Whilst Still Enjoying All The Foods You Love
I will be the first person to tell you to allow yourself to kick back and relax over the holidays.
I say that, because I am that person, some of my favourite memories are from Christmases and I don’t ever want to taint this time that should be enjoyed, by worrying over potentially gaining a few pounds. I never want my health goals to take away some of the blessings and joys of life.
But I also know I don’t want to be 10 steps backwards in the New Year either because I completely dropped everything.
Maybe it’s because this year I am in a slightly different mindset. I have been away quite a few times in 2022, I have done lots of living and enjoying life. And right now at this moment, my health goals are in focus, even more so as I’ll be turning 40 in 2023. I know that I want to feel the best I can in my body as I get ready to hit a new decade of my life.
This is not so much about the weight, it’s that my body just doesn’t feel as good as I know it can.
Movement has been getting harder, I had an increasing amount of aches and pains, my sweet cravings were out of control and all of that results in my clothes not fitting well.
This is NOT about body shaming, I don’t hate my body. I have grown to have a great appreciation and love for my body and that’s the biggest reason why I want to choose to take a little better care of it. I just know I want to feel better in my skin.
I have talked about this in the past, I think the body positivity movement has been great. We all need to approach our bodies from a place of love, care and appreciation. But we have come to a place where weight loss has now become demonised like you are a bad person if you want to lose weight.
That doesn’t sit well with me, I believe we can find a balance of self-love whilst also knowing that taking care and wanting to improve your body and your health are the highest forms of self-care. It doesn’t have to mean restrictions, or punishment followed by continual feelings of guilt because you couldn’t stick with it. You can find that flow with fitness and nutrition in a way that feels good and that’s what I dedicate my life to helping you to achieve this too.
At the moment my snowboarding pants are a little snug as a result of all the holidays I have had this year. I am on a mission to lose around 15lb before my 40th Birthday which is in March.
This is totally achievable in a way that is sustainable and that I don’t have to give up everything that I love.
Anyone who is in or around their 40’s will know that losing weight isn’t quite as plain sailing as it was when you were in your 20’s or 30’s.
It will require a little focus and a couple of key strategies which I am going to get into, but it absolutely possible to feel fucking fabulous at any age, and that is the mission that I am on right now.
So whether it’s around the holiday season, or generally supporting your weight loss journey these are some wonderful and often underrated hacks that will help you get the results that you desire whilst staying away from the BS dieting practices that have been keeping you stuck in the past.
1. Honour Your Personal Goals
I have given a little background about my holiday intentions, but they are my goals. I want to maintain the progress I have been making the last month and just stay steady for the 2 weeks of Christmas and New Year. So I can feel aligned to be back to my my weight loss goal come January.
But maybe your goals are different to mine, and that’s ok. It’s your body and you get to choose whatever feels right for you. Honour where you are at and be intentional about the way you want to feel once January comes around.
Make a goal around what feels right for you.
2. Stick To The Basics & Practice Mindfulness.
Keep it simple by continuing to implement the basics. Slow down when eating. I know this sounds too simple, but eating slower is one of the most underrated tools in your healthy eating tool kit, and it brings about the biggest body transformations, and you don’t have to count a single calorie. So slow it down, enjoy your food, notice the tastes and textures, chew your food thoroughly and take your time when eating. This is you start practising being mindful when eating.
3. Portion Size Check
Meals at Christmas can get BIG. So use the hand portion guide to keep a mindful eye on how much you are actually eating.
Aim to fill ½ plate of veggies, ¼ plate of protein and ¼ plate of something that you are craving. You can still eat the foods that you love when you are more mindful of your portion sizes. Aim to eat the veggies and proteins first and save that carb portion, the things you are craving for last. Savour it, eat it slowly, notice the tastes and flavours and allow yourself to enjoy it guilt-free. Also eating the proteins and veggies first will allow you to satisfy any hunger, to slow down your eating so you notice fullness cues and often you will feel like you don’t HAVE to devour the entire portion of Mum’s creamy gorgeous mashed potatoes and Yorkshire puddings.
