Tips for Eating Over the Festive Season

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The festive season, celebrations, birthdays, travel and special occasions – These all tend to throw us out of our healthy lifestyle and goals towards optimal weight and health and set us back. To get through these times unscathed requires much discipline, inspiration, planning and prepping.

These awesome tips are from Dr Zoe Harcombe, a nutrition expert, researcher and author has a PhD in public health nutrition and a special interest in obesity are super helpful. (These are highlights. To see full article, subscribe to her site).

Don’t cheat too much.

This means, don’t have Christmas cake and mince pies and chocolates and pudding and etc. You’ll just feel sick – especially if you were avoiding such things for some time.

Don’t cheat too often.

This means don’t cheat too often in one day and also don’t cheat every day. If you know there’s a big meal one day (Christmas Day being the most obvious one), you probably only need a light breakfast, if at all. Don’t start cheating too early that day. Enjoy the treats at the big meal, which will only be spoiled if you spend the day munching beforehand. Don’t cheat every day.

Be alert and stay in control.

As soon as you notice you’re starting to crave things, stop having them. You can’t be an addict in moderation.

Don’t waste your cheating.

Don’t ever eat something just because it’s there or because you’ve eaten other rubbish that day, so why not eat a bit more. Every cheat you have should be worth it.

Don’t settle for anything less than what you really want. 

This goes hand in hand with number 4. If you want Christmas pudding and brandy butter – have it. Don’t have a dry mince pie thinking this will satisfy you. You’ll only want the Christmas pudding and brandy butter and will probably have this in addition to the mince pie.

Don’t graze.

Christmas is one of the worst times for regular meals. Food tends to be available all the time and “a maximum of xx meals a day” goes out of the window. Try to keep some routine. Even if meal times are disturbed, don’t pick at things all day long.

Don’t be around junk when hungry.

Your willpower will be tested over the festive period. If you know you’re off to a party where all the food will be ‘beige’, have a meal before you go. Christmas dinner is always served later than planned.

Don’t confuse thirst and hunger.

If you think you’re hungry, try a bit of water. Not everyone is well hydrated all the time. You may be thirsty, rather than hungry. Fruit is over 90% water and even meat is approximately 70% water, so you may be craving liquid rather than food.

Don’t be within reach of junk.

Don’t stand by the crisps/nuts at parties. Don’t sit near the box of chocolates in the living room. Simply making something out of reach makes it far less likely you’ll eat it.

Don’t let feeders sabotage your good intentions.

For some strange reason people try to get you to eat junk over Christmas. They think they’re being nice, but they’re not. Just say “no thank you” if someone tries to push junk onto you. Keep repeating “no thank you” until they get the message.

Zoe Harcombes top tips are in her final newsletter for the year that is for subscribers to her website only. (It’s worth subscribing to be able to read it in full. I’m a subscriber and can vouch for the value as an investment in long-term health).

Read more… Keeping on Track Whilst Banting or Keto

This post is not sponsored in any way.


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