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With all the festive food being marketed and all the family dinners, it is completely normal to gain a bit of weight during the Christmas season. “Screw your diet! You won’t be able to resist all this food”, is something very common to say during the festive season. Of course, it is easy to hide under baggy winter clothes which could be a reason why the ‘summer body’ is more glorified. However, one might still feel uncomfortable with their body in winter, both physically as well as health-wise, and this is especially difficult when one anticipates this change before festive season starts but experiences pressures to eat a lot, nevertheless.

What can you do?

Torturing yourself by not attending Christmas events and by abstaining from enjoying the festive treats might not be the solution for you. Instead, you can make sure that you consume moderately and perhaps plan out a healthier diet afterwards in order to get back in shape. The most important thing is that you do not simply swallow the tips and guidelines that blogs share because it does not work out the same for everyone. It’s important that you know yourself and your body first and then you filter through the different information and find what makes you feel healthy and happy!

Instead of the usual blog post where I regurgitate a couple of known tips regarding a healthy diet, this post shall serve as a reminder to take care of yourself, not just physically but also mentally.

  • Know yourself!

Many people start a diet blindly and realise that it is not working or that they are unable to follow it. This is because they do not take note of how their body works and what they need and like doing. It’s important to set goals that you are able to be motivated to achieve and that leaves you in a mentally and physiologically healthy state. Some people feel good omitting meals from their routine and others feel that maintaining the same routine but reducing the portions or substituting certain snacks with healthier ones works better for them.

  • Do your research

There are many misconceptions in the food industry which infiltrate the media. Certain foods which promote low calorie consumption are, in fact, unhealthy and certain foods which are marketed as ‘light’ or ‘diet’ are an unhealthier option to the original source. This is because artificial substances are used as substitutes for the original ones which might really be more fattening but are also more natural. The point is, check out what the product contains and do some research about these ingredients which you probably always dismiss and do not have an actual clue of what they are.

  • Boost that self-esteem!

Believing in yourself is the first step to actually producing a change. If you constantly tell yourself that you will not shed any weight, you will probably do things, even sub-consciously, which will not allow you to follow a balanced diet and technically, you prove your own point – a phenomenon known as self-efficacy. If you want to see results, first believe that you will see them and that you can do it!

  • Set your priorities straight

Choosing a diet and lifestyle depends on what you prioritise – is it reaching a specific appearance standard or is it more important for you to live without rules and constraints? Certain goals cannot be reached if you prioritise some things which are not in line with those goals but that’s okay! It’s important to know what you want and what you are looking for. The holidays are yours to enjoy!

Many people do things in fear of being judged or excluded. However, we might be internalising thoughts, emotions and aims which are not necessarily ours but the majority’s. Living in this #relatable culture where goals have become objectified into dreams that everybody wants – such as having the ‘perfect’ body makes it easy to fall into that trap of setting unrealistic goals for yourself which might not make you intrinsically happy. Allow yourself to enjoy the Christmas holidays without burdening yourself with society’s expectations.

References

Cherry, K. (2019). Self Efficacy and Why Believing in Yourself Matters. Verywellmind. Available at: https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-self-efficacy-2795954 [Accessed 23 Nov. 2019].

Realbuzz Team. (n.d.). Top 10 Food Misconceptions. realbuzz.com. Available at: https://www.realbuzz.com/articles-interests/nutrition/article/top-10-food-misconceptions/ [Accessed 23 Nov. 2019].

Luanne Grima is a psychology student who works as a childminder with Willingness. She also forms part of Betapsi.