Christmas is my favourite time of year, but when it comes to taking care of my health and wellness, it hasn't always been that way.
For a lot of my life, I had a bit of a love-hate relationship with Christmas.
I loved the idea of it, the family, the food and drink, the parties and presents, but as someone who couldn't control themselves around food, as in put the brakes on, I found it pretty uncomfortable.
I mean, you are surrounded, like literally surrounded by all these foods, most not being in any shape or form healthy and 'not on your nelly' going to help you lose weight... and there is just so damn much.
This was made even worse when every Christmas is packed full of parties requiring an obligatory nice Christmas dress. Nice idea, but when you are feeling like a Christmas pudding, putting on a slinky dress is the last thing you want.
You feel like you HAVE to eat it.... so, I did!!!
My behind, tummy and legs were quite significantly bigger entering every new year, and so the yoyo dieting began again.
When I finally realised that I ABSOLUTELY DID NOT enjoy getting bigger or feeling chubbier or more bloated and in fact, I didn't actually enjoy eating that much food... I armed myself with a couple of tools to protect myself from overeating.
Let me share
1. Eat protein before you party....
Having a high protein meal with a bit of good fat before a meal can really help you be more aware and conscious of your food choices.
2. Keep up your workouts
Letting everything go over Christmas is a recipe for disaster. Not only is the damage you do to your waistline and mental health pretty depressing but you enter the void in which you stop caring about things like the quality of what you eat and this can easily spiral out of control.
Exercise and clean food go hand in hand. When you do one, it's like you can't help but not do the other.
What's more, keeping up your workout regime over Christmas, even if it is a little less regimented, will make it a piece of cake when Christmas is over and it is time to get back to normality.
3. Drink water before you go out
This will help you not only drink less, and get less drunk, but it will help put on the breaks and stop you overeating and making unhealthy choices that you will regret tomorrow or when you next put on your tight jeans.
4. Set boundaries before you go
Before you go to the party have a little meeting with yourself. Predict the foods that are going to be there and rehearse in your head the foods you are going to be looking for, i.e., healthy choices such as crudités and healthy dips, olives, raw nuts, low carb snacks.
By having this awareness, you can go into the party knowing with a clear plan of what you are allowed to eat and will be less likely to turn to pastries and junk food.
In an ideal world you would abstain, but if that is a bit OTT, here are a few rules you can use to help you make slightly better choices.
Opt for clear spirits rather than coloured. They often contain fewer toxins that are likely to give you a headache.
Opt for red wine over white wine. Whilst neither are great, having a tipple can still be enjoyed with a bit of intention when choosing your drinks. White wines often have a lot more sugar than their red counterparts, so opt for dry reds instead. But remember limit your drinks, it is not a free for all, just a slightly better choice.
By being aware of what you put into your mouth and being deliberate in your decisions, you can still enjoy parties to the max.
Christmas is about being together, and about being with the family. The yummy food and other goodies are just a bonus.
Wishing you a very, Merry Christmas