I want health for Christmas

The end of the year celebrations are almost there and you know how you will end up if you don’t bring a little bit of awareness to your behaviour: Fatter and even more tired. But not this year, here a 3 simple rules so you can navigate the minefield of the holidays.

Holidays often rhyme with abundance (actually I should say excess…) of foods and drinks. For a few weeks each year, we tend to be more flexible with our health rules and indulge. The funny thing is that we know in advance that it will not really make us feel good and that we will pay the price later. But it doesn’t stop us, and now we have an excuse!

Before talking about how to avoid destroying your health during the holidays and have a healthy Christmas, let’s understand why you even do that in the first place.

Healthy holidays : immediate pleasure or long term satisfaction?

A healthy Christmas doesn’t mean a boring one. First, you have to understand why you tend to do excess. We are hardwired to choose something that feels good right now (even if really short-lived) instead of something that will make us feel good in the long term later.

It’s challenging to project ourselves in the future and make now the choices that will make us feel better tomorrow. But if you want to have a successful life, you’ll have to train yourself to do that with a certain balance. Read more about how to set goals for the future while living fully in the present.

Having a healthy Christmas is not even that much of long-term satisfaction. The positive effects are immediately felt. Imagine if you could finish dinner and be actually able to move instead of feeling like laying down on the couch. Imagine if you could wake up the day after feeling fresh and ready to have another awesome day instead of feeling like your body is giving up!

Does that last slice of cheesecake really taste better than feeling healthy, light, sleeping well, waking up fresh, etc. ? 10 seconds of immediate pleasure (assuming that you actually chew a little bit) versus hours/days of feeling great?

The responsibility of the food industry

The food industry creates products that are highly addictive. They know that we are programmed to crave sugar and prefer high-fat food. We are attracted to sweet flavour and colourful food (like fruits). 

Carbohydrates helped our ancestors to stay alive during long periods of famine. Every year before winter came we could stock up on carbs with the abundance of sweet fruits in nature. Fat was kind of rare in nature and with high calorific content, it was like gold for surviving.

Take ice cream, for example, it is high in sugar and high in fat. A perfect survival food! Please mark my words: SURVIVAL food. Not nutritious food, not something that will help your body function at its best and thrive. No. Merely something that will help you not to die (at least temporarily).

Luckily, we are not in survival mode anymore. There is an abundance of real food available with little to zero effort (you don’t need to grow food yourself, you can go to the supermarket and even order online!).

The food industry also does really clever marketing to make us buy more of what we don’t need by “selling us emotions”. Look for the advertisements, you’ll see more people smiling and having a blast than actually the food itself.

 Girl eating icecream and feeling happy not so healthy for christmas

The food industry created a relationship between food and feelings. Now we eat to feel good, to relax, to bond,… Seems familiar? Oh com’on, have you ever decided to eat your favourite food because you were feeling a little low? I’m sure you did, and I did too!

The reality is that it is very inefficient at filling any emotional gap. For example, if you feel lonely, a piece of chocolate will not create more connection in your life. It might give you a temporary (rather short) illusion of pleasure but after eating it, you’ll still be alone (and even feel worse for binge eating the whole pack!).

All the major celebrations are associated with food. They are selling you happiness and love in the form of something edible full of sugar and fat. And they make a hell lot of money out of it. But YOU pay the price, not only with your money but also with your health.

Here are 3 essential rules to have a healthy holiday:

Rule # 1: Eat with pleasure and not for pleasure

This is such a powerful distinction! I never said that you should not enjoy the food you eat. I love to eat! But keep in mind that your favourite food is not always the favourite food of your body. We eat to nourish our body but it seems like a lot of people have forgotten that…

Would you rather have 3 seconds of high pleasure followed by a long discomfort or 3 seconds of pleasure followed by a long-lasting feeling good feeling? 

Did you know that you can actually feel good while eating something and feel good after having eaten it? That’s the case with food provided by nature (real food), not food-looking-like chemicals packed in plastics issued from industrial mass production.

I don’t know about you, but my choice is clear. I want to enjoy my food, feel good in my body and in my mind when I eat and after I finish my meal.

“Yes but I don’t like vegetables!”

Is it your body or your mind that doesn’t like it?

The problem is that the average content of artificial sweeteners and flavours produce by the food industry is so high, that real food is boring. But that’s what they want, they want you to consume more of what they produce! And they won.

