Can you feel it? Christmas is coming and I’m in such a good mood – I just wanna listen to Christmas music and spread the festive spirit all around!
For now, I wanted to take a second to talk SUGAR and DECEMBER – and how they go together.
I’m certainly not doing a sugar-free December challenge, nor any other sugar-free month. Does that make me unhealthy? No! Sugar isn’t unhealthy – it’s too much sugar that can be bad for you.
Not too mention that often when people are going “sugar-free”, they only avoid added sugars – when there’s plenty of other ways to get sugar into your body (which is okay, because some sugar is not pure evil). It’s just not a sugar-free diet, so it’s a misleading name. The term sugar-free also makes it sound like sugar should be avoided at all costs and that you should be ashamed of eating it. That’s just not true.
I’ll be eating Christmas cookies and treats like I always do. And this month I will have zero guilt. Because food and guilt don’t go together; not in December, not ever.
Don’t listen to the voice that wants to ruin your self-esteem and says you should feel bad for just thinking about food or being hungry. It’s lying. You are allowed to eat good food and enjoy company that’s an essential part of Christmas and the hygge surrounding it
BTW, has hygge turned into a part of the English language yet? I want to use it so often, and with all the hype around it, I figured most people know about it by now. Which I love, because it’s one of the best danish words – aside from træls.
Right, let’s look at some of the things you can do to find a balance with room for indulgence.
Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full
Tune into your body’s signals and respect your body’s needs.
See the difference between having 2 and having 17 cookies
Don’t think “I’ve already ruined it by eating a cookie, so I might as well eat them all”. You’re not doing anything wrong by eating cookies, you’re just eating them in moderation.
Be aware of serving sizes and how you serve them
Two things here. First of all, think about how big a portion you’re eating. Secondly, keep extra treats out of sight when you’re not meant to be eating them to avoid mindless snacking. Don’t eat straight out of the cookie jar, as you’ll just continue to get tempted when it’s sitting right in front of you.
Be aware of boredom snacking
Do you want food because you’re hungry or because you’re bored? If it’s the latter, then find another distraction – like checking Instagram, get some fresh air or dance to a song!
Be aware of your stress levels and emotional eating
I’m very guilty of turning to food when I get stressed out. I work on this by finding alternative ways to deal with my stress (like writing and doing yoga) and try to tackle the root of my stress when possible. Christmas is meant to a time full of love and good vibes, but it can also become very stressful – so make sure you find time to relax and take care of yourself.
Make healthier alternatives
Christmas baking is one of my favourite things to do and while I don’t think it’s a must to make healthier versions of Christmas treats it’s nice with some alternatives (and yes I am working on a roundup post and some recipes for the blog, so look forward to that). Fruits like oranges and tangerines are also delicious right now!
Don’t have cookies for dinner
You weren’t planning that anyway, were you? My point is that’s it’s easier to avoid going overboard when your stomach is not a roaring monster because you eat a filling and nutritious dinner, lunch and breakfast.
If you do go overboard, don’t beat yourself up
Don’t let feelings of guilt for what you ate earlier make you feel like you need to be extra strict – don’t fall into the bad circle of restriction –> overeating –> restriction. Accept that it happened and move on. It’s okay!
Moderation really is the key
When I say I don’t see any reason to go sugar-free, I’m absolutely not saying pour a big bowl of sugar and shove it into your face. I’m saying moderation will let you enjoy the yummy foods that are a tradition at Christmas without ruining your physical or mental health.
How do you balance indulging over Christmas? Let me know in the comments!
PS all this talk of cookies is making me hungry….
PPS MERRY CHRISTMAS!