Christmas time: treating yourself differs from stuffing yourself
It's nearly that time of year when your social calendar increases with making plans with family, co-workers and friends - those you see often and those you don’t. These social events usually involve some sort of meal or drinks. It can be hard to remember your health goals with all these extra activities, and you don’t want to appear rude by not joining in, and of course, you want to enjoy others company and the festive season!
But how do you keep your health goals on track and still enjoy this time of year? Well, it's not easy, but it can be done! You just need a little forward planning and to remember the difference between treating yourself and stuffing yourself (like a turkey!).
Too much food?
Let’s first start with the effects of over-consumption of another meal out, another slice of cake or having one more mince pie. Eating too much food can make you feel so full you feel as if you’re about to burst at that moment and probably feel the need to unbutton the top of your jeans or trousers. Over the weeks you may start to feel sluggish and tired; you may start to feel bloated as a constant, and it may even feel as though you’re carrying around extra weight, meaning by the time of your works Christmas party you probably don’t feel like wearing your new outfit bought specially for the event. Too much of a ‘good thing’ such as all these outings involving lots of treat foods can at first make this time of year special and you probably say to yourself many times ‘go on then, it is Christmas after all!’ Eventually, it will start to catch up with you, and you may be feeling the need to slow down a bit, but that may not be an option for such a very busy time of year. Most of us will probably want to feel on top form and organised and when the big Christmas day does come, to know you have it all under control.
Too much alcohol?
Now, how about all the extra alcohol that goes in hand with the extra food? Will you be having too much mulled wine, port, whisky or whatever your favourite tipple might be this time of year? Then again it is probably something you drink all year round? So why do we feel the need to guzzle and squeeze one or two more drinks down us like it is in short supply or that you think it is only here for this time of year? It is called clever marketing and advertising, you may feel that certain foods and certain drinks are here only for Christmas because advertisers create that need and urgency. But if you go to your supermarket three weeks later or three months later, they will still be on the shelves – just without the decorations. Too much alcohol can affect our mental well-being too, it can act as a depressant which is something you probably want to avoid any time of year, never mind this magical time of year.
Don’t forget there are other social activities that do not need to involve food and/or alcohol – so why not change things up a bit this year and suggest to whoever you are seeing over the run-up to Christmas something a bit different and maybe even a bit active?
Now, I’m not saying don’t enjoy some extra treats this time of year. But what I am saying is that it is important to remember that it is not just for Christmas! You probably have access to most, if not all the extras all year round. So, don’t feel the need to stuff yourself, but do treat yourself!
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