1% who stays on track. It’s a nice thought but to be honest, completely unrealistic for most of us.
The new year will be the time to really get food sorted…and I’ll talk about that later.
For now, here are some of my top tips to help you find balance at Christmas:
1. If you eat crap, you’ll feel crap
Remember that if you overindulge too much, you’ll feel rubbish – physically and emotionally. Hangovers, too much rich food and not enough fruit and veg = serious lethargy. It’ll zap your energy and enjoyment. You are what you eat after all.
When you’re reaching for yet another chocolate, ask yourself if you really want it or are you just eating it because it’s there. Is it worth feeling rubbish for? Would you feel better if you went and made a cup of tea instead?
2. Balance the treats with fruit and veg
By all means enjoy a treat (or several) but balance it with healthy food. Add as much fruit and veg to your main meals as you can. And then enjoy that Christmas pudding without feeling guilty.
If you fill up on healthy food, you’ll find the temptation to binge is less because you just aren’t hungry enough.
Exercise is never high on list of priorities during the festive season but a daily walk can help you find balance at Christmas. It makes all the difference to physical and emotional well being.
Walking before or after a large meal helps digestion – nothing too vigorous just a stroll for at least 30 minutes.
Fresh air and exercise will also boost your happiness levels, increase your energy and help you control stress.
4. Drink peppermint tea
This is another fab aid to digestion. Lots of rich food will play havoc with your system. Help it out by having a mug of calming peppermint tea after a meal or before bed.
Peppermint is soothing and it also sends a signal to your brain that your stomach has finished for the night so not to expect any more food. This reduces sugar cravings and stops you reaching for any late night snacks.
5. Drink plenty of water
All day, every day. Water is the elixir of life. Drink as much as you can and it’ll keep your body feeling good even when you’re drinking/ eating more than normal.
In winter it’s hard to drink cold water so have hot water with slice of ginger and lemon or herbal tea. Balance every alcoholic drink with water.
It’s sooooo simple and effective yet most of us don’t drink enough. Even if you don’t manage anything else over the festive period, drink water and you WILL feel better.
6. Eat mindfully
I get it, the few days over Christmas is the one of time year we give ourselves permission to eat and drink everything in sight. I completely understand. A blow out every now and then won’t hurt (and I’ve already got my bottle of salted caramel Baileys ready).
BUT try not to eat for the sake of it.
If you find yourself shovelling in food you’re barely tasting, what’s the point? Savour each treat, take your time. Think quality over quantity. Your brain only really notices the first couple of mouthfuls – that’s the key enjoyment time.
When temptation hits and you just want more and more, take a step back. Distract yourself for 10 minutes and see if you really want it. Often you’ll find you’re already full or the craving passes.
See if you can stay in control…no mindless binging.
7. Don’t beat yourself up
If you end up eating or drinking too much don’t waste time feeling guilty. Let’s face it, it’s going to happen. You’re going to overindulge at some point, so enjoy it. Just read the next point so you know what to do next…
8. Break the cycle
If you have a few too many drinks/ treats one day, you’ll physically feel it the next in the form of a hangover. Your body will crave an instant pick me up…usually in the form of more alcohol, carbs, fat or sugar (or all of them).
When you feel low in energy, it’s very easy it go for the quick fix in the hope it’ll make you feel better. And it will in the short term. The problem is, the high will swiftly be followed by a low…which again causes you to have another treat. The cycle will continue for as long as you allow it. and the longer it goes on, the worse you’ll feel.
There’s a reason why the little stretch of time between Christmas and New year often feels endless, flat and a bit depressing…our bodies (and therefore our minds) are suffering.
The good news is that you can break the cycle fairly easily – go for a smoothie and whack as much fruit and veg in as possible. It’ll perk you up no end and making that one healthy choice will inspire you to make more.
9. New year, new start
Be assured that letting things go a bit over Christmas won’t set you back forever. It just means you will be ready to gear yourself up for a new start come January.
Often a few days of eating and drinking too much is the perfect reminder of why you need to be as healthy as possible as much as possible. The way it makes you feel just isn’t worth the few moments of pleasure.
Having a plan in place will help you look forward to January and getting going…
…AND my 2 Week Back to Basics Bootcamp is now on sale…and if you sign up by December 27th, you get it for the early bird price of £20! You can then relax and enjoy yourself over Christmas knowing you’ve got the start of 2021 sorted. Spaces are filling up fast so don’t leave it too long.
For all the info pop over to the Back to Basics Page now by clicking here. Any questions, send me an email (email@example.com).
And make sure you check out my Facebook page for more tips, mini exercise challenges and advice to keep you going – you will find balance at Christmas!