Last Updated on January 31, 2024 by Asfa Rasheed
It’s Christmas time which means that joy and laughter fills the air, along with something else – the aroma of Christmas goodies wafting through the air! When it comes to Christmas foods, many people take an extreme approach– either gluttony or abstinence. However, the best thing that you can do for your physical and mental health is to find the middle ground where you indulge a little but don’t go overboard. In addition to this, you should also take a nutritional supplement as this will ensure that you still get the nutrition you require, even if you are not on a strict diet.
There’s just something about Christmas that gives it a timeless vibe. For some people, it’s the nostalgia inspired by classic carols from a time long passed, for others, it’s the twinkling lights and beautiful decorations, and for the little ones, it’s the pile of gifts under the Christmas tree. Although Christmas is a magical time that brings out our inner child, we have to remember that we can’t pig out the way we used to as kids!
Here are a few tips on how you can have your Christmas cake and eat it too:
Table of Contents
Practice Mindful Eating
This is the time of the year when indulgence abounds! Give yourself permission to eat whatever you want but remind yourself that just because you can eat ANYTHING you want, it doesn’t mean that you should eat EVERYTHING you like. Don’t forbid any foods otherwise, you will feel deprived; instead, take smaller servings than you usually do. Chew slowly and savor your food so that you can still enjoy your meals without overeating.
Improve Digestion with Probiotics
Christmas is synonymous with sweets, cakes, and desserts. This increase in sugar can harm your gut microbiome – the trillions of bacteria that live in your digestive tract. Some of these bacteria are good for your health while others are bad. Unfortunately, many of the bad bacteria thrive on sugar, so when you eat too many sweets, it throws your microbiome off balance and results in bloating, acidity, flatulence, etc. Taking a daily dietary supplement will help to restore your microbiome, promote healthy digestion, and prevent these issues.
Fill Up on Fiber
Most people skip healthy starters because they want “to leave place for” the turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and other trimmings. This means that they are quite hungry by the time dinner is served and are more likely to overeat. This is why you should have at least a small serving of salad or an appetizer that contains non-starchy veggies – think veg sticks with hummus. The fiber in these veggies will reduce your appetite so that you can enjoy your Christmas dinner without overeating. If you don’t like salads, you can have some psyllium husk a couple of hours before your meal. Psyllium husk is a dietary fiber that will stave off hunger pangs and aid digestion.
Go for Quality over Quantity
It’s very easy to overeat throughout the Christmas season. Think about it – it’s the only time of the year when you feast to the point of feeling physically ill without fear of judgment because you are in good company. The delicious spread of seasonal grub makes you think that you need to try at least a little of every single dish because if you don’t, you might just miss out on the best. Instead of attempting to sample every dish, take very small portions of several of your favorite foods and enjoy your meal. Your portion size of meat – whether it’s turkey or chicken, should be larger than that of starchy foods like potatoes because meat satisfies your hunger for longer so you’re less likely to snack in between meals.
Do a December Detox
We associate the word “detox” with liquid diets and other extreme measures that only last a couple of days. However, you can take several steps to detox for the entire month of December. For example, you can drink more water throughout your day. Until a few years ago, the recommendation was 8 eight-ounce glasses, which equals half a gallon, or about 2 liters a day. However, the updated recommendation from the National Academy of Medicine is about 13 eight-ounce glasses and 9 glasses for healthy men and women, respectively. You can also start your day with a smoothie or green vegetable juice to improve digestion and get rid of toxins. If you don’t have time to make smoothies and juices, you can invest in a powdered nutritional beverage that uses organic fruit and vegetable blends for full body detoxification.
Christmas is meant to be a time of happiness and celebration, so don’t give in to negative self-talk. Instead of saying, “I am weak because I ate pudding”, reframe it as “I give myself permission to enjoy this pudding without guilt or shame”, and instead of saying, “I overate today which means that I’m never going to be able to stop overeating”, reframe it as, “Slip-ups happen and I am learning to be more patient with myself”. This simple change in approach will teach you self-compassion and improve your physical and emotional health this Christmas.