In the past week I have read articles telling me to give myself permission to eat what I want over Christmas and another telling me I have to restrict my food choices, one telling me to learn the art of compensation and one telling me just to just listen to my body, one telling me there are no excuses to let my exercise or eating habits go over holiday period and another telling me that it’s OK if I do. Confused much?
I thought I would offer my thoughts on the subject in the hope to may make things a little less confusing (and hopefully not to add more confusion to it all!).
So here are my top 3 ways to approach the Christmas/Festive season:
1. Intuitive eating. If you eat intuitively over the Festive period you will be listening and tuning into your body, choosing the foods you want to eat it in the amount that’s comfortable for you. You are more likely to be aware of your hunger and fullness signals which will help you to stop eating when you are satisfied and to choose the foods that will truly satisfy you.
2. Intuitive eating is fabulous however I am well aware that not everyone is at this stage and that is completely ok. Some people do actually feel more comfortable if they have some guidelines to help them navigate the Christmas period. Note the word GUIDELINES never rules. Rules are never, ever needed. If this you think about some guidelines that will work for you, that will allow you to enjoy this time of the year, that will allow you to eat the foods you enjoy but will still give you a little guidance. The thing about guidelines is if you don’t follow them exactly (or at all) it doesn’t matter. They are there to guide you not to enforce strict rules. For example a guideline may be to use the plate method for lunches & dinners where ¼ of your meal/plate is protein, ¼ carbs and ½ vegetables/salad.
3. The ‘wing it’ option. This option is for those who haven’t thought twice about what they should/shouldn’t/will/won’t be eating over Christmas. They may overeat, they may not. They may gain weight, they may not. But they haven’t thought about it at all, they will just go with the flow and see what happens.
Either one of these options is completely fine. There is no right or wrong option. Go with the one that is best for you, that you feel comfortable with and most importantly the one that will allow you to have the most enjoyable, stress free, jolly Christmas.