When did the Christmas eating start for you? Mine was this week at the family party we hosted when I found 3 types of desert on the same plate.
One of the main questions mums ask me about is nutrition and it’s usually something along the lines of, ‘How do I stop eating so much chocolate?’ Or, ‘Why, do I go all day eating really healthily and then binge as soon as the kids are in bed?’. My answer rarely has anything to do with actual nutrition and more to do with psychology (read my response here). And the same goes for holiday eating.
So here are my 3 reasons for eating what ever the 'fudge' you want over Christmas: (sorry about the swearing in the title btw, I just hate the guilt we feel around food at this time of year!)
Because it’s Christmas and when else do you get to eat Terry’s chocolate orange before your croissants and Prosecco breakfast? Never, that’s when. It’s just once a flippin’ year. The same goes for the kids (although without the prosecco). It’s also the only time of year you get to watch shed loads of television, not do any work, not feel guilty about your lack of exercise and laugh off the fact that your husband is lying on the couch snoring with his Christmas party hat on skewiff (check last year's blog on time saving at Christmas here). You can suspend reality, enjoy the moment and just let that shit go. It’s also, probably, the only time of year that you let your kids accept gifts from a stranger wearing a disguise. Really, allowing yourself to partake in the Christmas day buffet while still full from the roast dinner, pales into insignificance compared to that.
Worrying about what not to eat will make you STRESSED! I mean physiologically stressed. And when you’re stressed, guess what, you crave more carbs. So worrying about eating all the profiteroles when you’re already a little bit stressed about the fact that you’ve still not posted your Christmas cards, will only make you want to eat MORE profiteroles. So STOP overthinking it. The truth is people generally don’t put THAT much weight on over Christmas anyway, it’s nothing you can’t handle. Instead, just try to savour your food. You can still be selective about what you eat without restricting yourself. For instance. My mum always gets us a selection box in our stocking (Yes, I’m 37 and I STILL get a selection box, I STILL get a stocking – I love my mum). Once upon a time I’d have eaten every single item in that selection box. These days, I will happily donate the crappy Fudge and Double Decker to anyone who wants them (but the Wispa, Crunchie and Buttons are aallll mine!). So, choose what you love and enjoy it – let go of the rest, it’s that simple. Slice of Christmas cake? No thanks. More cheese and biscuits? Heck yeah!!
The third and final reason to eat whatever you want over Christmas is this. Because only when you’ve really indulged in all your favourite tasty foods can you honestly say, ‘NO MORE!’ You know the feeling when your body is complaining by being bloated, lethargic, constipated etc etc. So, in the New Year, when the decorations are back in the attic, the bins are empty of wrapping paper and the fridge is no longer bulging, it’s much easier to say ‘no’ to another mince pie and ’yes’ to going for a walk.
So, there you have it. Indulge during the holidays if you want to – without the guilt, I will. You’ll probably even eat less and enjoy it more because of it. And when the New Year comes, listen and respond to what your body is trying to tell you now that you’ve eaten and drank your fill (more on the this, next year - stay tuned ...)
Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas!
PS I’m planning a small online gathering of mums who are feeling fearful of what the New Year may bring in terms of healthy eating habits, and who might like a bit of support to create some new habits that are in line with their lifestyle. No rules. No restrictions. Just 'listen and respond'. £25 Starting January 13th for 3 weeks. Email me if you’d like to be kept in the loop.