It is so tempting to drop healthy habits and overindulge around Christmas! And I get it, we are human after all, and we live in the real world. I tend to indulge a little more at Christmas as well.
However, in this blog, I would like to give you my 10 strategies on how you can indulge without completely compromising your health or throwing your goals out the window.
- Make sure you still eat healthy small meals before you head out to a party or over to see family and friends. Eating nothing all day because you know you are going to overindulge later can be counterproductive because you might be so hungry, you will eat even more than you normally would. Remember it is not all about how many calories we consume daily. What we eat or what we don’t eat is often so much more important for us to focus on.
- Start your day with a balanced breakfast that contains good quality protein and fats, such as scrambled eggs with avocado on sourdough bread. This will help reduce cravings later on in the day and you will indulge a little less and maybe just have one mince pie instead of 3. Download my FREE 11 Balanced Breakfast Recipes HERE.
- Swap milk chocolate for dark chocolate that has a minimum of 70% cacao content.
- Make sure you drink at least 6 small glasses of water a day. Eating a few more treats or drinking more alcohol than normal can have a dehydrating effect. Make a note on your phone of how many glasses you had to keep track. Your body will thank you for it. And fill your wine or prosecco glass with water after the wine or prosecco, which will make sure you rehydrate in between.
- Be mindful of the sugary gingerbread and caramel lattes, as they have the equivalent of 10 tsp of sugar in them! Once in a while, that is ok, but remember they have no nutritional value for your body.
- Throw in a 12-16 hour overnight fast once or twice a week. This gives your digestive system some time off, helps the liver to recover and supports weight management. For example, you could have dinner at 6 pm and then no more food until the next day at 8 am for a 14-hour fast or until 10 am for a 16-hour fast.
- Get the thinking in calories out of your head!
It could be that you have come across this before where you think “I am just going to eat those biscuits, that cake, that box of mince pies and then I just don’t eat anything else that day…
Well you might consume less calories on that day, but your body will be missing some very important nutrients, such as protein, healthy fats, fiber and vitamins and minerals which are so important for our metabolism to work and you can end up hopping from one binge extravaganza to another, because your body is literally craving the important building blocks to be able to produce all the hormones, enzymes, neurotransmitters etc your body needs to function properly. It is not all about how many calories we consume daily. WHAT we eat or what we don’t eat is often so much more important for us to focus on.
- Our gut loves a big variety of different kind of coloured vegetables. So show your gut some love by eating vegetables daily – load up on roasted veggies, a side salad or soups and stews. Focus on broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage. They are high in antioxidants and also support your liver as they help the detoxification process.
- Go for walks daily. Even just 20-30 minutes a day helps keep your immune system strong and it lifts mood.
- Compensation strategy: In case you find yourself in an empty calorie blaze over Christmas, you can compensate afterwards with some healthy meals. So, the days after Christmas you can throw in some salads, non-starchy vegetables, a homemade green smoothie, Greek yoghurt with berries, soup with lots of veggies and maybe lentils in etc.
A lot of people give up after an escalation like this and think “oh well, now it doesn’t matter anymore”… well, let me ask you “if you had one flat tire on your car, you wouldn’t go slash the other 3 because it doesn’t matter anymore, would you?”
So quite the opposite, you can have a few days where you indulge and eat a bit too much… but if you learn and teach your body that you can easily get back on track after, it will get easier and easier to be back on course in the future.
This is as good a time as any to begin doing what matters most to you. And if that is looking after your own health, do what you can with what you have right now. Small positive changes go a long way. Pick one of the tips I have mentioned in this blog and stop overthinking, you can start doing now!
And if you would like me to help you get to the next healthiest version of yourself, book an introductory appointment with me at the Hempstead Therapy Centre by calling 01634 393113.
I am wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and see you in the New Year!
With best wishes from the heart,
Hempstead Therapy Centre