I love Christmas. Having grown up in the Northern Hemisphere, Christmas to me meant rugging up to keep the cold out, open fires, and occasionally (although not often where I grew up), a white blanket of snow on the ground. It took me a while to get use to spending Christmas in the sun! Since having children, and watching their excitement and enthusiasm grow during the lead up to Christmas, I have come to realize that to my children, celebrating Christmas on a hot summer’s day is the norm, and now, I get excited just watching the excitement on my children’s faces when they wake up on Christmas Day :).
Anyway, going back to the topic of my blog post; whichever hemisphere you live in, I’m sure the one thing that most of us would agree on is that Christmas means delicious spreads of festive food, and usually plenty of it. I have to admit that for me, holiday overeating is easy when presented with lots of tasty treats!
When we are planning our family Christmas, we always make sure that everyone is given the opportunity to request one thing on the menu that they consider to be an absolute treat, and that they really, really love. This being the case, it is not hard to fall prey to overindulging just a little….or maybe a lot!
Tips To Help You Avoid Holiday Overeating
Here are some tips that I have come up with to help you (and me ;)) to hopefully avoid holiday overeating this Christmas season, particularly at parties.
1. Avoid arriving at a party hungry. Who can resist all those tempting plates of party food, particularly if you are feeling famished! Drinking a glass of water before heading off to the party is another good tip to help curb your appetite.
2. If buffet style, avoid standing next to the food table. It is so easy to keep picking away at all the wonderful food when you are leaning against the table that contains all the goodies. Have something to eat, and then move away…the further away the better.
3. Look out for the raw vegetable and/or fruit platters. Carrot sticks and dip (although preferably not cream based dips), are a far better choice than party pies and pastries.
4. Relaxation. The time leading up to the holiday season can often be very hectic. Stress can be a major trigger to overeating. Try to take the time to schedule in a period of relaxation. This could even take the form of having a soak in a warm epsom salts bath, with a few drops of lavender oil added; or spending 15 minutes doing some deep breathing.
5. Give your brain time to recognise when it is full. We can get carried away when presented with lots of delicious food, only later realizing much later how much we’ve overeaten when we start to feel very uncomfortable. Rather than jumping straight in to have a second helping, give yourself at least 20 minutes before making a decision, as this is the time the brain needs to determine that it is full.
6. Eat consciously. You know that feeling when you’ve had a large plate of food in front of you, whilst sitting in front of the TV, only to look in surprise later at the empty plate, as you try to remember if it was you who ate it all! Try to be aware of the taste of what you are eating, allowing your taste buds the opportunity to enjoy the flavor. Also, remember to chew – your body will thank you for it.
7. Be kind to yourself. So you’ve spent the evening at a party, and you know that you’re guilty of having overeaten. It really serves no purpose to get angry with yourself. What is done is done. Just acknowledge, and remember that tomorrow is another day.
8. Exercise. Try to keep up some form of exercise over the holiday season, even if it is less intense than usual. Exercise can help to boost your immune system, as well as lower those stress levels. The benefits of walking for 30-40 minutes on a daily basis cannot be underestimated.
There we have it folks, my tips on ways to avoid holiday overeating. Perhaps you have some other ideas that you implement yourself? Feel free to share these for the benefit of us all :).
Happy holidays everyone!
Abundance Of Wellness Advocate