It’s nearly Christmas! And, while it is a wonderful time of the year to spend time with the family, some people dread the large meals and what it will mean in terms of feeling bloated, eating too much sugar and drinking too much – and if they will fit in their jeans in January!
Here’s my take on why you should not worry about eating junk, or eating too much, this Christmas:
- What matters is what you eat every day
It doesn’t matter what you eat in a few festive days. What really matters is what you eat day in, day out. If you regularly eat lots of fruit & veg, little or no sugar and eat in moderation, just relax on those days during the holidays – enjoy the meals, the merrymaking and the wine! Exceptions are not only fine – they are necessary! Nobody is perfect and nobody is free from temptation.
- Spending time with family & friends is good for your health too
In spite of social media and the Internet, we live in an increasingly disconnected world. As Gabor Maté put it: “We are more wired, but we are disconnected”. Spending time with your “tribe” is extremely important for your health. It gives you a sense of belonging and purpose. Specially after all the restrictions and lockdowns, we need it more than ever. Therefore, relax and enjoy time with your dear ones without worrying about you’re eating. Having Christmas pudding and red wine with the people we love, while chatting and having a laugh, is healthier than eating spinach and chickpeas on our own!
- Make up for large meals with what you can control
When you are not meeting family & friends, try to eat lighter, healthier meals. And in the days when you do meet them to have a large dinner, you may try “intermittent fasting” – not eating anything afterwards for 12 hours or more. For example, if you have a family dinner at 6pm, you wouldn’t have anything else (no evening snacks or alcohol) until the next morning. This allows the liver to properly clear out toxins.
- Switch to healthier versions of sweet treats
I know, how can you keep away from this large tin of Cadbury chocolate biscuits sitting on your kitchen countertop? I’ve been there! Remember, it is ok to eat some biscuits or rich desserts during these days. However, industrially-produced treats generally have excessive amounts of not only sugar, but also palm oil, salt, white flour… If you feel like having something sweet, you can try to switch to healthier, home-made treats.
- You can do a detox after Christmas
If after Christmas you still feel like you ate too much, or too much junk, try to do a 5-day detox or cleanse. This can range from a very strict detox, where you only drink fruit and veg juice, to an easier version, where you simply focus on good whole grains, proteins and vegetables, while staying away from caffeine, alcohol, sugar, dairy, meat and gluten.
If you want to go for the latter version, join me in January for a free event “How to do a detox”. I’ll give you some simple tips and tricks to cleanse your body in 5 days without starving and while enjoying beautiful meals!
If you’d like to know more about this, pop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up to my mailing list on my homepage. Please feel free to pass on my details if you know anyone who might be interested!
In the meantime, I wish you a very Merry Christmas with your dear ones, and a Happy New Year!