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1. On Christmas day, allow yourself to enjoy anything
The Christmas season can be a difficult one. Everyone letting their hair down, food and drink everywhere in sight. There are endless parties and meals, and drinks with family and friends. The best way is to set boundaries. Try to be as good as you can sticking to your regime where you can, then enjoy what you have planned – but be reasonable. Choose lighter options, or go out for food or drink, not both. At a meal choose to be the designated driver so you wont be drinking as much.
But on the big day, allow yourself to enjoy anything. If you’ve been doing your best you’re allowed a treat, so enjoy it. Once the day is over, remove anything that’s left over. Offer sweets to friends with children, take cakes and treats to work. It’s tough but come January, you’ll feel better with the success of not having been beaten by the season.
2. Make rules about food you SHOULD have rather than things you shouldn’t
Diet is a common trigger of everyday guilt for people. The biggest problem with guilt is that it can make us feel hopeless and deflated.
Guilt is a terrible motivator and will only lead to a pattern of bingeing and restricting – be that food or exercise. Instead, make some rules around food that involve things you should have rather than things you shouldn’t. For example, rather than trying to avoid those delicious, warm mince pies – allow yourself to have them (to nourish your soul!), but also make sure you eat a huge plate of vegetables that day accompanied with your choice of protein, salad or soups so that you nourish your body and brain.
When it comes to nutrition, viewing food as ‘harmful’ can be incredibly dangerous, particularly when we often believe that a single or even a couple of bad meals are going to impede our health or appearance, which isn’t necessarily the case – our guilt is often based on inaccurate assumptions. The truth is that a few big delicious Christmas lunches and dinners should be something we look forward to and enjoy and remember they are not going to impact our health in the long term, unless we start to enjoy them every day!
3. Make sure you move
Dance! Run! Jump! Whatever you do, just move! It’s often easy to fall into reverse with exercise routines when diet goes out the window. However it’s not only gym-based workouts that burn calories, or keep those extra kilos from showing up. Christmas is family time – have some fun with the kids, they’ll keep you on your toes and that will be burning calories. Music will definitely be playing at most gatherings. Grab a spot on the floor and dance like no-one is watching. There are so many ways to keep that heart rate high, and most of them you can include others in.
4. Plan ahead
It’s the time of year when it’s so easy to indulge – a mince pie, a glass of wine, a handful of chocolate – yes, it seems like a lot when you look at it from a calorie point of view. However, to counter this, all you need to do is take some time to think about things and plan ahead. If you know you’re going out for dinner, plan in healthy foods during the day and stick to your plan. If it’s a heavy weekend, eat well and exercise during the week.
So many people beat themselves up over what they’ve eaten at this time of year when, in reality, as long as you’re eating in moderation overall, the odd bit of indulgence isn’t going to impact that much. One of the best for maintaining a healthy regime over Christmas is that you don’t need to ‘start again’ – if you’re in a good place mentally about your diet and your health and fitness goals, you’re more likely to carry on and succeed, so one cheat meal, or day, isn’t going to ruin all your hard work.
5. Make wise alcohol swaps
A tip for the Christmas party season is to make wise alcohol swaps. Instead of creamy cocktails, drink vodka and a diet mixer or choose a glass of wine topped up with a flavoured sugar-free sparkling water, such as apple and elderflower.
6. Don’t let your diary get too busy
Try not to burn the candle at both ends. We cram in so much over the festive period, going out during the week and hosting family and friends at the weekends; we don’t always give our body the rest it needs to recuperate. Too little sleep can reduce the level of the appetite controlling hormone leptin and increase the hormone ghrelin, telling the brain you need to eat – and not always the right healthy food choices. Pace yourself!
7. Christmas food is just food!
Christmas is just a day. Enjoy it by all means, but it doesn’t need to be an excuse to sabotage all your hard work. Think carefully about what’s more important – those few moments of bliss whilst the chocolate cake is in your mouth before you swallow it and it’s gone, or the lifetime goal of feeling healthy and having confidence?”
8. Don’t buy your Christmas food too early
Shops often stock Christmas foods months before the festive season. It can be tempting to take advantage of offers, but ask yourself – if you buy it now, will it last until Christmas? Or are you likely to get tempted and tuck in before?!
9. Eat from smaller plates
One easy tip is to use smaller dishes when eating. People tend to fill up their entire plate this time of year for some reason and smaller dishes = smaller portions without much effort!
Source – https://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/
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