So, you have probably seen a ton of posts already about holiday dieting. They come around every year, and the message is the same: don’t over indulge or else.
Or, my least favourite, “Do this many jumping jacks to burn off one slice of pecan pie.”
A few years ago I would’ve thought that, too. I would’ve picked my food and beverages carefully and balanced it with some form of exercise. Since my views on health, and wellness as a whole, have changed quite substantially since then, I wanted to share with you all today my thoughts on dieting around the holidays.
Personally, I do not do it.
Okay. That’s out of the way.
Let me get to why I don’t diet around the holidays, and why I won’t be looking to lose weight this holiday season.
When it comes to the Christmas season, there are so many treats and temptations around us. Whether it’s eggnog in your coffee (I have been doing that since mid-November – not every day, but a few times per week), cookies and treats at home or at the office, there are SO many opportunities to literally eat your way through the holidays.
I won’t be dieting through the holiday season, because I am able to see food as something to be enjoyed with others.
I can see how it brings people together, helps us celebrate, and how it fuels our bodies. Obviously making healthy choices during the holidays is a whole other topic. Actually, I thought about making a post for that but I think the message is simple. Eat whatever you want, but eat your veggies, too. Here’s the thing. I know what shortbread cookies (or butter tarts, chocolate chip cookies, etc) taste like, and if I want one, I’ll have one. If I don’t, I’m not going to eat it. I will find something else that calls to me.
The whole month of December is pretty much the time to celebrate with our friends, family, and loved ones. I know for my family we love getting together for dinners. Ryan and I love baking and experimenting in the kitchen, and the last thing I want to do is deny myself the amazing gingerbread cookies we bake because I’m afraid of how many calories are in them. Unfortunately, a diet mentality also brings a fearful mentality. I know when I restrict myself around food I start to feel like I ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO HAVE IT! Because I told myself NO, now I want it even more. Does that make sense? It’s almost like reverse psychology in a way. However, I am going to be practicing the phrase, “I don’t want that,” instead of, “I can’t have that.” The reality is, I can have whatever I want, but perhaps I don’t actually want it.
I touched on this earlier, but one thing we love to do (especially around the holidays) is experiment in the kitchen. I love baking and decorating cookies, and Ryan and I decorate a gingerbread house every year. Sure, they don’t taste the best if you buy them from a box, but I would be lying if I said I’ve never snuck a bite of the chimney and all the sugary goodness it was covered in.
This year, I will not be dieting during the holidays because I want to give myself the freedom to eat whatever I want, without restrictions.
Let’s say you eat a lot of holiday treats on Christmas Eve. What’s going to happen? Worst case scenario you gain a pound or two (most likely only water weight) and you have a headache from all the sugar. Then on Christmas morning you have a healthy breakfast and maybe only one dessert in the evening. Chances are you will already be feeling better than the day before. Obviously it can be pretty damn easy to eat dessert breakfast, lunch, and dinner, during the holidays, but I know myself well and I will make choices according to how I like to feel.
Yep, that’s what I call Christmas crack! Graham cracker cereal covered in white chocolate with nuts and dried cranberries. This year I am going to make a few additions, so look out for that post in the coming weeks!
This year, I will not be dieting through the holidays because I will honour my body and listen to the cues it gives me when it comes to food.
Listening to your body is so important. Our body sends us signals every single day, and dieting through the holidays is (in my opinion) an attempt at squashing those cues. Ignoring them. Turning a blind eye to them. It’s all fine and dandy to reach for an apple instead of a cookie if you’re craving something sweet. Clearly something in your brain is telling you that you want the fruit more. However, if I have an intense craving for a cookie, then I will eat the damn cookie. Life is too damn short and there’s WAY too many amazing food options out there to only be eating kale at Christmas time.
Now, I’m going to cozy up on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate. I hope this post has inspired you to be gentle with yourself & not feel as though you have to restrict yourself during the upcoming festivities. As always, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!