We all know this feeling. It’s the week after the work Christmas party and you are still sporting effects of the hangover, you have just gone through 5 candy canes for snacks on your last day at work, plus half the box of chocolates your friend gave you as a present. Then you have dinner with your friends which will be indulgent and boozy. You feel heavy, bloated and a bit gross, but you know once you start you won’t be able to stop. You also haven’t been into the gym all week because you just can’t get up in the morning and at night there is event after event.
This is the all too common occurrence I hear from clients every year. I also notice that every year there are more and more articles that are trying to give you helpful advice on how to avoid these situations, yet there we are, falling off that wagon every year. Then picking up the pieces a few weeks into the New Year.
Australian’s will gain on average 0.8-1.5kg over the Christmas period and most of us will not lose that excess weight in the months or years to come. Is your average weight gain over the years just due to the over-indulgence over Christmas? If I know that I am doing the wrong thing why can’t I stop?? If these are questions you are asking yourself I have some simple strategies that may help you overcome them.
The first one is PLAN to OVER INDULGE. This is correct. Don’t fool yourself into thinking this is the year your self control will kick in if it hasn’t the last five. So instead PLAN ahead. For the week leading up to your events, kick up your exercise regime, be strict with your diet. Then get to the event and enjoy it. Enjoy your wine or beer, the sweets and the excess food. Don’t feel guilty. We are humans and it is a part of our life to socialize with food and drink. The part that humans aren’t so good at is accepting fault. So instead, if you have planned a big, boozy, indulgent night, technically you haven’t fallen off the wagon. You don’t have to feel guilty. Ride out the hangover, then get your butt back into gear. Walk it off, make a ton of green salad and continue your normal life.
Second strategy. Write ONE, small, achievable goal for yourself to work towards during this time. Perhaps you know that as soon as you have one drink you are destined for a huge night. Then your goal may simply be, for every alcoholic drink you consume, you must have a glass of water. Stick to this small goal like a small child hanging onto their Christmas present. It may be that while you are indulging and enjoying yourself you still have to get to the gym three times a week. It may be that you will always eat some vegetables with every meal you consume.
The best thing about this strategy is the goal is meant to be small. The impact of still achieving something small throughout this time is extremely powerful and can help you return to your healthy habits quicker. It may also stave off some of that weight gain, or pave a better path for you to lose it in the new year.
The last thing I want to leave you with is to not undermine yourself with guilt. Enjoy this amazingly festive, fun time of year with those you hold close. Don’t alienate yourself with negative self talk. Chose your goal wisely, tell those said people and hold yourself accountable. Enjoy yourself, be safe and merry!
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