It’s already that time of year again. A time for celebrating and catching up with loved ones.

If you’ve started making healthy lifestyle changes you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed right now. How on earth are you meant to navigate December where seemingly all you’re meant to do is eat and drink?

There are ways you can enjoy yourself, not feel like you’re missing out, and maintain your healthy habits this Christmas.

Here at MoreLife, we want you to have a good relationship with food. You’re not about to read restrictive diet plans or how you need to be aware of every calorie you consume over Christmas. Instead, we want to help you make the most out of the festive season, while still taking care of yourself.

Enjoy Your Food

As a team, we love food. We understand what it means to people. It’s not just about how it tastes. It brings us together with loved ones. It connects us to culture and traditions. Plus, it’s a way to celebrate. That’s why this time of year can be so challenging for so many people. Food becomes an even bigger part of our social lives.

We want you to enjoy your food and don’t want to feel like you have to say no to dinners or social get-togethers because of your weight-loss journey. We’ll talk more about that later. The main thing we want you to take away after reading this: you are allowed to enjoy food without feeling guilty.

Don’t Feel Guilty

While we’re on the subject, let’s take some time to explore those feelings of guilt and food. Notice those thoughts when they’re happening and challenge them. Why do you feel guilty eating certain foods? Are you labelling them as “good” or “bad?”

Instead, you could try to view food neutrally. Each food has good and bad attributes. For instance, chocolate could be considered “bad” because of its high sugar content, but “good” because it tastes great and gives us a short-term energy increase.  Viewing food neutrally can be a more helpful way of thinking.

However, it can be difficult so give yourself time and practise. Remember: your diet isn’t just what you eat in December. It’s having a healthy balance of all the foods you enjoy throughout the year.

Christmas Marketing

We’re surrounded by Christmas products almost everywhere. Sales of selection boxes in the shop, markets with mulled wine and cafés with seasonal coffees. There are carefully thought-out marketing tactics in play to tempt you to buy whatever is on offer. Even just being more aware of these campaigns can help you challenge whether or not you really want to buy these products.

Top tip when you’re out in the supermarket. Are you buying that tin of chocolates or cheese selection just in case you have company over? How likely is it you’ll have unplanned guests? You don’t have to buy things “just in case.” Try only buying what you need.

Staying in Control

It’s not just the shops which can be challenging. Lots of social pressures come during this time of year too. “Go on, it’s Christmas.” “Just one more drink.” You know your family and friends just want you to have fun, but these good intentions can really test your willpower! If you feel the need to, be firm with your communications. “No thank you, I’ve had such a lovely time but I’m full and have had enough.”

Alcohol can impact your assertive communication. The more you drink, your willpower can lessen. Be mindful of your alcohol consumption during your social . Deciding how many drinks you will have before an event can really help you continue to meet your goals.

Maintaining Healthy Habits

During this time of year, lots of people abandon all of their healthy habits “because it’s Christmas.”  However, remind yourself that December is just another month in the year. You may have more festivities happening than normal, but they shouldn’t alter your lifestyle too drastically.

You can stay in control. You can honour all the hard work you’ve done by maintaining other healthy habits. You can still spend time exercising, looking after your sleep schedule, or maintaining your self-care plan.

Mental Wellbeing

If you say no to certain events – how is that going to make you feel? If you feel like you’re making too many sacrifices and missing out on lots of things that are important to you – these choices you’re making won’t be sustainable. Remember, the changes you’re currently making should last for life.

Also, be kind to yourself. If you do think you’ve “overdone it” it’s not the end of the world. It’s one night. You’ve enjoyed yourself and you can take back control. One night doesn’t erase all the hard work you’ve done up to this point.

We hope you have a wonderful time celebrating this year and make choices that are right for you. We’re always here to help people on their healthy lifestyle journey, if you want to find out more, check out our services page.

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