Deep filled mince pies and 'pigs in blankets' have already made an reappearance on the supermarket shelves; yes, Christmas time is almost upon us.
Whilst festive food can often be highly indulgent and calorific it doesn’t mean that you should avoid them all together, it's about having a basic awareness of whats in the food you're eating so you can manage your expectations. (It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing scenario.)
So here's two strategies on how to enjoy Christmas food whilst still working towards your goals.
1. Make informed decisions.
We know food choices will be on the higher end of the calorie spectrum than the rest of the year. Being mindful of the choices that are presented to you and ascertain if they take you towards your goal or away from it. No decision is 'good' or 'bad', it just means you're in tune with where you're at.
For example, if you are popping out for lunch to grab a sandwich you can still enjoy the Christmas themed meals if you are being mindful of your weight. There is often a large variance in calories from shop to shop - It's just a case of working out which one suits your target most.
1. Pret a Manger Christmas Lunch Sandwich
2. Boots Turkey, Stuffing and Redcurrant Sandwich
3. Marks & Spencer Turkey Feast
4. Waitrose Turkey Roast Vegetable Sandwich
Again, it's not about one being 'better' than the other, it's just about awareness. The lower calorie options shown here are just as delicious however the higher calorie options donate a percent of sales to Charity which is a wonderful gesture. Do what works for you.
2. Take your time.
It takes around 15-20 mins for your digestive system to signal to your brain that you are satiated. So with that in mind, slowing things down is a good strategy to avoid that uncomfortable post-Christmas dinner bloat.
Take it easy, enjoy yourself and be fully present at meals rather than viewing them as an opportunity to consume to excess, or feeling guilty and going without the trimmings. The festive period is a great time to be able to relax and unwind from the stresses of work and enjoy yourself with friends and family - so don't spend it stuck in the all or nothing cycle of guilt.
There's a lot of talk about 'surviving' Christmas when it comes to fitness. Let's embrace this season and thrive instead.