Isn’t it true that most of us love Christmas and New Year’s Eve mainly because of the food? Yup… I know that family, friends, the holiday spirit, the loving intention, the hope for new beginning and new luck, the presents, the booze… are more important.
But what is a holiday without a well laden table? There is where the magic happens. If we are gathering around a family table we probably cook all day, prepare and decorate the food, the table… everything.
If we go out for the holidays… we usually choose a fine restaurant – preferably a one that has a buffet. Yes. We enjoy food with lovely company. And holidays make all of those elements combined together very special because we know it is that period of the year that miracles happen.
Unfortunately holiday’s tables tend to be richer than we can imagine. And we end up overeating with… everything. Sometimes we even sip one or two drinks extra. But that is ok. For the night.
In the morning – we do regret what we did.
This is why I would like to offer a few ways to fill up the tummy, stay healthy and feel great during the upcoming holidays. With not a single regret!
Here we go!
Treat the day as any other day when it comes to food.
Yes. During Christmas and New Year’s Eve the food tastes different. It is even more delicious. But remember – food is only food. It cannot make you feel happy. It cannot give you support. It cannot make you calm down. It cannot provide courage or content.
Food is our fuel. It is not our savior from whatever it is in our day or life in general. I used to have major BINGE episodes. When I finally realized that food is just food I got to watch myself. Whatever I was lacking in my life I wanted to fill the gap with food. Especially during holidays.
Because THEN it is totally fine – everybody overeats. But not if this is the only thing you focus on during the celebration. Even if it is unconsciously.
If you feel bored by the night of celebration instead of reaching for another bite after you are already full ask yourself – “What would make me really happy and enthusiastic right now?”
Just think about it. You don’t need to take action. Or if you feel strong urge to do so – by all means – no one stops you.
Just slow down and think about it. It will help like nothing else!
Don’t “save yourself” for the night
Fasting is a good thing. But overeating after a fast is the worst thing you can do for your body. Especially if it is during the evening.
The body has natural cycles. The metabolic rate starts to increase in the morning. It reaches its peak during noon, then it decreases and during evening reaches its lowest rates. This means that the food digestion slows down and whatever you put in your stomach would be digested through the whole night.
When we fast our blood sugar drops down dramatically and in the evening the first bite unlocks the beast in us. Blood sugar rises but the huge difference between the previous and current situation won’t let us feel satiation as fast as usual. So we eat until we feel like we want to puke. In other words – we binge.
Why would you starve yourself all day just to extra fill your tummy during dinner, go to bed feeling sick and wakeup in the morning feeling like crap – with no energy?
Makes no sense, right? So eat normally during the day and in night you might even feel like eating less or just enough.
Drink water before the big feast
Yes, this one is boring. And I bet your mother or someone close to you reminds you daily that you need to drink plenty of water.
I’m not going to torture you with this bla-bla statement that water is crucial and if you don’t drink water you might die earlier.
In fact I used to drink NO water at all. Sickness made me start drinking and I bless the day I decided to do so.
Drinking water is good. More important is WHEN.
Start the day with 1 glass of warm water 15 to 30 minutes before breakfast. This cleanses your digestive tract and fires up your metabolism.
Drink 1 glass of water 15 to 30 minutes before each meal. This stimulates the stomach acids and boosts your digestion.
But NEVER drink water DURING having a meal. This dilutes your stomach acids and slows down your digestion. So drink wisely!
1 hour after a meal is a great time to drink water.
Be mindful during dinner
People connect mindfulness with zen practitioners and buddhists. But they forget that this is also a human trait or better said – a skill. We all have this ability to be mindful. We just don’t practice it.
How to be mindful during eating? Well, that would be a challenge since there will be a lot of distractions – music, conversations, listening, focusing on being part of the celebration. We usually don’t even pay attention to our satiation before it is too late.
But I’d like to challenge you: Before you sit down and share the meal with your closest people – make an intention to be fully aware of the satiation signal.
This doesn’t mean that you will spend the night obsessing over whether you are full or not. Just make an intention and you will see that from time to time you will remember to pay attention to this one during the night.
And before you take this next extra bite you will ask yourself: “Am I satiated or is it something else. If yes – what is it?”
Do not feel bad and do not beat yourself up even if you overeat
Nobody wants to follow rules during Christmas and New Year’s Eve. We are supposed to have fun and distance ourselves from all negative thoughts or events in our lives. Whatever the outcome of the night – make sure you have fun with no regrets.
Don’t forget that you are just human. If we could be perfect we wouldn’t be here at all. Just be mindful of what you do. If you feel like enjoying tasty meals all night – do it consciously. Tell yourself: “I’m choosing this. I have the power to choose for myself and I want this right now. I believe this is what makes me feel good right at this moment.”
Promise me that even if you overeat with the whole cake you will do it believing that is the best thing to do at this moment. And no regrets will follow. Next time you’ll do better.
What’s done is done. Next winter holidays you’ll get back to this article and probably choose differently.
Until then – 7 Derma Center wishes you happy holidays and…