How To Enjoy The Holidays Without Gaining Weight
And it’s that time of the year where families decorate their Christmas Tree and start upping their time at the gym to compensate the over indulgent treats that keep appearing on the table between Halloween and the New Year.
It’s that time of the year where the diet industry feast on fading dreams of millions of hopeful souls, that start buying slimming supplements and diet books, hoping to fit again into their jeans when 2020 come along.
I’m literally done with that s***
Christmas is a time of connection over a cup of hot chocolate or a never-ending bbq (for fellow Australians), not a time to worry about the number on a scale.
DON’T SAVE UP THE CALORIES
It is quite natural to make this mistake, as we have been taught for so many years that losing weight it’s a mathematical equation made of calories IN Vs calories OUT. Fortunately, it is more complicated than that.
Lots of people think that because they are going to splurge on a nice big lunch or dinner, it is essential to save up calories by skipping snacks or breakfast.
Unfortunately, this is going to make you feel ravenous before the meal, and when we enter a meal in a primal hunger state, we set ourselves up to eat past the point of comfortable fullness.
What I would encourage you to do is to eat regularly and normally throughout the day and enjoy the festive meals without worrying too much about the scale and move on with the rest of your life.
I can’t underline enough the importance of drinking the right amount of fresh, unfiltered water!
Water is needed by every single cell of our body, and it’s required in copious amounts when sleep-deprived, hangover, on hot days, smokey days, or when sweaty or stressed out.
When our body is dehydrated, we become temporarily less smart, and we set ourselves up to make more mistakes, to feel fatigued and lethargic.
How much water do we need? Simple: multiply your kilos (body weight) x 33 mL. On a hot day, if sweaty or hangover, make sure you add at least 700 ml on top of it.
Moreover, caffeine and adult beverages are extremely dehydrating; make sure to drink a big glass of water after every coffee and between drinks.
Vitamin C helps reduce both the physical and psychological effects of stress on people.
People who have high levels of vitamin C do not show the expected mental and physical signs of stress when subjected to acute psychological challenges. What’s more, they bounce back from stressful situations faster than people with low levels of vitamin C in their blood (PT 2016).
And don’t we all get a little stressed during the festive holidays?
Moreover, vitamin C gets depleted when smoking, drinking alcohol, or even by sudden temperature changes. Invest in a high-quality supplement and reach out if you want to get an immediate 15% discount on your supplements.
LIMIT YOUR ALCOHOL INTAKE
Alcohol acts as a sedative, so it can help you feel more at ease. However, this benefit is short-lived. When we drink alcohol, it disrupts the balance of chemicals and processes in the brain. The relaxed feeling you experience when you have your first drink is due to the chemical changes alcohol causes in your brain. The alcohol starts to depress the part of the brain that we associate with inhibition.
But these effects wear off fast, and pleasant feelings fade.
A likely side-effect of this is that the more you drink, the greater your tolerance for alcohol will be. Over time you may need to drink more alcohol to get the same feeling. In the long term, this pattern of drinking may affect your mental health (NHS 2017).
Always accompany your drink with a snack or a nourishing meal, and with a big and nice glass of water (and be sun safe).
USE THE WORDS “I GET TO” INSTEAD OF “I HAVE TO”
Do you know that our body cannot do stress hormones production and appreciation at the same time?
This straightforward language shift can change the way we exist in chaos.
You are stressed because you have to go to another Christmas Party, but do you know how many people are jobless and in financial restraint, and would love to be part of a team?
You have to cook NYE lunch for 40 people. It is stressful and a big job, but how great is it to have the opportunity to share the holidays with friends and loved ones?
I invite you today to incorporate this gentle swap in the way you talk to yourself and other people. Be open to it!
TAKE A BREAK TO RECONNECT AND RECHARGE
Even if you are going to the magical island of Bali for a sunny and much anticipated holiday with friends and family, make sure you take some time IN for yourself every day. If being surrounded by people 24/7 gets to your head, lock yourself in the bathroom and breathe mindfully, or go for a walk or a swim; or book yourself a massage.
Make sure to take care of your mental sanity.
Claudia is a Qualified Nutrition & Dietetic Consultant (BHSC) specialised in hormonal balance, women’s health, and disorder eating behaviors. She sees clients online and in clinical practice; you can find more about her or the Hypothalamic Amenorrhea recovery program by following her on Instagram, Facebook, or by checking her website.