Christmas stress and weight gain is on so many peoples minds. But it doesn’t need to be with mindful eating! Its statistically one of the most stressful times of the year, with overwhelming pressure for making a handful of days the most ‘special and magical, perfect’ times filled with the perfect menus, drinks and gifts. Guess what. Let’s call bullshit on that one.
I want you to take a moment right now, to think back over the past year. Grab a piece of paper and write down 3 special, magical perfect moments that have happened to you in the past year. What made them special? Magical? Perfect?
I’ll bet my chocolate
I’m willing to bet all the chocolate I received for my birthday that it wasn’t things that made them special, magical or perfect, but the people you were with or who were involved in those moments. Am I right? Yup I know I am.
I’m also willing to bet that it wasn’t food that featured highest in those moments, but connections. And yet, for many of you, the stress you may be feeling right now is associated with what to eat, (and what you ‘shouldn’t’) what to serve, what to buy for others.
Now don’t get me wrong, if you follow me on social media in any way, you will know that food features heavily in my world, because it’s amazing.
Mindful eating is a way of life for me, but it’s not food that makes Christmas amazing.
It’s the connections around that table of food.
So in this blog I’m going to share my 5 top tips for making Christmas your most beautiful, stress free one yet! (Relating to food at least!)
You see, I cant take away your worries over getting loved ones the perfect gifts, or whether the oven breaks on Christmas eve (I’ve been there, it was hilarious!) but I can help you to clear away those anxieties creeping in about over eating, overindulgence and weight gain.
1. Know the facts about winter weight
Did you know that your body will naturally gain a small amount of weight over the winter?
This is biological, harking back to the days of lack when food was naturally less available over the winter months. To give you the greatest chance of survival your body would begin to store more energy in preparation, as the days became shorter and temperatures dropped.
We needed more energy to stay warm, and protect our brains and hearts and so, despite now having central heating and an abundance of food available, our body will still work to the rhythms of the seasons to some extent.
It is completely natural to gain around 7 lbs over winter, but you are likely to gain a little more when we add in the abundance of food and alcohol available at this time of year and a reduction in exercise because of those dark evenings.
So please, make a decision to choose to not weigh yourself over this period. (if you want extra brownie points from me, give yourself an early Crimbo pressie and throw the scales away for good!)
Because not only are you likely to gain a little regardless, those numbers actually mean very little in real terms of your health or fitness anyway!
2. Switch to an abundance mindset
The table to packed with all the food. ALL THE FOODS! And you can feel your trousers getting tighter just looking at it all. Anxiety and guilt starts to creep in. You find yourself mentally counting the sins, the calories, the points.