Although a Christmas dinner doesn’t inherently have to be unhealthy, most dishes tend to be rich in meat, chocolate, sugar, and/or fat. When combined with alcohol, along with the sheer abundance of everything, it transforms the festive season into a substantial calorie bomb.
Christmas extends beyond just the main celebration day, encompassing Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day. In addition to the hearty evening meals, the traditional brunches and assorted snacks often lean towards being far from sugar-free.
While the post-Christmas stomach ache may fade, and you gradually resume your routine, the transition swiftly leads to the arrival of the New Year – accompanied by bagels, iced sugar cookies, and champagne for a long and festive New Year’s Eve. Contrary to popular belief that weight multiplies during these four or five days, the reality is different.
The body doesn’t significantly gain weight from a few indulgent and unhealthy meals. It’s the altered routine established in this festive season that transforms January into a challenge. After this period, sticking to your resolutions and reclaiming your fitness suddenly becomes more demanding.
As highlighted in the introduction, many individuals experience a mentally challenging period around New Year’s Eve. The sudden intake of extra calories, coupled with cold weather, hectic schedules, and the potential disruption caused by a ‘winter break’ at sports clubs, can lead to a significant shift in your sports and nutrition planning. How do you navigate through this during the festive season?
A key concept here is discipline, specifically self-discipline. Self-discipline involves controlling yourself to either engage in or abstain from certain activities. Rest assured, you don’t have to entirely forgo those indulgences during Christmas, as long as they remain occasional and you consistently maintain an adequate exercise routine.
Waiting until the new year to address this isn’t advisable. The longer you adhere to a routine in the festive season, the more challenging it becomes to break away from it. The few days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve provide ample opportunity to visit the gym or adjust your diet by consuming a bit less of (unhealthy) food on several occasions.
How are you going to survive this without rolling into the new year? We do give you a few handy tips:
Tip 1. Temptations in the supermarket
This pertains to all the temptations present in supermarkets. The simple solution is to refrain from purchasing them. Granted, it’s not always an easy feat, but the ultimate result will bring you genuine happiness. Consider the joy that comes with long-term satisfaction rather than succumbing to short-term impulses. Additionally, you can establish an agreement with yourself, setting a specific date from which you can indulge in gingerbread cookies or Christmas snacks.
Tip 2. Align your choices
Certainly, you can revel in the delights of these days and partake in the joyous festivities with your family. However, when reaching for that 5th Christmas snack, take a moment to ponder whether it still holds the same appeal as the first. Are you truly savoring it, or is it merely being consumed absentmindedly?
An alternative approach is opting for healthy eating throughout the day leading up to Christmas dinner. The key is to align your choices with what genuinely makes you feel good. As mentioned earlier, if you confine these indulgences to these specific days, there’s no need to worry about rolling into the new year with any unwarranted excesses.
Tip 3. Maintain a sense of balance
This leads us to the final tip. Many of us designate a day each week for slightly less healthy eating, typically on a Saturday or Sunday. Ensure that your festive evenings, family gatherings, or company drinks coincide with this designated day.
Even if this day doesn’t naturally align with the weekend, adopting this approach during the festive season helps maintain a sense of balance, allowing you to partake in the festivities without feeling the need to abandon your routine entirely. Let’s face it; you just want to join in the fun. Resume your usual habits the next day without any guilt—after all, you only live once!
Enjoy the festive season!
Ultimately, the festive season is meant for celebration with family, friends, or even for relishing your well-deserved time off. This implies that you can genuinely savor these days—embracing the freedom and indulging in delightful food and drinks!
It’s crucial to prioritize enjoyment during the festive season. While mental health has been emphasized before, the significance of finding joy and relaxation cannot be overstated. Mental well-being is intricately linked to both your physical health and your capacity for productivity.
Stay mindful of the impact that your eating, drinking, and exercise choices have on your body, ensuring you maintain healthy routines. By doing so, you’ll not only navigate through the festive season successfully but also avoid falling into a slump after a few weeks!