I have always associated Christmas with indulgence, especially of food but as I have got older, alcohol too. It seems inevitable that my body, as much as I love and respect it, will become abused and treated with complacency.
Why is it that our self control cannot withstand the indulgencies of Christmas? Or perhaps our fear of losing self control because of social pressures to overeat is just as great.
May I suggest, whilst you are still sober and can think clearly you spend a little time identifying areas of weaknesses and strengths to pull you through the gluttony that is Christmas.
Think about situations where there is temptation, for example
- After drinking
- Late at night
- With friends of family
- Nibbles out for snacking
- Eating out
iii. Between meal opportunities
- Most of the time because there is so much food about
- Nibbling sweets and snacks
- Home alone
- Christmas blues
- You might have several completely different temptations, these are some of mine.
Think about when the Christmas festivities begin and how long they go on for?
It’s not surprising we struggle with eating behaviours over Christmas.
Our bodies are really very adaptable. You may have noticed if you have a one off large meal you get quite hot- this is your body burning off the extra energy (calories) it has eaten. It is called Diet Induced Thermogenesis. Naturally, lean people have more of the brown adipose tissue associated with this, if you were overweight when you were growing up you will have less of this fat. The point I want to make is that you can get away with a short period of indulgence over Christmas without it impacting significantly on your body.
So the days with the most temptations can be those days: the days of indulgence, trusting your body to burn off the extra energy. Days of less temptation are the ones where you can focus on having greater control. Aim for 2-3 days of indulgence over the 12 days of Christmas and try to maintain normal eating the rest of the time.