It really is the most wonderful time of the year!
For adults, Christmas is synonymous with relaxing with family and friends in the warmth of summer, a cold drink, BBQs, chocolates, cheese, cake and every other decadent and delicious thing you can think of.
You often feel the pangs of guilt and anxiety starting to build with merely the thought of indulging at Christmas.
If you feel like Christmas is the one time of year you can let go but don’t want to feel guilty about it, here are some tips to help.
4 tips to fight the guilt of indulging at Christmas
- Breakfast is crucial
Before we set the foundations for a healthy mental outlook over the Christmas season, we need to realise that the physical and mental work together and are not independent of each other.
Start the day off right with a healthy and filling breakfast which will keep your blood sugar levels balanced, give you the energy to tackle daily tasks and reduce the likely hood of cravings, snacking or overeating later in the day.
- Saying no to food has the opposite effect
Placing restrictions on ourselves creates mounting pressure and expectations that we inevitably fail. This failure creates an overeating or diet-binge cycle that creates temporary weight loss, if any and long-term weight gain.
So, if you are faced with a table full of sweet treats and high fat/carb foods try for 20/80- a little of the bad and plenty of the good.
The hope is that if you can allow yourself to a treat over a special occasion, you can exercise that will power you’ve been using during your weight loss journey and stop the overindulging.
- One day doesn’t equal forever
Ok well unfortunately you couldn’t keep to the 20/80 ratio; in fact, your unhealthy to healthy eating ratio may be closer to 50/50 or 80/20. Accept that you’ve make the wrong choice and move on.
How you do this is up to you- perhaps extend your workout for 10 minutes or get an extra brisk walk into your day. Or you can just start again with 20/80- a little of the bad and plenty of the good.
Whatever it is you decide to do, remember that at the end of the day comes the choice to start the next one with a clean slate.
- Look for triggers
If you dwell on the fact that you’ve made unhealthy food choices, there is a real chance that you may sabotage your entire weight loss and healthy eating journey.
Looking back at your mistakes and dwelling on them creates guilt, anxiety and feelings of hopelessness, all of which make you want to give up.
Instead, attempt to learn from your mistakes by looking for triggers that contributed to you giving in and overindulging. Was it lack of eating, exercising, or sleep?
Could it be boredom, exhaustion or stress? Once you identify what the trigger was, attempt to fix it by attending to what you and your body needs, whether it be sleep, food, relaxation or exercise.
Forget the failure and focus on the trigger so you can, in future, take proactive steps to avoid it.