Eye spy mince pie

Woah, what are you doing? Put that mince pie down, now! Seriously, put it down because I don’t want you to choke on it when you read what I’m about to say.

It’s ok to indulge at Christmas!!

Yes, I just said said it, now have a moment to really take that in.

If you can’t indulge at Christmas, when can you? Now I’m not saying that you should go dive head first into that one kilogram tin of Quality Streets, washed down with a pint of Baileys and an Eggnog chaser, but a little bit of what you fancy does do you good-even with food!

If we restrict ourselves too severely around foods we enjoy, we are more likely to binge and over eat later which ultimately has a negative effect on our health, particularly if we are trying to lose fat. Instead of complete restriction we should aim to use the ‘everything in moderation’ model. No food is a bad food, though there are healthier options, it is the amount we eat which is particularly damaging. Want to finish that mince pie I made you put down at the beginning of the post? That’s fine. Want to finish the entire box in one sitting? Ok, but maybe you should be questioning your choices.

If having the rich stuff around your house is too much, try healthier alternatives like Petra’s Santa’s Saviour Christmas cake in her post from December 4th or donate anything that doesn’t get eaten and would become too much of a temptation. Do what you need to do to serve you best.

We may be more socially active at Christmas but this may lead to us becoming less physically active. Again, don’t stress! If you don’t make it to the gym because you’re too busy, it’s closed or you’re just too full, try a walk! Personally I’m one of those daft people who goes for a run on Christmas morning, but that’s because my family live in a coastal town and I get to run across the cliff tops and say ‘Merry Christmas’ to the early morning walkers whilst feeling like I can squeeze in an extra roast potato at dinner for my efforts. It’s not for everyone but you find what works for you.

There’s no preaching here so what follows aren’t recommendations or tips but just thoughts to consider and assist you to make wiser choices-should you wish to. You don’t even have to read this bit if you don’t want!

* Stop when you feel full-seemingly simple but how often do we go for ‘just one more’ even when we’re already feeling uncomfortable.

* Eat when you’re hungry. If you’ve eaten a lot for dinner, you don’t have to have another meal later in the day if you don’t feel like it. Sounds like common sense but we often get into routine with meals and decide we should eat rather than we need to eat. If you’re genuinely hungry, satiate that appetite.

* Christmas is a time to celebrate, often with an alcoholic drink (or 6) but alcohol is costly for calories. Clear drinks like vodka contain the least calories (55 per shot) whilst a 250ml bottle of beer is 155 calories and an espresso martini, 285. Weigh up your options!

* Water! Don’t forget to drink this clear drink throughout the day to stay hydrated. Water’s benefits can really help around Christmas by reducing high blood pressure; flushing out bacteria, stopping unwanted weight gain (pass me a pint of H2O now!), slowing the aging process and, after consuming your vodka, beer and espresso martinis above, a pint of water before bed can really reduce the effects of a Christmas hangover. Hello clear head on Boxing Day!

* A 30 minute walk is better than nothing. The post-dinner food coma will leave you feeling lethargic, but a brisk walk will energise you and ease any discomfort.

Whatever you do and however you spend this festive season, most importantly of all, please have a ton of fun! Carly’ classes will always be there and healthy foods won’t vanish from the shops post Christmas so eat, drink and be merry with the people you love.