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6 tips to stay on track (foodwise) during the holidays

Happy holidays to all of you! I truly wish you spend this time of the year in comfort and happiness and leave all worries aside. Leave them in your drawer at work, let them sit there while you are taking your well-deserved time off. You never know, they might even shrink or disappear by the time you are back at your desk (meaning you may seem them differently after you have had a few days of rest).

Happy holidays to all of you! I wish for you to have your dear ones with you and spend some good real quality time with them. The older I grow, the wiser maybe I become, the more I understand that none of us can ever be alone for real, that we can all eventually count on good friends and relatives.

Above all, I wish you reserve the best of time for you to take care of yourself. I always say that the time is always right, especially when it comes to becoming a person who is better than who you were just two minutes ago. So, now that you may think it is impossible to remain balanced and on track with food because you have all those lunch and dinner commitments, pause for a moment and say “now is the right time to stay healthy”.

There is a community that is slowing growing on Facebook where I try to share bits of what I have learned and am learning around food obsessions. It’s called Sugarlibre Community and I invite you to join and help us improve it. In the past days, I have offered a few tips on how to remain on track with food during the holidays. I thought I would share them here with you too.

Here we go.

Eating, sweet or savoury, must always be a highly enjoyable and carefree activity. The only focus should be introducing the right fuel into your body and very little thought should be given to guilt, calorie counting, etc.

The main difficulty would be knowing when you have eaten enough to meet your energy need while you are not, on the contrary, popping food into your mouth just out of gluttony or of a mere “oh this is yum!”.

This part takes a lot of work to master and it is surely very difficult to start during the festive season.

This is why I encourage you to just relax for once. If you are lucky enough to be able to switch off from work for a few days and rest and enjoy the company of your dear ones over Christmas, just go for it.

Just bear in mind that having a good time does not necessarily mean losing total control. What counts is the moments you spend with your family, the joy that comes from it.

So, my Tip #1 to stay on track during the holiday season is KEEP CALM AND ENJOY YOURSELF.

They say that when you approach a buffet and start with a healthy option, you are most likely to stick with healthy options for the whole duration of the meal.

Having said so, and believing it is actually true, I would suggest you go with the veggie appetizers and then fill up on proteins and fats. Yes, fats are not enemies, especially if they come from plants.

This kind of nutrients is the one that keeps you full and keeps the door of the “dessert stomach” locked.

Tip #2: EAT THE RIGHT THINGS

If you are stuck in a “diet mentality” you are probably thinking that skipping a meal after you have indulged is a good idea.

It actually isn’t. Eat less but eat at every meal otherwise, you will starve yourself and eat even more the next time.

This applies to breakfast too. When you don’t eat breakfast, you may find yourself lacking energy at mid-morning. And do you know what your body will demand to obtain a fast and immediate energy supply? Sugar.

So, be far-sighted and wise Tip #3: DON’T SKIP MEALS

This here is a very juicy tip.

The very big secret around making a healthy habit stick is to think longterm.

You know why, for instance, there isn’t one single diet for weight loss that works? Because the message around diets is all wrong and misleading. The whole body-image industry is sick. Apologies for being so direct here but, coming from a story of eating disorders and knowing what originated them, this makes me really mad. First, they body-shame us making us feel uncomfortable in our own skin and then they try to sell us the latest miracle cure (or fitness trick) to lose weight quickly or tone our imperfect bodies. And we bite the hook.

Well, my most precious beautiful friend who is reading this: it’s time to change that diet mentality into a health mentality. Next time you approach a meal, think about how nutritious that food is to your body rather than how many calories or carbs or fat grams are in there. Try to see the healthy option as an opportunity rather than an unhappy compromise. It’s an opportunity to feel better tomorrow, to wake up lighter and happier and more joyful. Think longterm, step by step, a consistent uninterrupted walk made up of daily steps. You can still have the cake another time. It’s not going to disappear from the face of the Earth 🙂

Every healthy choice is an opportunity.

Tip #4: THINK LONGTERM

So, we said that the secret to lasting performances is to think long-term.

That is why we should keep up with physical activity even when we are on holiday. As a matter of fact, some of us can decide to start working out exactly this time of the year, when we are not overwhelmed by work and can finally think about our wellbeing.

And if you don’t feel like crashing the gym those days, grasp every opportunity to move your body, especially with outdoor activities like walking and hiking, maybe skiing. It’s super refreshing for your brain too.

Again, going out for a walk can be a nice family/friend-bonding time.

Tip #5: KEEP MOVING

A couple of glasses of wine may swipe your good will away. Should you then not drink wine? Sure you can drink it. But at the same time please acknowledge you are drinking it and be aware of how your behaviour might change after that.

When you approach food, try to spend a moment to relate to it. Try and imagine where it comes from, who made it for you. Give thanks. Be present. This way you’ll feel full first and you will enjoy it more.

In order to do so, remember TIP#3 don’t skip meals so that you do not arrive at the table in a ravenous state.

Are you offered a second serving? Ask yourself if you are actually hungry for a second serving. Don’t be afraid to turn it down. Respect yourself and your hunger.

Tip #6: BE MINDFUL

It’s not difficult to stay healthy even in a not-so-healthy environment. You can act today to make your tomorrow smoother.

#staylibre and Happy Holidays!

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