You know that stomach-straining, nauseating, possibly even painful, feeling you get when you’ve eaten way too much? I do! Despite having a hold on my overeating the past few years, I haven’t forgotten that sickly, binge eating feeling. In fact, the feeling comes on all too strong when I think about it.
This year I plan to maintain my good track record and keep my stomach comfortably full, as opposed to uncomfortably stuffed; to maintain my exercise regime and healthy routines. When we overdo it, it can sometimes throw everything out! A cascade of unhealthful behaviours incurs – you overeat, you feel awful and so bloated that you don’t want to work out, you then feel guilty about overeating and not working out, so you emotionally eat some more?
These are the tips that have helped for me over the years and I hope they can help you too to enjoy a comfortable, conscious Christmas!
1. Be helpful.
Get involved in the preparations, cooking, table-setting, whatever needs to be done. If you’re busy, you’ll be less likely to reach for all the sneaky, delicious snacks.
2. Savour the bites.
Mindful eating is a practice of bringing attention and intention to the whole eating process. Enjoy each bite of food, listen to your body’s hunger-satiety (full) ques, and ask yourself “do I really want to eat this?” Mindful eating is also non-judgmental, so whether you choose to eat anything at all, whether you consider the food healthy or unhealthy, holds zero relevance and certainly does not reflect upon you as a person. Good food does not make you good. Bad food does not make you bad. Got it!
3. Enjoy the non-food experiences.
Sometimes we shine too much focus on the food at Christmas. Try to focus more of your thoughts and actions on the non-food experiences such as catching up with friends/family, the conversations, a game of cricket or basketball, sharing of gifts or games, playing with the children, and so forth.
4. Eat it tomorrow or the next day.
Remember the food is abundant and you actually do not need to try everything. You can always have it later. It is not rude to listen to your body and say you’ve had enough. If you do feel rude, comment on how wonderful the food you’ve already eaten was.
5. Maintain your healthy habits.
That exercise routine you’ve worked so hard on throughout the year, don’t let it fly out the window now! If you rely on the gym and it’s closed over the silly season, get outside (it’s summer in Oz so no excuses here) or squeeze a gym session in on the last day before close and the first day back (that’s what you’ll see me doing!).
6. Don’t deprive yourself.
Permit yourself to enjoy a variety of foods, including the sweeter options – in small amounts. Strict deprivation can stimulate intense cravings, leading to overeating/feeling anxious and even out-of-control around food.
I hope you found these quick tips helpful? And I hope you have any enjoyable Christmas without feeling uncomfortably full or losing track of your health goals. And if you do head into this territory, as I still might too, shake it off and be kind to yourself as you find your health groove again.