** sidenote, I actually saw someone post the other day saying that Yorkshire puddings don’t belong on a Christmas dinner. I have to put my stake in the sand and say I STRONGLY disagree with that statement. Give me all the Yorkshire puddings, please!
4. Have Your Cake & Eat It
Stop labelling foods as good or bad and demonising foods. Often if you completely restrict yourself, chances are that will come back to bite you in the ass, as not many people have that much willpower. Restriction usually winds up with you just eating more,
Allow yourself to eat the sweet things you may be craving, just don’t eat them every day or at every meal.
Save the sweet treats, choose the things that you really love and know you can eat whatever you want, but it always tastes so much sweeter when it’s a one-off rather than an everyday norm. Practice slowing it down when eating these types of foods and have that mindful approach to knowing when you have had enough rather than getting to that feeling of being totally stuffed. If you can then have sweet foods after your main meal.
Again like with point number 3, if you can eat your craving foods last after you have already filled up on foods that give you a good balance of fats, protein and fibre, you are far less likely to overeat on the sweet or high-calorie foods.
5. Keep Active
Ok, so this one is not rocket science, but I want you to think about your activity a little differently. It’s common at this time of year to see the oh you have to do xxx amount of burpees to burn off one stuffing ball BS.
You are not working out to offset the foods that you eat. I’m recommending you to keep moving because movement will help you to feel good. It will help you to feel less lethargic, it will help you to maintain some of your fitness levels so it doesn’t feel as hard come January, and it’s also a good way to get some you time in the business of the festive season.
If you would normally go to the gym but can’t fit that in, even a home workout can help you get your body moving and the energy flowing. I have just recorded a super short and quick workout that is perfect for fitting over the holidays if you are short on time. So be sure to subscribe to my channel an check out this time saver workout HERE.
If you do nothing else get out and walk. I know I’ll be spending lots of time out on the mountains snowboarding but I’ll also be doing some short workouts to maintain my strength too. As the husband will be at home which feels like a rare treat as he has been away so much. He’ll be helping out with some of the dog walking, so it may actually mean that I can get out and get a couple of runs in too.
Do what feels right for you, choose movement options that you enjoy the most and remember how good you feel when you have moved your body.
6. Stop Undercompensating
This is something I have often done in the past thinking that not eating as much in the day would mean that my total calorie intake would be balanced out throughout the day.
Trouble is that this doesn’t actually work that way.
So you don’t eat much all day, head out to your event or meal that evening, start with a few drinks and whoops 2 drinks in and you are already a little bit pissed because you literally have hardly eaten anything all day.
In comes the bread rolls and you have the inability to stop at just one!!
3 courses to follow and you literally devour it all because you were so flipping hungry. Yeah, don’t do that.
Fuel your body for energy throughout the entire day with solid balanced meals and what you will then find is that you can be more present and mindful with the meal at hand rather than your insatiable hunger cues ruling the show.
This means you will likely consume less overall and feel more balanced with your eating,
If you know me you may well know I am a huge fan of journaling and have been doing it consistently for about 10 years now. But it’s not just the mindset when it comes to life goals, it really helps me to stay aligned with my body and health goals too.
Journaling does not have to be long-winded and complicated, but simply writing out the answers to these questions in relation to your food habits can bring about great awareness but also can also help to to stay aligned with how you do want to feel.
- What have I been eating today?
- How am I feeling emotionally?
- What made me choose that food?
- How satisfied did I feel from eating that?
Know that most of our eating habits are often not just about the foods but our emotional responses to stress and also tiredness. So taking a moment to work through your emotions, how you are feeling and also bring these habits into your conscious awareness. This gives you the power to take more control over them rather than feeling like these responses are out of your control.
Whilst I want to give you tips and resources that will help and support you, know that each of our lives are very different. Some people have more time over the holidays, while others have less than ever.
So please take from this article what feels relevant for you. You don’t have to do it all.
Whatever the holiday season brings for you I hope that you can give to yourself some love and happiness that you truly deserve to receive.
As always, sending all of my love
PS – If you enjoyed this article then make sure you are on my mailing list for more tips and tools like this and also get access to my 5 day Better Body kickstart and to make sure you never miss an upload. Click the image below and get started with some of the basics now. You don’t have to wait until the new year to do that.