The good thing is that you can actually recalibrate your taste buds, get rid of your addiction to artificial flavours and sweeteners and start enjoying real natural food again. That’s what we do with WILDFIT along with mastering your food psychology. But if you didn’t do the 90 Day challenge yet, here are three simple guidelines you can start following right now to make sure you have a healthy Christmas:

– If you are not hungry, don’t eat! (Simple yet powerful!)

– If it doesn’t nourish you, don’t eat it! (This one will require a bit more psychological discipline)

– Dare to say “NO” (Probably the toughest one)

Let’s say that you were not hungry but you still gave in to your food devil who persuaded you to eat something that doesn’t even nourish your body. It’s not over, there is one more thing you can do:

Ask yourself, do I really need to eat the WHOLE thing? I mean, you were not hungry at first so…

In short, focus on what is really nourishing your body first, fill yourself up with good stuff first. Remember that it is not about quantity, usually, we don’t even pay attention after the second to third bites. Eat mindfully and limit quantities (of food and alcohol).

In the last scenario, you decided to make the healthy choice and everything is going well until your grandma is coming to you with a slice of apple pie and 2 scoops of ice cream. Saying no is not always easy. Here are 3 key things to remember:

1. Don’t make it look hard: “Oh I wish I could but I should not.” This is a recipe for disaster! This is playing the victim, pitying yourself and making others feel bad for you. It will end only one way: they try to convince you and you give up.

2. Be confident and don’t make a big deal out of it: “Oh thank you, that’s sweet of you! I don’t eat […] because it doesn’t make me feel good, but I appreciate the intention!”. That’s it. Move on.

3. People want to make you feel good: Nobody actually cares if you eat the freaking pie or not, the only thing people want is to make you feel good. If you explain that it is gonna make you feel bad, they will not harass you. Now, there are some exceptions.

Have you ever tried to persuade someone to eat or drink something not so healthy together, so you don’t feel too guilty? You know what I mean… Some people will try to drag you down so they can justify their behaviour, “It’s not only me, it’s ok”. This is not serving them AND isn’t serving you. 

Rule # 2: Stay active

A holiday doesn’t mean that you have to take a vacation of everything! Your body is made to move. Moving shouldn’t be a burden, it is a necessity!

I mean, you don’t complain about breathing, if you like it or not you have to keep doing it to stay healthy (alive). It’s the same with moving your body!

Family is going for a walk after the christmas dinner feeling good moving their bodies

I’m not telling you to hit the gym every day, I am simply recommending to do daily intentional movements. For example, go for a walk in nature, it’s a triple win: fresh air + sunlight + movements.

Rule # 3: Sleep enough

Most people are not sleeping enough because of stress, work, social media and all kind of distractions. As much as moving your body, you can’t be healthy without sleeping enough. People enter the holidays with huge sleep debt and fail to repay it by taking the necessary time to rest.

Have you ever finished the holidays even more exhausted than when you started? Not ideal. Your cognitive functions, mood, etc are totally dependent on your sleep deprivation. Even if the body can do a pretty good job at functioning without a lot of rest, it doesn’t mean that it is good. 

I’m not here to tell you why sleep is important, I am sure you know that already. I just want to remind you to keep it on your top priority. Do you want to have a healthy holiday? Don’t compromise on sleep!

Give yourself the gift of health

This year can be different! This Christmas can be a healthy one! This year, you can choose to eat what nourishes your body and stop eating when you are full. You can learn to say no and eat with pleasure instead of eating for pleasure. You can decide to stay active and sleep enough through the holiday.

Give yourself the gift of a healthy christmas by a snowman

This year you can choose to respect yourself.

Your health is the foundation that supports all other aspects of your life. It’s a fact. Changing the way you eat and starting to take care of yourself can be challenging. You have to fight strong beliefs and the deep manipulation of the food industry. But what if I told you that it wasn’t that hard?

What if I told you that by changing your food psychology you could easily take back control over your health?

Join my next group for the WILDFIT 90 Day Challenge starting in January 2022. Give yourself the gift of health, commit to a better life experience and enjoy your food and your body again. It’s not too late!

Don’t you think it’s time to stop making excuses? Just say’in…

All I want for Christmas is… HEALTH!