It’s hard not to overindulge over the festive season, and a lot of us will head into the new year vowing to lose the extra kilos we’ve put on. Studies show that on average Australians gain somewhere between 0.8 – 1.5 kg over the Christmas period.
If you’re anything like me, come January 1st, I’m telling myself it’s time to turn over a new leaf. I’ve stuffed myself silly with anything that’s come my way in a, “I might never get this to eat again, EVER” attitude. I hate the thought of the New Year when everything returns to normal and there’s no more ham, turkey, mince pies and pavlova.
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New Year Resolutions?
I’ve loved life a bit too much probably, and that might have included a few too many mince pies and cocktails and I’m vowing to make some healthy new year resolutions.
Australian naturopath and weight loss expert, Karina Francois, says that New Year’s resolutions are actually misguiding for the majority of people who want to make a long-term change to their health.
While running her own naturopathy and weight loss clinic in Melbourne, Karina has heard countless clients say, “Christmas is three weeks away, so I won’t bother until February” (Yep, sounds like me) But Karina says we should be doing the reverse if we want to make a healthy change for good.
5 Tips for Healthy Eating over the Festive Period
You can’t just eat and eat and eat and hope for the best! Karina says that eating more mindfully over the festive period is something we should all try to do and it’s not as daunting as it sounds if you stick to these 5 simple tips.
- Avoid Emotional Eating : It’s normal for negative emotions to surface at this time of year, but remember food isn’t the solution to any emotional issues (such as family issues or stress) that arise over the Christmas period. Engage in something fun throughout the day to take your mind off things, and if possible surround yourself with positive people who support you and your values.
- Do Not Skip Meals: Some people think that by skipping breakfast they are leaving more room to gorge later on. In reality all this does is set you up to overeat later on. So have a healthy filling breakfast like an omelette, and then you won’t feel like eating half a cow when you sit down to Christmas lunch!
- Mindful Eating: Slow down and pay attention to what food choices you are making – how the food tastes and how it makes you feel after you’ve eaten it. When we savour our food, we generally eat less.
- Make a Commitment to Yourself: Remember how terrible it feels to over eat not only on the day, but also for the days to come. Make a commitment to yourself not to get to this point. Make food choices based on how you think you’ll fell after you’ve consumed food.
- Have an “All or Nothing” attitude: Start eating healthily NOW. Allow yourself small portions of your favourite foods but don’t feel guilty or deprived when doing it.
About Karina Francois
After visiting a naturopath who assisted her back to health following a period of illness, Karina was inspired to help others to achieve optimal health, and she pursued a career in naturopathy. Karina is now an Australian naturopath, health educator and public speaker, with over 14 years’ experience running her own clinic in Melbourne, Infinite Health Practice. She’s also an author and released her first book in 2015.
The book was inspired by Karina’s experience overcoming health issues in her teenage years, and watching clients struggle with behaviours around food. Clean Food, Clear Thinking is available from Angus & Robertson, and online at Amazon (I’m an Amazon affiliate)
Based on naturopathic principles, Karina’s approach eliminates the need to ever go on a “diet” or try the latest fads.
“My book Clean Food, Clear Thinking aims to empower the reader with an understanding of what our cells need to function optimally. It’s about making a long-term change to your eating habits.Often we know what foods are in line with what our body needs, but then the mind gets involved and sabotages the commitment to our health. Clean Food, Clear Thinking goes beyond the food we eat and how our body uses it, teaching the reader how to change their thinking to eliminate habits that have a detrimental effect on our health,” says Karina.
Which camp are you in? Everything in moderation – or I’m going to eat As Much as I Can and All Of The Food over Christmas?