Your Body Goals Versus Your Christmas Feeding Plan

It’s the festive season and nobody wants to hear about ‘diets’. It’s a season to enjoy with your family, friends and loved ones.

However, if you have been investing the whole year in becoming more fit, you also don’t want that effort to go to waste. So how can you maintain that balance between enjoying the festive season and simultaneously maintaining your health?

There are four lifestyle changes that you can adopt throughout the festive season to make sure you:

• Don’t gain weight;

• Continue to either lose or simply maintain your weight;

• Boost your immunity;

• Enjoy the festive season without having to obsess about your weight and how you look.

Below are the lifestyle changes that can help you moderate and compensate for certain situations that occur during festive seasons:

1. Eat, but don’t over-eat:
Over-eating is the key word here. You must enjoy what you eat, even if it means a dessert or a glass of wine, but be sure to never overdo it. Our body only uses what it needs, and the excess gets stored as energy, and that excess energy is in the form of fat for later use. You may be invited to a party where you are surrounded by good food. The trick is to take a bite sized portion of everything, but never overdo it. This way you will never feel deprived either.

2. Do not eat with guilt:
Allowing guilt to take you over is the worst thing to do. If you eat sweets with a fear of putting on weight, then it’s going to manifest into exactly that. Festive food is meant to be enjoyed and if it leaves you feeling guilty, you are better off not eating it. Talk to your subconscious mind and say: “I have prepared myself enough for this season and I am going to enjoy everything in moderation.” Take a couple of deep breaths and express gratitude for every bite. If you eat with guilt and anxiety, your body perceives it as a stressful situation and releases cortisol. When cortisol levels go up, thyroxine, DHEA and testosterone come down, and this sends your body into a fat-storing mode by slowing down your metabolic rate. So make a resolution to not feel guilty and you will be fine all through the festive season.

3. Exercise:
Many of us are unable to stick to our regular fitness regimen during the festive season, either because we are travelling or because gyms and fitness centers are closed during this time. However, we must realize that workouts don’t have to happen only at the gym. They can happen within the comforts of your home or even while you are travelling. Also, there are a lot of YouTube videos that can be of assistance. You only need effort and be determined. You can also try to walk every day.

It’s important to plan your workout in order to increase the chances of getting it done. If you don’t have 30 minutes to work out, aim for 20 minutes or 10, or a minimum of four minutes. Be active, to say the least. Getting a workout also helps you enjoy your evening without guilt because you know you have earned that treat or reward.

4. Don’t skip sleep:
During the festive season, it can be easy to skip or not get enough sleep. That might be inevitable but focus on quality sleep even in the handful of hours that you are left with. Sleep is when your body detoxifies and rejuvenates you from all the hustle and bustle of this season. It regulates your mood, boosts your gut health, immunity, regulates appetite and puts you in a better position to make healthy food choices during the day.

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