Our Christmas Eating Guide: Enjoy Yourself But Be Mindful

Christmas and New Year's is coming up suuuupper quick. Here are a few tips and strategies that we’ve been discussing with our Crux members on how to stay on track during this time of year.

So, first of all, it’s important to set a realistic expectation for yourself.

And what I mean by that is…

With all the social events and family gatherings, do you expect to lose weight over this next couple of weeks? Or would you be happy to just maintain your weight?

Now I’m not saying that it’s not possible to lose weight during this time because it is!

But usually around this time of year, there’s going to be a lot of food and drinks around plus more snacking than usual. So this means slightly more self-control when you're at events.

Now if you'd like to enjoy yourself a little more at these events and indulge in a little extra food and treats, then that’s completely 100% normal too!

But set the expectation within yourself and give yourself permission to enjoy the food and treats and know that, one meal or even one day is not going to ruin all your progress.

So once you’ve set that expectation within yourself, the next step is to set some non-negotiables.

And what I mean by that is… what are 1 to 2 things that you must do each day or each week that you would be happy with if you achieved those tasks each day/week?

For example, having 2.5L of water everyday, getting 5000 steps everyday, getting in 2 workouts a week, take 10mins out to slow down and focus on your breathing.

It’s completely up to you but set yourself some non-negotiables to stick to so that you have a plan and still have something to aim for.

Now these non-negotiable are just a base line so if you happen to do more than that, than awesome! That’s a bonus and give yourself a high 5.

So now that you’ve set an expectation for the next couple of weeks and have some non-negotiable tasks, let’s make sure to set yourself up for success and make sure you have alternatives for when the unexpected happens and you don’t get a chance to get those tasks done for the day.

For example if you had planned to do a workout on a certain day before heading out to a family gathering… think about what could you do to ensure that you still get some sort of movement in throughout the day? Instead of sitting around playing video games, drinking beers, watching movies, you could… encourage some of the family and kids to go for a walk to the park after lunch, throw a ball around, you could bring out the cricket set and play some backyard cricket and get the whole family involved. Whatever it is, try and make it physical, even if it’s something like charades, Wii Fit or whatever!

I remember one year, it was raining so we brought out Twister and started playing that inside. Play a few rounds of that and that’ll get you moving but most importantly laughing and having fun!

Whatever it is, make it fun, and get the family involved and just laugh. If you want the family to be active as well, sometimes you have to be the one to initiate and encourage them to do it, because if you don’t… it’s likely no one else will.

So now that you’ve set an expectation, some non-negotiable, got a back up plan and some ideas to keep active during Christmas holidays, here are a few Do’s and Don’ts to help you a little more:

  • DON’T beat yourself up for eating a little more than you normally would, give yourself permission to enjoy this time, the food and the extra energy.

  • DON’T feel like you have to burn off the extra calories - this just creates or reinforces a bad relationship with food and exercise

  • DON’T feel like you have to have one of everything on your plate. There’s going to be a lot of food, turkey, ham, chicken prawns and you might feel ‘obligated’ to have a little of everything so as to not ‘offend’ anyone. Make yourself a plate of food that you WANT to eat and enjoy it

  • DO make your plate colourful and balanced, fill your plate up with some protein i.e. meat, some carbs ie, fruit, veggies, salad, potato bakes and fats, sauces, dressing etc.

  • DO dish out your snacks, with platters it’s very easy to overeat so grab yourself a plate and dish it out, IF you feel like more, think about a couple things, are you bored and just want something to do with your hands, or do you actually want more food? And don’t forget there’s also the main meals.

  • DO eat mindfully and pay attention to your fullness cues. Be present while eating, think about the taste, the textures and eat slowly

  • DO drink plenty of water

So there’s a few tips and strategies there for you to incorporate over the next couple of weeks. Let me know if you found this helpful and comment below what your non-negotiables are during this time of year?