With Party season well under way, here are a few pointers to help you manage this festive season!
For some people this can be a stressful time and a huge worry in terms of weight management, stress management, exercise regimes and more. The fear of over eating or eating 'bad' foods can be a real concern that can stop you from enjoying the festive season to the max. Here I have a few ideas that may help you how to manage these fears and ensure you have a great #Christmas season.
1. It is ok to say no!
We all have our limits on number of outings, social events, mince pies, roast dinners, and parties. This can be for a number of reasons such as you have reached your social limits, money management, you have a family or you just simply need a night in. You need to look after yourself. There is only one of you.
Understand your own boundaries!! If a situation is not what was planned then you can leave. If it makes you feel uncomfortable then you can make your excuses. It is ok.
2. Avoid setting any diet rules or restrictions
Setting rules or restrictions when it comes to food can create all sorts of havoc in your head. Not only will it create fear around foods but can also increase your stress and tolerance levels. The 'all or nothing' approach can create a binge/restrict cycle which can be difficult to break and cause so much internal guilt and anxiety. Enjoy a little of everything. If you want that slice of Christmas cake then enjoy a slice, rather than eat a billion other things than what you originally wanted in the first place.
3. Maintain activity during this festive period
Staying active can help you feel better, more confident and more relaxed. Ensuring you get out for walks during the day, getting your groove on on the dance floor or getting to the gym in the morning can all be forms of movement. This is one way you can maintain a happy energy balance while also maintaining a routine for some people.
If it's too tough to get your bum in gear and exercising, book a friend in! Make it social and great fun.
4. It's ok to bring your own food
When you attend a social event and your concern is food, it can create a huge amount of anxiety. If you bringing some fruit along with you, then do it! Your friends and family would way prefer that you were happy and often it means more food for them, and that is never something to groan about. If you are too embarrassed about it, bring a bigger bag, tell only those who you're comfortable telling and anyone else shove it.
5. A Classic, Drink plenty of water!
We have heard it all before. But staying hydrated can be one way to prevent over eating. Water can help you feel fuller, avoid drinking more alcohol and ensure you feel a hell of a lot more alert and energetic. Sip a glass throughout your day, before, during and after any events, this can prevent overeating. A little outdated study showed a direct relation between water drinking and an overall lover calorie intake (Pubmed, 2001).
6. Count plates, not calories
During the festive period it is tough to manage calories as we often do not know how items on our plate are cooked or prepared. So try eating a smaller plate, waiting a little while before then going for second plate. Ghrelin is our hunger hormone and often we eat so fast or just ignore it our fullness and go up for more food. Cherish every mouthful and all the delicious flavours before eating way too much. Food is meant to be enjoyed. You will often not feel the need to eat way more than you need if you genuinely take your time and love every mouthful.
7. Manage your expectations
This is more of a reality check that we all need sometimes...trust me I am still mastering this skill, and I still suck!! If you are going to a Christmas party, then it is likely that there will be calorific food, and if you do not want to eat this, then you eat before you go. If you have a party or outing planned then think ahead. Whether that means not eating while you are there or just eating the dessert, you make that choice for yourself and what is right for you. Do not assume there will be healthier options, often at this time of year there are set menus you can check out in advance online, and if nothing takes your fancy or is of what you feel comfortable eating, then either eat before you go or call the restaurant ahead of time.
This isn't always an easy time of year for everyone. Whether this is due to eating disorders, mental health, lose of a loved one, family dynamics, loneliness, or any other reason. Be mindful of everyone around you and that they maybe facing their own internal battles.
Pubmed, (2001), Water and food consumption patterns of U.S. adults from 1999 to 2001, Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16421349/ Accessed: 13.12.2021