Handling holiday temptations without missing out
‘Tis the season for indulging. But if you want to keep your well-being on track, you might want to think about some strategies to find balance.
Here are some tips to help you find your balance throughout the holiday season.
Soothe that Christmas stress
The Christmas holidays can be the best time of year where you can relax and enjoy the company of family and friends. It can also be the most stressful, you may be trying to keep everyone happy at the expense of your own needs.
This becomes a busy time with many social engagements – choose those that are important to you and stay calm though out this mad month or so.
For some this is not a great time of year and for your own mental health reach out to those close to you especially when things get tough. A support network is invaluable. Spending time on experiences and creating memories results in a less stressed and more relaxed, happy and overall sense of wellbeing.
Make your choices in advance
If you’re going to an event or meal where the options are available online, scope them out. Most restaurants, cafes and even catering companies will have menus online for you to view. Choose what you want before you arrive, so you’re less tempted by what others are ordering or the scents around you.
Start off nutrient-dense
If you’re at an event with a buffet table, you can enjoy a few treats. But it’s best to start with one plate of nutrient-dense choices first. Grab a good quality protein, high-fibre carbohydrates and some fresh veggies before you hit up the dessert table. For example, at a buffet I would usually start with a lean protein based choice such as meatballs, prawns, meat kebabs/skewers, sushi, rice paper rolls or frittata. Avoid deep-fried or pastry based morsels.
Know the consequences
It’s important to know how foods affect you, and make your choices based on those. For example, you might choose to eat a gluten-filled cake if it only gives you a mild tummy ache. But if you know it’s going to make you violently ill, you’ll probably want to avoid it.
I am gluten intolerant and will often carry a snack with me for those times where I know that there will be no gluten free options. It avoids the embarrassment of not eating when everyone else is.
It’s okay to communicate the reason for your choice with others. If your relative or friend is pushing a dish on you, you can simply say ‘thank you, but X food makes me sick’.
Choose your indulgences
Have you ever munched through a chunk of fruitcake, only to remember that you don’t really like it? You’re not alone. During the holidays, it’s common for people to accept plates of food they don’t really enjoy. So often we feel bad for refusing but in actual fact most people will not mind you declining that plate.
This is one area where you want to be picky. After all, we absorb more nutrition from food we enjoy, so you might as well go for a delicious option. When you’re faced with a variety of food options, choose one or two of your absolute favourites, and leave the rest.
When you do have a treat that you enjoy, being present will make the experience far more enjoyable. By savouring each bite, you’re less likely to overconsume and feel guilty about it afterwards. Consider those delicious rum balls or Grandma’s homemade trifle. It is so easy to scoff down that sheer delectable ‘heaven on a plate’ and suffer the discomfort of overindulgence later. So, take your time with your holiday favourites, and allow your stomach time to communicate with your brain signalling you have had enough and to leave some for later.
It’s easy to get sluggish as the weather heats up and the year comes to an end. But staying active is just as important for your wellbeing as what you eat. So, find ways to incorporate movement into your holiday plans. You could look at options such as:
- Swimming on hot days, or even wading through water using the resistance to exercise more
- Going for an evening walk after a large meal
- Taking the family to the park after breakfast
- Buying presents for the family that are more active, such as totem tennis poles
- Play games such as hide and seek, hopscotch, backyard cricket or soccer
- Go for bike rides with the family and/or friends
- Schedule in a weekly exercise class over the holidays
Consider checking on your health status
Take advantage of my special “Health Appraisal” for $55 available until the 31st January 2020. Call Davina on 0416016388 for an appointment or consider purchasing it as a gift certificate for that special someone.
For further tips on how to stay healthy during the Holiday season read my blog: Liver Loving Tips for The Holiday Season