Don’t panic, this isn’t an attempt make you feel guilty for enjoying your mince pies or red wine this Christmas. Christmas is all about enjoyment, celebration and most definitely indulgence – I myself am partial to a chocolate selection box or two.
However, I did want to talk about Christmas with a more mindful approach in a bid to reduce the level of Christmas guilt that comes flooding in once the New Year arrives.
So, below are my 3 reasons on why you shouldn’t OVERindulge this Christmas, and what you can do to prevent that Christmas guilt…
1. That post-Christmas sluggish feeling
As a personal trainer, I have spent years listening and dealing with the aftermath of clients feeling sluggish, unhappy and quite frankly frustrated with themselves for taking the indulgence that little bit too far. January hits them like a ton of bricks, and they’ve set themselves back not just one step but about 10 when it comes to their fitness levels and maintaining what they’ve achieved all year.
Solution: Don’t use Christmas as an excuse to quit exercise. Your social schedule may have ramped up but still make time to get active, whether that’s long walks with family and friends after dinner or your usual 30 minute gym work out 2-3 times a week rather than 4-5. Maintain some sort exercise so that you don’t feel like you’re back to square 1 in the New Year.
I lost 6.5% body fat and rid my bum of cellulite by doing the F45 8-Week Challenge
2. Gaining weight happens a lot quicker and easier than losing it
It’s inevitable that most of us will gain a couple of pounds over the festive period, and that’s nothing to fret about. What is important to consider before you decide to completely let yourself go, is how you’ll feel physically and mentally once the decorations come down and the last slice of brie has been eaten.
I know most people have a “who cares it’s Christmas” attitude when December 1st hits, but realistically how often have you actually not cared about gaining more weight than you would have liked? Or not fitting into your favourite jeans?
Solution: Enjoy all of your favourites this Christmas but be mindful of how much you’re actually eating, are you eating for the sake of eating, are you eating as if it’s Christmas day everyday for a whole month? Regardless of whether it is Christmas, binging on booze and rich foods isn’t healthy for long periods of time anyway. Come January you’ll be giving yourself such a hard time about it; it just simply isn’t worth it.
3. You’ll adopt habits that take longer than you think to shake off
Most people aim to start the New Year with a new gym membership, new fitness goals and new habits, but it doesn’t always happen that simply. The ‘New Year New Me’ mentality means gyms are packed and people are attempting to go booze free with dry January; however you may find yourself amongst a different crowd of people. The sort of crowd that overindulges so much at Christmas that January is a write-off and adopting new healthier habits feels impossible.
Solution: It’s actually really easy for us as humans to become addicted to certain foods, usually foods high in sugar and additives. So if we decide to overindulge on these types of foods and drinks (alcohol included) we may find ourselves struggling to reduce the amount we eat even if we intend to. This is what you want to avoid happening and you can do this by following the tips above, being mindful of how much you’re actually eating and whether in fact it isn’t just a social Christmas thing but you’re actually on the sofa every night with mince pies, chocolate and cheese. Several nights out drinking or chocolate several times a week isn’t going to cause this but if you find yourself on a constant scoffing session you may find things a little tougher than you expected.
How to have a sustainable Christmas (the planet will thank you for it!)
Christmas is actually just several days of the year but we manage to stretch it across the whole month with work parties, visiting friends we haven’t seen for months and generally taking a relaxed attitude as the holiday approaches. This makes it harder for us to resist overindulging, because Christmas is all about enjoying yourself and celebrating with friends and family, so there should be no room for negativity, guilt or regret.
However, in all honesty, the majority of people can’t help but feel completely guilty for eating more than they usually would or for gaining excessive weight after the holidays are over. So if you’re one of those people, take on board my tips, swap some of your glasses of wine with vodka and slimline tonics, enjoy the Christmas treats when out socialising but don’t give up on your active lifestyle. Eat well for the rest of the week and take it on the chin that gaining some weight is simply inevitable for most – however it doesn’t have to be excessive and nor should it.
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