Christmas is getting close.
And, unless you live in a cave, you’ll have noticed that the festive season has pretty much already started. The meet-ups, the ‘let’s go out for a drinkie/coffee/cake’ invites will already be flying, and the temptation to treat yourself because ‘it’s Christmas’ becomes a hard one to resist.
And if you are on a programme of either weight loss, getting fit, or training for an event, you’ll find this time of year to be more than just a jolly eating fest. You might even find it stressful.
And that, sweetcheeks, is sad.
Yes it is.
This is the time of year for festive happiness. For visiting family and friends. For catching up, making out (oh yeah) and having fun. Staring at the mince pies from the corner of the room while you sup your glass of water isn’t just depressing. It’s also WRONG.
You know me. I am a Nutritionist of the most passionate kind. But I am also a fun-loving, food-loving freak and I have no intention of contributing to a sad festive period.
So, here’s what to do to make your Xmas food fun:
- Chew the food. Yep. You heard it. Chew the food. If you don’t chew it right, you won’t digest it (bad enough for the gassy types) but you also won’t remember eating it. And if you don’t remember eating it, you’ll just eat more of it. So I say, eat as much as you want, but chew the darned thing.
- Drink water. Yep, I know that I just said that drinking water isn’t fun, and it isn’t when everyone around you is slurping prosecco. The water part needs to happen before you hit the party. Not because it will reduce a hangover (it will do that) but because if you are hydrated, you won’t get confused about whether or not you are hungry. Which in turn means you won’t stand there cramming eclairs in your mouth when nobody is watching.
- FAT. FAT. FAT. Oh, good LORD I hear you cry. Do you ever shut up about fat? Well, no, actually. The reason being that you’ve been programmed for so long to think of fat as bad for you, that I know you’ll head for the low-fat cream, the diet donuts and the slim-jim cheese. DO NOT DO THIS. Eat the good stuff. If you like cream, have some cream with your Christmas pudding (ahem, says the girl who doesn’t even like Christmas pudding, and who used to just have a bowl of cream instead..). If you like donuts, then have a real donut, chew it (see above) and enjoy it. And if you do like cheese with your crackers, have some posh, Christmas-time-only expensive cheese and really enjoy the stuff. Which leads me onto one of my favourite points:
- Go posh. Yes, it’s Christmas, and that means poshness all the way. Why? Because posh stuff tends to be a tiny bit better for you. For example: you fancy some icecream. Cheap icecream is all about the nasty vegetable fats,flavours, sweeteners and maybe a bit of milk powder. Posh icecream, on the other hand involves cream, sugar, maybe some real fruit and not much else. Another example: chocolate. Cheap chocolate: fat, flavours, sugar, sweeteners and a bit of cocoa. Posh chocolate: cocoa, milk, sugar. Straight up: posh quite often = better for you. Same goes for quite a lot of stuff.
- Guilt. Shove the guilt out the way. Guilt is so overrated, and is totally worthless. In terms of food, when you are feeling guilty (or bad about yourself) your body is stressed, which means it just won’t digest properly. So, stuff the guilt and enjoy the grub. If you aren’t enjoying it, just stop eating it. You totally deserve to eat only nice food.
- Sleep it off. A good sleep cures a whole host of wrongs. And one of the wrongs that a good sleep sorts out is a big old blow out. Whatever you do, don’t hit the sack the minute you stop eating. That is not what I mean. But one of the problems with the old festive season is that it very easily becomes a month long session of eating, drinking and staying up late. Getting a few lovely sleeps in there will bring you back from edge, and will also make it a lot easier to make (slightly) healthier choices when it comes to food.
I’m hoping that this is giving you just a few ideas to make your Christmas blow-out happy, yet not quite as awful as it could be. There is always too much food around at Christmas, but you might as well enjoy it.
The tricky part is after Christmas. You know, the bit between Christmas and New Year. It’s the time when you feel like you SHOULD be eating better, but darn it, there’s a whole tub of chocolates left, a pile of pies and I’m not even going to mention the frozen desserts left in the bottom of the freezer.
Don’t worry: I’ve got this part covered.
Or at least, I’ve got it covered if you want to have it covered.
Get stuck Dive into Nutrition with me to keep your Christmas and post-Christmas world full of energy, even when you’ve run out of sugared almonds.