Don’t let Christmas be your excuse

Christmas means different things to different people. It seems that one of the givens about Christmas is that you will over-eat, consume a few too many sherries (does anyone actually drink sherry or is it just Dot Cotton’s favourite tipple!) and ultimately put on weight! I don’t think this has to be the case!

These days Christmas starts as soon as Halloween ends! The £5 “tins” of our favourite chocolates appear in the entrance of the supermarkets before you get to the fruit and veg aisle. Mince pies, brandy butter, pigs in blankets all in the supermarket’s Christmas packaging ready to be bought for Christmas in November! Nightmare. You have to have strong will power to get through the supermarket without succumbing to the festive treats on offer.

Do you really need that (extra) mince pie?

Christmas doesn’t make us overweight and sluggish… our choices around Christmas make us overweight and sluggish! FACT. Christmas really is one or two maybe three days. The lead up to Christmas can last weeks for many of us; work socials, festive catch up with friends, get-me-through-Christmas-shopping glasses of wine! The lists, reasons and excuses go on!

I’m no Christmas angel over the festive period, and I’m no Scrooge, but my Christmas gift to you is a few suggestions on coping with the Christmas food and drink explosion.

1) Plan – Planning weekly menus is great for financial and health reasons throughout the whole year. It’s no different during the festive period. Plan your food and alcohol consumption around your Christmas socials. For example I am out with friends on Friday, so this week I will be careful about what I eat and drink throughout the week.  This is NOT me advocating binge eating or drinking. If you are aware of your intake through the week, you can just relax a little on your social event.

2) Hangover – I LOVE a glass or three of wine. It is common knowledge that making sensible food choices goes out the window once you have a hangover or even before the hangover, at the end of the night out.  Be aware of this if you do happen to have one too many fizzy pops! Be wise.

3) Say No – There are likely to be more sweet treats in offices and homes at this time of year. Don’t go mad. Don’t deny yourself, but don’t overindulge! Allow yourself one treat a day if necessary, but don’t use “Christmas “as an excuse.  It will just make for harder work in the New Year!

4) No Denying It – The best way to manage your Christmas lunch so that you don’t miss out on anything is to have a little of everything.  There seems to be an unwritten rule that you have to heap your plate full… well rules are made to be broken! Don’t deny yourself, just take smaller portions!

5) Don’t Stop – Definitely don’t stop exercising! Try to minimise the disruption to your exercise regime around this time. It does become harder as classes stop for the holiday; the kids aren’t at school so that can make it harder. But use it as a chance to be creative or do something slightly different. Remember that you exercise for physical health but also for mental health; and we know how stress-inducing Christmas can be for so many different reasons. My kids will hate me writing this, but actually a Christmas Day walk can be super lovely!

I promise I’m not being “Bah Humbug”, these are just gentle suggestions to prevent you undoing all the hard work you have done over the last year! Indulge in a controlled manner, stay active, and don’t let sluggishness set in. Go and have fun and enjoy this special time of year! I’ll see you back here in the New Year.

Merry Christmas x

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