Why it’s OK to indulge at Christmas

Friends cooking together

It’s nothing new, the endless stream of articles, advice and ‘one-week diet plans’ published on and offline. But at this time of year, it seems to be a new level of intense. Well, we’re done with it.

Done with believing.

Done with reading.

Done with even giving them an eye roll.

Christmas, for many, is the time when we gather with friends and family. We celebrate each other and enjoy a drink or two, and a mince pie (or three). Why should we feel guilty for indulging a little?

Of course, eating everything in sight ‘because it’s Christmas’ isn’t the healthiest option. Physical activity and a balanced diet are essential in maintaining good health, but a treat here and there throughout the festive season is nothing to feel guilty about.

In fact, punishing yourself for wanting to enjoy this time of year is probably more detrimental to your health than that glass of Baileys.

Block out the noise

We are bombarded with exercise routines, diet plans and what healthy should look like. Social media, in particular, can have a massive impact on our perception of health and happiness. But what is so common on social media, isn’t always the truth. And it certainly is no sign of what you should look like.

Block out the noise this Christmas (and beyond). Go through your feed and unfollow any accounts that make you feel bad. Follow positive, inspiring people that make you feel good, empowered and motivated.

Some of our favourite accounts include Grace Victory, Melanie Murphy and Tally Rye.

Forget the calories

Making up for what you’ve eaten by skipping meals or eating less can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food. Don’t focus on the calories of food – they really mean nothing and indulging for a few days isn’t going to ruin your progress. Ensure you’re eating enough and that your meals are balanced. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, stay hydrated and take it one day at a time.

Don’t force yourself to exercise

Regular physical activity is vital to good health and staying connected to your body, but please don’t force yourself to exercise ‘to burn off what you’ve just eaten’. Doing something you don’t want to do, or for the wrong reasons creates a negative mindset and will only leave you hating it more. Listen to your body, do exercise you enjoy and things will fall into place.

Stay mindful

A healthy body starts with a healthy mind and attitude. Your body knows what it wants and needs, so listen to it. Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full. If you’re tired and your body aches, take a day to rest. If you want to go to the gym, go to the gym.

If you want an extra slice of Christmas pudding come the 25th December, go for it.

Avoid judgement and avoid labels. Taking one day off to enjoy yourself doesn’t mean you need to ‘get back on track’ or that ‘you’ve been bad’ – it means you lived your life.

Be happy this Christmas, eat what you want to eat, celebrate with loved ones and acknowledge that your routine is going to change. The trick is to be aware of the changes and learn to adapt. It’s all a part of the journey.

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Ellen Hoggard

Written by Ellen Hoggard

Ellen is the Content Manager for Memiah and writer for Nutritionist Resource and Happiful magazine.

Written by Ellen Hoggard

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