Yes, it is that time of year again. Christmas is fast approaching! For some it is their favorite time of year, others it is their most stressful time of year. Food is everywhere and it isn’t just veggies and dip. Chocolates, desserts, turkey, stuffing, potatoes and gravy, the list goes on. Let’s not forget all the festive drinks at Christmas and New Year’s. The stress of worrying about what to eat and how much can be overwhelming for so many.
Is it really necessary to stress about Christmas dinner? I really don’t think anyone should stress about it. BE mindful of your choices. The temptations will be there just like every year so you just need to be prepared to make good choices. If you are consistent with your food choices and you are consistent in the gym, one day of subpar eating will not negate all the hard work you put in. There are a couple tips that I will share to keep you stress – free during the holidays.
-Don’t restrict yourself for weeks or days leading up to your Christmas feasts.
-Don’t do “additional workouts or cardio”. Instead, use those extra calories to hammer out high intense workouts the day before and the day of your planned dinners. Intensity is the key to your workout.
-Be mindful of your choices. What this really means is that you are aware of how much protein and carbs and fats you are taking in along with enough fiber.
-Eat slowly! Enjoy your meal. Don’t inhale it.
-Follow the 80/20 rule. People should eat for their health as a priority with improved body composition being the by-product of great choices. Food quantity and food quality matters 80% of the time. Moderation and flexible choices are part of this 80% to allow for subpar 20% choices that you do not have to ever feel guilty about. As long as you are consistent you will be fine.
-Portion control is really what it is about. I don’t expect anyone to be carrying around a food scale and measuring the amount of food they are consuming. This is where portion control is vital. Fill your plate with little bits of everything. Don’t deprive yourself. Control the portions of whatever it is that you choose to have. There is a difference between 1 dessert and 2-3 pieces. This includes drinks and your main course. Don’t abuse it. The food will be there next year!
-Plan to have smaller meals throughout the day. Don’t starve yourself going into your Christmas dinner. Smaller meals or snacks that are high in protein are great choices to keep you satisfied throughout the day.
-When filling your plate make choices that you love and know will satisfy your cravings.
-Don’t linger around the “food table”. Many families like to set out all the desserts and snacking foods in a designated area. The food is accessible and it will be there so just keep yourself busy doing other things other than hanging out at the food table.
-Listen to your body. If you are full, don’t fight it and don’t convince yourself to eat more or finish the plate. You don’t want to have a food baby belly! Eat and stop when your body says you are full. You can always finish your plate later if you are truly hungry.
-Let your body digest. Don’t start picking at food when you are cleaning up. Let your body feel full and satisfied.
-Just because it is the holidays doesn’t mean you have to sit around after dinner. Get up, go for an evening walk, take the kids sledding or play some games. Be active and enjoy the festive season.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Remember, consistency and moderation!