If the thought of that Christmas party food or the large Christmas Day spread makes you feel a little anxious, you are not alone
Many people feel that when it comes to this time of year that healthy eating is out of their control..
This however does not have to be the case. You can take back the control by trying out these three simple strategies
Step 1: Notice and Name
No doubt you know what foods are your "go to" foods when you are feeling stressed or anxious as well as the "treats" that sometimes turn into a binge.
The important thing to do is to admit it
Write them down
Make a mental note
Give it a NAME
This is an important step for taking back the control of your eating and working towards changing your association with a particular food. NOTICE when you tend to reach for this food and NAME the situation. The more you can do this the more you will be able to control your actions the next time
Step 2: Make your Plan
You know the saying:
This rings true for your eating.
Here are a few "plans" you can try out this holiday season to keep your healthy eating on track:
- If you have a long drive ahead of your for Christmas or your break think about what snacks you can pack for the journey to avoid purchasing less desirable options on the way. Make sure you freeze that brick and get your cooler bag ready to stock it up in the morning for the drive with fruit, nuts, cheese, healthy sandwiches or wraps, small pre-made salads with a serving of lean protein like chicken or eggs, homemade muesli bars, bought or homemade protein bars ..... the list goes on.
- Not wanting to overeat at the Christmas lunch? Here's a few things to try: Keep up your water intake that morning, ensure you eat a healthy breakfast or a small snack 2 hours before lunch, EAT SLOWLY at the luncheon - savor each bite!, engage in plenty of conversation at the table so you avoid eating too fast and allow your food to digest.
- Allow 20 minutes for your brain to catch up to your stomach to tell you how full you really are before you start eating more food
- Need to provide some "nibbles" for the family catch up? Take something that YOU want to eat not what you think everyone else will expect. Maybe try making some chicken and vegetable skewers? What about vegetable sticks instead of crackers for the dip? Instead of mini quiche what about a large zucchini slice cut up into bit size pieces?
- Buffet lunch? Scared of overloading your plate? Use a smaller plate and EAT SLOWLY
- Don't know how to say no to your mum's famous pavlova? Go on, have some. But EAT SLOWLY
- Got a bit of a sweet tooth? Enjoy those treat but EAT SLOWLY
- Like to have a few sparkling wines with lunch? Great! Just enjoy them SLOWLY
Remember that you are in control of your actions and if your actions are not reflecting what is best for you, you are the only one who can change that
Step 3: Wipe the slate clean
Weren't expecting that one were you!
No one is perfect - no one has a perfect diet all the time - that would just be boring right?
Food is there to be ENJOYED and shared with loved ones
Food nourishes the soul and can create some peace within ourselves.
Have some self compassion with yourself over the festive break and allow yourself to enjoy the foods you love
You might have a bad day with food or your might just over-indulge at one meal - wipe the slate clean and start again.
The important thing is to not turn one bad day into a bad week. Be OK with your slip up, notice and name, make your plan to see it doesn't happen again, wipe the slate clean and move forward
Need these three strategies at your fingertips? - download your FREE info-graphic HERE
I hope these tips resonate with you and help you over this festive season!
Wishing you a safe and joyous festive season - Merry Christmas!