With Christmas just around the corner, it’s easy to overeat all the tasty food lying around. We all look forward to the holidays for family togetherness and spiritual celebration but for some it’s eating and drinking in excess. While the latter can make you full on the outside, it can leave you feeling empty in the inside.
However it’s not a bad thing to want to enjoy your favourite foods, as long as your mindful with your approach and it’s in moderation. Thinking in extremes can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food. You can enjoy this time of year and still stay lean and healthy. Unless you are competing for some sort of sports event that requires you to stay super lean, don’t worry about it all that much. But here are some easy workarounds you can implement for the festive period!
F**k it mentality
Once people tend to go over the edge with something, they tend to go all in. An example would be eating some sweets and you say F**k it I have already had a few I might as well finish the packet, after all it’s Christmas. Or you weren’t planning on eating any mince pies but after having one you end up eating 6. Avoid this!
It’s fine to eat the foods you enjoy, just make sure its in moderation. Try manage your portions by eating the recommended serving shown on the back of the packet. When dishing out the food, try and fill your plate with as much vegetables as you can and try to eat it first as this will fill you up quicker. Also loading on protein rather than carbohydrates earlier in the day can help with satiety.
Eating fruit is a good fix for your sweet tooth. Eating 1-2 portions of fruit during the day can reduce your craving for that trifle and Christmas pudding.
Fasting can be a great way to manage the amount you eat on the day. If you know you are going to have a big lunch and dinner, then having an eating window of 6-8 hours on the day can really help. This helps avoid snacking throughout the day when you would normally be eating a packet of crisps and chocolate.
During the your eating window (e.g. 1pm-9pm) eat as you would like. Outside those hours occupy your mind with something else and have a hot beverage to sip on.
Do more exercise
It might seem obvious, but not many people do it. Try increasing your workload/volume the workout session before you are going to have a big lunch and dinner. Do a few more sets on the big muscle groups like legs and back. That means more sets on squats, deadlifts and rows. These will use up a lot of glycogen ahead of time so it can help negate some of the extra food you eat. Remember lifting weights will elevate your metabolism and you will be burning calories over 24 hours after you workout.
Overeating for one day can actually help your performance the next few sessions in the gym. The extra calories can help you have a killer session and even set some PR’s. That one day of extra food isn’t all that bad!
You can also go for a walk during the day instead of lounging on the sofa watching television. You would be surprised that a short walk can burn around 200 calories. That’s one mince pie ticked off the list.
Drink some water
Having a few glasses of water in between meals can help you feel fuller than you are. Just make sure its water and not Coca Cola.
Enjoy the festive period with family and friends eating the food you enjoy. Remember everything is fine in moderation. Just be mindful and use the points above to help give you some control over the day ☺.