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December 21, 2018
How to enjoy all aspects of Christmas, without the guilt.

Christmas time, no matter where you are in the world is generally a time for families, friends and all  kinds of festivity come together! Most of the time this includes all types of  mouth-watering-cant-stop-at-one-bite sort of foods! I want to chat to you about how you can truly  enjoy yourself this Christmas without the post-pudding guilt many of us face around this time of year.  Look at ways to overcome negative thought processes, and explore tactics to help you stay happy and  healthy when faced with your second helping of dessert.

It’s that time of year again, going from functions to house parties, platters to plates, oh look more  stuffed turkey! Oh and some more wine, yay!!… I’m sorry, another Christmas truffle did you say? 

“I’m going to get so fat!”  
“On Monday I’m starting this new diet!” 
“My personal trainer would be so mad!” 
“I feel gross”  
“Eww I hate that photo!” 

Does this sound like you??? Why is it that we have this cloud of guilt surrounding us when enjoying delicious food and sugar laden treats at Christmas time? 

People often assume eating unhealthy food is some sort of failure, a complete lack of willpower, unworthiness, or that all those hours spent in the gym was for nothing. Well, I hate to break it to you  but the real truth is that ​eating good food doesn’t make you a good person, just like eating bad food doesn’t make you a bad person!​ Be kind to yourself and your body. 

When we destroy the idea of labelling some foods as “good” and some as “bad” we destroy foods power to rule us, and in turn alter our thinking. We live in a world today where fitness and health graces our daily news feeds to the point we feel we should constantly be working out, in active wear or following the latest diet fad in order to measure up to success, when in reality we are all making ourselves sick with stress and added (unnecessary) pressure we put on ourselves.

​Don’t be so hard on yourself…​ We weren’t put on this planet to NOT enjoy ourselves, to NOT make mistakes or to feel guilty about things we don’t have to! Ask yourself if the feelings of shame and guilt are worth it for a short lived holiday that should be filled with love and joy.    

Rather try “this chocolate is delicious, and it will nourish my soul!” and “that apple is crunchy and  delicious and will nourish my body” … a perfect example of ways to look at foods without labeling one as good, and another as bad.

Both are food, both are edible, both are fuel sources. Will one instantly make you gain a magical 10 kilos? No. will the other instantly make you drop 10 kilos and give you a glowing complexion? No. 

“Shifting your energy on to other things is important, we can get so caught up in what other people may think of us, we actually forget to enjoy ourselves!”

Distract yourself while around all the food, chat to as many people as you can, keep your mind occupied with socialising! If it is a sit down meal, chew your food slowly, stay hydrated by drinking lots of water, enjoy and savour every mouthful.

Mentally prepare yourself for the day, I personally find that preparing myself helps keep my mind at ease whilst undergoing anything that might bring about anxiety or anticipated feelings of guilt.

Perhaps tell yourself, “today I am going to eat foods in abundance that I normally may not and that is OK, I am going to enjoy myself and be back to my normal routine as of….”. This often gives your mind a bit of, what I like to call “hall-pass”, a bit of an escape because you’ve told yourself it’s okay and you know what to expect.

Now, by no means do I suggest going crazy and blowing out until you feel sick or are in a complete sugar coma! Allow yourself that dessert, and a glass or two of your favourite wine. Quite literally #treatyoself and know you’ve earned it for simply being YOU (and for making it to your third relatives house for the day…).

Another way to ensure full enjoyment come Christmas day is to remember it’s everyday that counts, not every OTHER day. In fact I like to live my life according to the 80/20 rule, 80% of the time I’m eating to nourish my body, and 20% of the time I’m eating to nourish my mind, body and soul… if that means a slice of chocolate cake then heck yes, and it better be chocolate mud cake with extra frosting please!

Remember the holiday season is over before you know it, so enjoy it and make the  most of it while enjoying time with your loved ones! But also be tactical… 

Listen to your body, remember you are in control! Like I said earlier, slow down, chew slowly, savour the flavour, tastes and textures of each mouthful. Fill your plate up with veggies and really TUNE IN to your feelings, take it easy and live in the moment! Be sure to leave room for pudding though especially my 5 minute guilt free, single serve Christmas pudding!

Tune in to how you are feeling, are you eating because you are hungry or emotional? You have the power to say no to anything that gets offered to you, no one will judge you! Just like no one will judge you for enjoying your third round of shortbread! So tune in and do what feels right for you.

Remember if you truly can’t bring yourself to eat a particular food, bring your own! I love using Nuvia in my sweet treats because it mimics the sweetness of sugar but doesn’t leave me feeling sluggish and out of whack from all the sugar! If that sounds more like your kind of cup of tea then head on over to my recipes and get baking! 

Take a load off, some time out, and enjoy the silly season.

Author : Kelsey Holtzhausen

Kelsey Holtzhausen (@kelseyholtzhausen.nutrition) is a final year BSc Nutrition student from Perth, Western Australia. With a strong passion for health, fitness and food she looks forward to a career working as a Clinical Nutritionist. Kelsey is a firm believer that all food should be enjoyed in moderation, paired with a heathy lifestyle and the avoidance of the conventional “diet” approach to long term health and weight loss. There is no such thing as “bad foods” but rather, better options.

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