We all forgive ourselves at Christmas. If there’s one hallmark of the holiday season, its that phrase we all mutter to ourselves as we reach for the twenty seventh chocolate, ‘go on then, it IS Christmas.’
It’s the time of year that we allow ourselves to over eat without feeling too guilty because it’s a given. We all know we’re naughty at Christmas so there’s no need to feel bad about it. We even encourage those around us with the ‘one extra scoop won’t hurt’ and ‘oooo just have one more.’ This year, why not change those habits and start thinking about Christmas differently.
Here at Neat Nutrition, we’re firm believers in balance. If you try to eat chicken and broccoli every day for the rest of your life, you’ll be over it in a week. If you deny yourself certain foods, chances are you’ll crave them more. So here’s our suggestions for keeping things balanced over the festive period:
Tis the season to attend far more social engagements than you normally would. After the hibernation of November, suddenly its after work Christmas drinks and get togethers on weekends. This year, try going sober to your events. Sugary drinks and mixers will leave you on a sugar high before a crash and all the hard work in the gym will be undone in a few sips. If you feel like you need to have a drink in order to have a good time, don’t binge and stay away from fizzy mixers and juice.
Don’t Let Your Sleep Suffer
Your body needs sleep. Running on empty will only lead to you searching for energy elsewhere and that usually comes in the form of junk food. Try and hit your eight hours a night. The National Sleep Foundation state: “If sleep is cut short, the body doesn’t have time to complete all of the phases needed for muscle repair, memory consolidation and release of hormones regulating growth and appetite.” So sleep well and you’ll have a much better hold on your cravings.
It’s an obvious one, but there are ways to curb those impulses to eat the entire bowl of Quality Street. Make sure you have a good, protein filled breakfast, it’ll set you up for the day and keep you feeling fuller for longer. Don’t inhale your food either, take your time and savour it. You may find you’ll stop when you’re full in more cases.
Make Smarter Choices
When it comes to Christmas dinner, we know how hard it is not to pile your plate high with everything on offer. It IS Mum’s cooking after all. But there is a healthier option on offer. Turkey is great and you’ve got plenty of vegetables on offer. Maybe avoid the roast potatoes and sausages in bacon if you feel that you can’t just have one.
Take a Seat
When its time to pile into the living room and crack open the Trivial Pursuit, choose a seat furthest away from any snack bowls. That way, you won’t be tempted to blindly shovel crisps into your mouth without even realising what’s happening. Even better, ask the host to put out healthier options or maybe take your own (like our yummy protein balls above) – that way you can be popular AND snack healthy.
Do you have any top tips on how to be sensible and avoid binging at Christmas? Let us know in the comments below.