Festive Season Troubleshooting

[Read Time: 6 min]

FESTIVE SEASON TROUBLESHOOTING

 

  1. IT’S OKAY TO INDULGE!

The festive season is fun, we get to catch up with friends and family, let loose at work Christmas parties, give and receive gifts, and in the context of this blog, indulge in a range of decadent foods and drinks.

Some of you likely look forward to indulging during Christmas on your favourites, but it may also be a period of anxiety for some of you. You may be anxious about over-indulging, you may be anxious about your hard earned results going backwards a little bit.

I’m here to reassure you that it is OKAY to indulge! You are not weak, not lazy and have nothing to feel guilty about.

I encourage you to practice self-acceptance, accept you are likely to indulge a little more than usual, but that this will not last forever, and that you have the capacity to get STRAIGHT back on track post-holiday period.

This however, is  NOT an excuse to ‘go ham’ (1st pun of the day)- we still need to be MINDFUL and practice some BALANCE surrounding Christmas. Keep reading to see how.

TAKEAWAY: Be kind to yourself, and accept you’re likely to indulge a little more over Christmas. It isn’t the end of the world, your goals won’t go out the window, we just need to practice some balance, planning and mindfulness.

      2. DON’T BE BLACK AND WHITE

When approaching the festive season, we’ve got friend catch-ups, work functions, and family events. This, as mentioned above, provides multiple opportunities to indulge in different kinds of food and alcohol.

The first question I want you to ask yourself is, ‘how important are my health and fitness goals to me?’. Depending on how important your goals are to you, will determine your degree of indulgence at these events.

One end of the spectrum- the ‘let loose’.

  • Goes hard at every event, eating and drinking as much food and alcohol as possible

  • Doesn’t think about their health and fitness goals

  • Values indulgence highly, doesn’t value their goals much

I discourage you to be at this end of the black and white spectrum.

 

Other end of the spectrum- the restrictive type

  • Avoids social events to avoid being confronted with temptations

  • Goes to events but is avoidant for much of it and doesn’t enjoy any treats

  • Health and fitness goals at forefront of importance, relaxing and indulgence not important

I’ve presented 2x options to you here, neither of which I encourage you to follow entirely. Instead, I encourage you to find SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE.

If you value indulgence a little more, then that’s okay, err slightly more towards option 1. If you see slightly more value in indulging during the holiday period, then do so, but accept you may slightly slow yourself down towards your health and body composition goals. Still aim to keep up your exercise and physical activity schedule/routine, and eat in as balanced of a manner as possible around your events.

If you value your goals a little more, then that is ALSO OKAY, incline slightly more towards option 2. Accept that you may have to hold back from eating and drinking  slightly more than your friends/colleagues/family around you, but accept that it is also okay to indulge modestly here and there and still be on track towards your health and body composition goals. Socialising and relaxing is still important!

TAKEAWAY: Holiday indulgence doesn’t have to be black or white, it is on a SPECTRUM. You either value indulgence a little more, or you value your health and body composition a little more, but either way you can still enjoy and be on track with both if you see BALANCE.

 

        3. PLAN AROUND YOUR EVENTS

You’ve got a work Christmas party on the 9th.

A catch up with friends on the 14th, then with another set of friends on the 18th.

You’ve got Chrissy Eve with your Dad’s side of the family, Xmas Day with your Mum’s side of the family, then Boxing Day with your partner’s family.

That’s 6 events, 6 opportunities to indulge. What do I do Alex?

Plan ahead of time on your calendar. Depending on where you are on the spectrum we spoke about above, decide which of these events you will:

  • Decide to indulge a little more at

  • Decide to be a little more ‘sensible’ at

This allows you to have a little of the ‘best of both worlds’, and defies the assumption that your health and body comp goals need to go out the window during the Christmas period.

TAKEAWAY: Look at your calendar ahead of time, and decide which events you are going to indulge more at, and which ones you are going to be more sensible in.

      4. XMAS FOOD DOESN’T HAVE TO BE COMPLETELY INDULGENT

Christmas food is often associated with being completely indulgent.

Viewing foods dichotomously as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ can lead us towards eating in a binge-restrict fashion, where we restrict foods for a certain period of time thinking we are being ‘good’, and subsequently over-eat them after having restricted them for too long.

Let’s not do this to ourselves during the joyful time of Christmas, let’s be merry (2nd pun of the day) and enjoy a bit of both instead.

Enjoy your favourite treats and desserts, enjoy a bit of your crackling, and have a few drinks.

However, there are so many opportunities during Christmas to create healthy, fresh, balanced meals! We are at an advantage here in Australia where we celebrate Christmas during warmer months, where we can make the most of the abundance of fresh Aussie summer produce.

> Base your meals around fresh, vibrant, colourful vegetable-filled salads

> Include lean meats like skinless Xmas turkey or chicken and/or skinless Xmas ham (pick 1 or 2 events where you enjoy some crackling but take it off for the rest of them)

> Enjoy Chrissy desserts, but make the most of beautiful summer Aussie fruit (cherries, berries, nectarines/peaches, plums and most importantly, MANGOES!) on Christmas platters

TAKEAWAY: Enjoy some treats here and there, but so many Christmas foods and meals can absolutely be balanced and healthy.