Updated: Aug 22, 2020
You already train consistently and your food is on point. If you didn't, then this topic probably wouldn't be on your radar.
So how do you approach the Christmas period, or a special occasion like your birthday or a family celebration? Should you obediently follow your plan and say no to all the mouth-watering delicacies on offer? Or should you just accept that there's no hope for your diet and surrender to all the treats, all the time?
Here's my take on this.
Take a deep breath ... and don't worry about it. You've put in the work day after day, and your body is in a healthy and happy place. One day won't derail your progress - unless you mentally accept that it's game over. A defeated attitude is the biggest culprit behind binge eating and self-sabotage.
Now for the disclaimer. 'Don't worry about it' does not translate into 'inhale food until you are about to burst' or 'eat like it's your last meal on earth'. Eat what you like and to your heart's desire, but be sensible and keep it simple.
If it's a special day, I don't don't over-think it. I just chill out and live my life.
Here's three simple guidelines that I follow to embrace the moment and banish the mind games.
1. Eat delicious foods that you will enjoy.
I skip the less-than-average packaged appetisers, the plain white bread rolls, and the highly processed, mass produced cookies. But I pounce on the King prawns, the authentic sourdough loaf, the Christmas ham and the home made fruit pavlova.
2. Eat at the table, and use a knife and fork.
Take your time and let your body prepare to digest properly. Don't worry, I promise that the food will still be there if you don't inhale it.
3. Eat until you feel satisfied or comfortably full.
Let's be honest. If you start to feel physically uncomfortable in your belly, you probably need to cut yourself off. If you mindlessly help yourself to seconds or reach for another (and then another) cookie just because it's there, that's the time to pause and reflect.
If it's a one off, then enjoy what's on the menu. Trust that your body can handle it. Take the time to relax and refuel, and be smart enough to realise that your body will benefit from the break. You will be refreshed and raring to return to training after the holidays.
To make it easier, here's my six tips on how to indulge (on purpose), stay on track and enjoy the holiday season.