Yes, it is possible to enjoy a healthy Christmas dinner and taste everything!
The holidays are coming with the promise of good times with family and friends, accompanied by delicious and plentiful meals! The internet is filled with tips for having a healthy Christmas dinner, enjoying the parties and you probably have delicious family recipes that bring lots of yummy memories of your childhood and grandparents! It’s time to reuse these recipes and enjoy the parties!
Is it possible to enjoy a healthy Christmas dinner?
Do you worry about what comes next? Do you fear starting January with a few more pounds? I would not want this to spoil the good times of the parties. You can very well enjoy a healthy Christmas dinner!
Let´s start by looking at what healthy means! You should know that the definition by the WHO, the World Health Organization, gave of health is “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. I love that definition! In fact, you can see that it does not talk about weight. The holiday season is all about your mental and social well-being. It’s time to enjoy family and friends without restriction.
As for your physical well-being, know that if you overdo it at holiday dinner, it’s not going to make you suddenly fat. The extra pounds that you may have the next day is excess fluid and food that has accumulated in your gut, but is going to be eliminated naturally. Scientific evidence shows that you need to eat excessively several days in a row for it to start having an effect on your weight. Know that we also have, besides the basic physical hunger, what is called “social hunger”. Social hunger is the urge to eat more in the presence of loved ones and at parties. It is normal and healthy to overeat at parties, within reason of course! This is true for all parties, be they birthdays, weddings, graduations…
Tips for enjoying Christmas dinner and other parties in a healthy way
Therefore, you should not be too concerned about overdoing it a bit when you eat and drink. In order to help you enjoy these moments to the fullest and improve your mental and social well-being, I have prepared a few simple tips:
- Arrive at the table with normal hunger: Even when you have a party, respect your hunger throughout the day before the big event and eat normally: do not let yourself think “because I’m going to overdo it later, I will restrict myself before”. This can lead you to get to the table very hungry and exaggerate even more!
- Eat a little bit of everything, in small quantities, letting yourself repeat if you wish to.
- Give yourself the time to taste the food, try not to eat automatically but practice mindful eating: each bite must be celebrated!
- Do not worry about calories. By counting calories you fail to assess the quality of what you are eating and do not feel the hunger and satiety signals that your body is sending you.
- Instead of looking at food with guilt or fear, focus on the pleasure of eating and the sensations of your body. Are you still hungry and would like another bite? Or are you on autopilot without paying much attention to what you eat? Know that it has been proven that eating with guilt makes you exaggerate more over time. On the contrary, eating with pleasure makes you eat less food.
- Stop following restrictive diet which cut off food groups or reduce quantities. This is a gift that you will give yourself in order to enjoy a healthy Christmas dinner and for the coming year. I always say “a diet that leaves you hungry is not a healthy diet”.
- Sleep well! A lack of sleep can increase hunger and the quantity you eat.
- Even after you overdo it, go back to your normal routine, without thinking about detox or restriction. Your organism is wonderful! It knows how to handle excesses every once in a while.
Let’s celebrate food and enjoy good company with a healthy Christmas dinner! Happy Holidays!