Christmas food guilt: Five tips for guilt-free eating this Christmas

Once December arrives, our minds turn to food and drink. It’s normal to eat more than usual at Christmas and New Years, especially with cold weather and many social occasions. However, whether or not you have an eating disorder, unhealthy relationships with food are often most highlighted at this time of year. Not sure how to silence these thoughts? Express.co.uk spoke with three industry experts to find out how you can exercise your food freedom and reject the feelings of guilt that arise when you eat more than usual this Christmas.

Christmas is supposed to be a time of giving, eating, drinking, and rejoicing, but that’s not a reality for many people.

Christmas parties and events put stress on looking and feeling magical, but December is also about relaxing and eating whatever you want.

It can be hard not to feel guilty and feel negative about your body when it’s the holiday season to binge on high-calorie foods or simply eat more indulgently for weeks at a time.

Don’t worry, it’s perfectly healthy to eat more than usual if that’s what you want to do.

Express.co.uk spoke to three experts to find out the five steps to overcoming the guilt associated with overeating at Christmas.

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Set realistic intentions for the new year

With the holidays and the New Year approaching, Holly Zukulan (a nutritional health coach and founder of The Health Zoc) advises setting some intentions rooted in self-love.

Stop overeating and use the excuse that you will be dieting in the new year – be kind to yourself and make more positive “resolutions”.

“Language like ‘new year, I’m new’ can be loaded with negative connotations or overly high expectations,” Holly said.

That’s why I prefer to use the term “intentions” rather than goals or decisions.

“It’s not about telling yourself that you’re not good enough, or that you need to completely change yourself and restrict your eating habits during the holiday season.

“Instead, set healthy intentions that include being kind to yourself — which comes from a place of self-compassion and self-love, and helps you feel better each day, not the distant future.

“If you’re going to spend more time feeding your body nutritious foods every day, but on the weekend or during the holiday season you end up indulging in all your favorite foods, that’s okay.”

Watch out now, don’t wait until January

Conscious eating is the moment you eat food and watch how you feel as you eat it, and we should all do that over Christmas.

This doesn’t mean you can’t overdo it, but you will save yourself the guilt and negative feelings if you really think about what you want to eat.

“Christmas is a time to celebrate and enjoy festivities with friends and family, and a lot of festive fun centers around food and eating,” said Jessica Shand, natural nutritionist and founder of Eat, Nourish and Glow (@eatnourishandglow on Instagram). Negative guilt about food.

“Life is about balance, even in December and January when one can feel extreme in the other.

“My advice is to enjoy this magical time of year but still try to be vigilant and consider your approach to your diet rather than arriving in January and feeling like you have to diet and restrict foods to make up for your December diet.

“Adopting this positive, balanced mindset when it comes to your diet and lifestyle will serve your body, health, and mind well, and hopefully, help you rid yourself of the harmful guilt and toxins surrounding food.”

Keep repeating Jessica’s mantra – “Nourish, don’t punish” – to remind you that balance is best because it is possible to be vigilant and eat well while also allowing yourself time to condition your hair too.

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See the bigger picture

You won’t gain a stone after eating one big meal, so try not to be too hard on yourself.

“Remember: Good, positive nutrition doesn’t depend on one meal, it’s the little healthy habits you practice daily for most of the time that add up and will help you feel your best,” Jessica said.

You may not be eating a perfectly balanced diet this Christmas week, but keep your other healthy habits in check (where possible).

She added: “You can still enjoy celebrations and social events in your diary to fuel your body, stay hydrated, and prioritize sleep when you can.

“This balance will help you create a balanced and realistic way to enjoy the holiday season and help you usher in the new year in the most powerful and positive way possible!”

the taste

Feeling full and bloated is not pleasant for anyone, so it is best to eat in a way that avoids this feeling.

Michael Brigo, founder of Brigo Personal Training, recommends savoring whatever you want instead of overeating and feeling sick and guilty.

He said, “To feel guilty this Christmas, I would like to introduce the concept of tasting to my clients.

“The main concept of tasting is instead of eating large amounts of food, you limit your intake by tasting the food and there are no forbidden foods.

“This concept is perfect for finger food often served at Christmas, never miss a thing but at the same time don’t over-consume or over-eat.”

Watch your classes

If you watch your portions, Michael said, you can have a guilt-free birthday without having to go crazy and overeat.

The expert explained: “I love applying the manual split method with my clients which is the cupped hand for carbs, palm size for protein, thumb size for fat, and fist full of vegetables.

The manual split method is ideal for promoting weight loss, weight maintenance, and good energy balance.

“But, if you’re going to have a festive moment over Christmas, you can simply double up on these portions.

“So two parts of each hand allow for more food without overeating and going over the mark.

“Even with those portions doubled, they would still be smaller than the average portion size that most people have.”

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