Ladies, are you feeling anxious about how you will go over the Christmas period when you’ve created some really great lifestyle changes this year?
In 2015 I had immense anxiety leading up to Christmas. I was away from my family, in cold and snowy Canada and those two situations combined with a spread of food, usually means that I overeat. And then comes the vicious cycle of guilt, depression, regret, eat again. Confidence drops and next thing, you’re pulling out your fat pants.
Here is my success strategy for dealing with Christmas:
Point number one is Enjoy Yourself.
In saying that, here are a few ideas that might help you.
If you’re hosting:
Pick a menu with mainly healthy options, with a few family favourites. Or even better, healthify your family favourites!
Don’t nibble while you’re creating, baking, preparing, cooking. You don’t realise you’re doing it and it can add up.
Even better, ask others to bring the more unhealthy dishes so that you’re not tempted to sample the goods while you make them.
Try not to over-cater, but if there’s leftovers, send them home with your guests, especially desserts.
If you’re attending:
Survey the spread and pick your favourite things to eat. Enjoy those. For example, if mashed potatoes aren’t your favourite, don’t put them on your plate. Put the things on your plate that you will REALLY enjoy and savour them. Rather than wasting calories on things you don't love.
If there’s a table full of nibbles, take one thing and step away from the table. Focus on socialising and enjoy spending time with your family and friends.
If you’re asked to bring a plate of food, and they have no preference as to what, bring something light and interesting. I usually make a big awesome salad or veggie tray with homemade dip.
General Holiday Ideas
Ask yourself this now; what do I love about Christmas most? Figure out how you will make the most of that aspect this Christmas-time.
Now think about your past Christmas experiences and jot down your areas of struggle in one column. In the next column, write down ideas about how to work around these. Now keep in mind that you might decide that having a hot toddy with your Mum on Christmas Eve is a tradition you cannot forego, so don’t work around this. Do it. Enjoy it.
When you have events on, plan out your day so that you’re able to make time for a workout, and/or make your other meals healthy. Have prepped lunches or snacks ready, so that you’ll be less tempted by the plate of home baking that Linda from HR brought into the work kitchen.
Don’t forget that it’s a holi-DAY, not a holi-MONTH. Enjoy yourself at the events but try not to let those habits sneak into all day, every day until the all food and drinks are gone.
Try not to overbuy treats, and if you do have to buy them, leave it til the last minute and then donate any leftovers. Or freeze them, if possible.
Continue your workouts as best you can. See if anyone you’re around wants to beactive with you. Even when you’re traveling you could go for a walk or do a home workout. Try a class at the gym. For my Summer-Christmas followers, go to the beach, for a swim, a bike ride, enjoy time outside (hopefully without getting sunburnt). For my Winter-Christmas followers, play in the snow, go indoor rock climbing, ice skating, play Twister. There's so many ways to move if you just think ahead a little bit.
Alcohol – watch your mix-ins here. Switch your mix-in (or water it down) with soda water/club soda if possible, as the sugar content in soft drink/pop/soda can cause some major sugar hangovers and cravings. I’d recommend doing some research before going into the festive season about lower carb options.
Just be aware of your water intake. I know it’s hard in to get ENOUGH water whether you’re in a very hot or very cold climate. You may be interested in this blog article for some ideas on this here.
And lastly, have a plan for the first day you’re back to a relatively normal routine again. And pick up right where you left off. Keeping in mind that you may have lost some strength and fitness so don’t go too hard, too soon otherwise you might hurt yourself. Also, you may be dealing with some cravings so don’t be too hard on yourself, you’ll get there.
Again, I want you to enjoy yourself consciously. You deserve a break and to spend time with your loved ones, without the little voice in your head talking about food.
Let me know if any of these tips helped you, in the comments below.