It’s Christmas time! And that is why I am telling you straight away – I will NOT talk about deprivation, diets and weight loss in this article. Christmas is about joyful dinners with the family, cinnamon lattes at Costa and cozy winter nights in the company of our loved ones…
At this time of the year you don’t need to stress about ‘cheat’ meals or what foods to avoid. Let’s face it – the smell of Christmas is everywhere! That toffee cake at your favorite cafeteria, those homemade cookies your colleague brought at the office… even the so called “bio” shops offer a variety of gluten-free and not-so-gluten-free Christmas treats. You simply can’t pretend to ignore all of that! And frankly, you don’t need to. Instead of depriving yourself, or worse – blaming yourself after indulging a little bit, I encourage you to take a more balanced approach.
Here are 2 strategies which might help you feel more ‘in control’ of your food choices and cravings these Christmas holidays.
1. Do not be too strict on yourself… it’s okay to eat that cookie.
That’s right! Restrictions will make things worse. By setting boundaries, and dividing foods in “healthy” and “unhealthy” categories, you’re simply going to cause more anxiety in your everyday life. Moreover, if it happens that you accidentally cross those boundaries that you set for yourself, you’re very likely to experience guilt, and get trapped in a binge eating episode. Just follow your gut, and if that means eating a cookie or two everyday – then be it! Unless you are training for a body building competition, it will not impact your weight. Moreover, once you admit that you can eat treats from time to time, you will find yourself free from the harsh cravings that you usually experience on a diet – we all know that you always “crave what you can’t have”…
There you go, you have my permission to eat that cookie!
2. Add whole foods.
Adding whole foods is recommended literally every time of the year. But during the Christmas holidays, the benefits are much greater – whole foods control your hunger levels (and the cravings we just talked about), and they also add a variety of nutrients to make you feel radiant and beautiful around your family. There is a variety of both nutritious and delicious whole foods that you can eat, and still feel the Christmas mood. Take citrus fruits, for example: oranges, grapefruits, mandarines, pomelo… so sweet, full of flavor and goodness! (By the way, fruit boxes are an excellent Christmas present, in case you’re wondering what to buy for your healthy-freak friend).
As mentioned, whole foods like fruits, nuts and vegetables will keep you full due to the fiber, and will add vitamins and minerals which are essential for your body’s immune system during the winter cold. You don’t want to get sick on Christmas, do you?
To sum up, focus on which whole foods to add in your diet, instead of which treats to avoid, and don’t let yourself get anxious or feeling guilty by putting too many restrictions – remind yourself that balance is key!
Do you have any strategies to cope with the holiday cravings?
Happy healthy holidays!!!
References: https://goo.gl/xLGWUH https://goo.gl/VZ7pSh