December is upon us and while some of us look forward to the lovely food and drink this time of the year, others can find it very difficult and triggering. The increased socialisation and exposure to more rich and energy dense food can spike feelings of anxiety and depression. Here are some tips to help you get through the next few weeks if you need it:
1. Make realistic expectations
Let’s be real here – we all know its going to be very hard to fat loss in December and putting that expectation on yourself can lead to feelings of failure and disappointment when it isn’t achieved. So lets change out mindset here. How about we just aim for weight maintenance and enjoy ourselves? It’s one month out of 12 months to put a little less pressure on yourself. Bring those calories up to maintenance and enjoy the festive season. On the plus ain’t nobody gonna be seeing those abs of yours with the temperatures outside so chilllll.
2. Say no to the Christmas Food Police
We all know this one – “You really shouldn’t eat that mince pie” “Are you really going back for another mulled wine?” Tell it to f@?k off.
3. Challenge your inner critic
When this inner critic and food police rear their ugly heads challenge them. If I am eating a nutritious balanced diet 70% of the time, does one hot chocolate really make me unhealthy? Will it make me gain a stone by tomorrow? The answer here is no. The more we challenge this gruesome twosome the stronger you are
4. Avoid all or nothing mindset
I am not saying December is the month to take the piss and change you diet to one that is based solely on foods high in fat and sugar. I encourage you to continue to eat foods that nourish you and fuel you but avoid this “all or nothing” concept where we feel we have to be eating “good” or “bad”. It’s all about balance here aiming consistency over perfection
5. Savour the experience
Eating this time of the year is about more than just food. It’s the experience and the people that go with it. We have had a tough year and if it’s though us anything it’s to cherish the ones that we love. Enjoy those drinks with your school friends, relish in the thought of meeting someone for a Christmas coffee and a pastry, spend long nights over cheese boards and wine playing never ending card games.
6. Keep up good foundations
Remember your foundations of maintaining healthy lifestyle – good nutrition, movement, sleep. This will ensure you maintain good energy levels, healthy digestion and look after your mental health. Keep these principles going then when January it’s going to make life a lot easier.
Also accept its always okay to ask for help. December can be a tough month for a lot of people and sometimes the pressure of food and socialisation can be all too much. Reach out to a registered dietitian or a counsellor for professional help when needed. Bodywhys.ie is an excellent resource for anyone looking for support or for family members too.