I often hear clients dreading having to face all the holiday foods. All the desserts, all the rich foods, all of the whatever. We just don’t need to allow this kind of thinking to occupy our mental space. This is a time when we should enjoy the company of family and friends, go on holidays and yes, share meals together.Enjoy the holiday season without letting it stress you out. Go easy on yourself and focus less on the food and more on having fun with those you love.

1. Eat whatever you want. Just slow down and savour, taste and enjoy your choices. You will probably find you’re full earlier than you expected and it’s ok to stop eating. These foods will still be available year-round so you don’t need to eat them all today. Enjoy that dessert and don’t let your internal critic take over. It will probably cause a stress response and release cortisol which is worse for you than that serve of Christmas pudding!

2. Think ahead. Make sure you don’t arrive to a celebration starving. You’re more likely to overeat. Make sure you have a snack before you leave home. If you’re headed to a buffet lunch or dinner, stop and think about what’s available before you grab the first thing you see. The key is to avoid grazing. Make conscious choices. Take a plate and enjoy it, guilt free.

3. Breakfast. Prepare some breakfasts ahead of time so you’re not tempted to eat leftover pavlova for breakfast! Try making overnight oats, chia pudding, baked oatmeal or homemade granola bars. This way you have something on hand to start your day on the right foot. Having a healthy breakfast will help prevent overeating later in the day.

4. Mindfulness is a fantastic non-judgmental way to tune into your own body and to realize what you really like and what your body needs. You don’t need to follow along with everyone else if you don’t want to. If you don’t want to drink alcohol then don’t. If you don’t want to eat your Auntie’s pudding then don’t.

5. Temptation. It is all around, and youre only human. Allow a few indulgences, while also being kind to yourself. Avoid the binge-now and restrict-later mentality. Delicious food is always at our fingertips and Christmas is no exception. Thats something we can be grateful for this holiday season.

If you find yourself feeling guilty about your food choices or are needing help to get on track after the festive season you can book in for a consultation with our Nutritionist. bronwen@nbip.com.au

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