Sticking to your healthy habits during the Holiday Season

It’s exciting – the year has finally come to an end and now is the time to relax and celebrate with loved ones.

You’ve achieved great things this year so allow the positive momentum to continue into the festive season.

Ignore the tug-o-war conversation in your head, when a social situation arises, that goes a little like this:

“What is the harm? I’ve been so good this year. It’s a special occasion. I really don’t want to feel left out. I deserve to have a proper Christmas feast…”

That leads to:

Eating everything you want, enjoying it at the time, and then feeling terrible for the next three days as your body tries to get back to normal. While this is happening you spend most of the time feeling guilty and berating yourself for not having the willpower to say no and make better choices.

This pattern is not healthy and definitely not self-loving.

Just because it’s time for a break, it doesn’t mean a break in eating habits. Junk food, fizzy drinks and copious amounts of festive cheer are not the answer.

They will actually have the reverse effect of what you are hoping to achieve. You will feel lethargic, depressed, stressed, have restless sleep and generally lack festive spirit.

All too often excess weight is gained over the holidays, which can take months to lose.

Focus on the good habits you have formed this year and follow our handy tips to get through the festivities, without too much extra baggage.

Stick as close to your normal routine as possible.

Try to have your meals at the same time you had them during the year. If you’re going away, take foods that you know work for you.

Don’t snack in front of the tv.

Mindless eating makes you eat more, without realising it.

Get enough sleep.

A lack of sleep signals a dropin leptin, the hormone that tells the brain it’s full. And a rise in ghrelin, the hormone that says, “I’m starving”.

Stop drinking caffeine in the afternoon.

Drinking coffee before bed may affect sleep. Drinking your coffee in “bullet” form may help your body absorb it more and do wonders for your energy levels.

Keep active.

Make exercise part of your daily routine. When on holiday – dancing, walking (on the beach, to the shops, etc) or swimming can fit right into your schedule with little effort. Even a few bicep curls with the shopping packets could work.

Don’t mistake hunger for thirst.

Often you may be thirsty when you think you are hungry. Drinking a glass of water before a meal may also help you eat less.

Shift rewards from food to activities.

Spoiling yourself with a new outfit, a dance class, a new bikini, a painting class, will mean so much more to you than rewarding yourself with a piece of cake.

Eat before you arrive at a party.

By eating a satisfying snack before you arrive at a party or social gathering, you will be less likely to snack on naughty nibbles.

Bring a plate of food.

If you are invited to an event, take a plate of Banting–friendly snacks with you, so that you know there will be something to eat.

Make it about the guests and not the food.

Focus on the guests and all the people you are interacting with to take your mind off the food.

Use a small plate and a small glass.

Using a side plate will help you eat less, but trick your mind into thinking you are eating the same amount. Using a small glass and sipping slowly, will allow you to drink less.

Fill your glass with lots of ice and dilute drinks.

Alcohol can reduce your willpower to make good eating choices. Fill your wine glass with lots of ice or dilute it with sparkling water. We have some Banting-friendly, non-alcoholic drink ideas that will go down a treat.

Eat slowly and enjoy what you’re eating.

Don’t think about the next morsel on your plate. Focus on what you are eating and savour all the flavours – you will feel more satisfied.

Stop eating when you are full.

By eating slowly, it will be easier to tell when you are full.

Relax and have fun.

Most importantly, relax and have fun. Recoup forthe New Year, enjoy your time with friends and family and try not to put too much pressure on yourself. If you slip up, start again from the very next meal with your good eating habits.