I have had a similar conversation with many people lately, discussing how our desire for all types of tasty, indulgent foods, have increased since the colder weather has set in, and the shorter days.
Perhaps I have never realized before how much my appetite spikes around this time of year!
Either way, I can't keep having wine, dining out, endless bowls of popcorn, ordering pizzas on my own, and having chocolate as part of my breakfast without starting to gain weight. So, as I said to another trainer at the gym yesterday "It's time to make a decision". I can't keep eating like I am doing without gaining weight so…
1) I need to get to the bottom of why I am eating more, and start to get back to better habits.
2) I need to start riding my bike as much as I was in the summer (increase my activity).
3) I need to decide it's ok to gain 5-10 pounds over the winter, knowing my appetite will normalize again.
Some people I have talked to are OK with gaining a little weight over the winter, and enjoying their indulgences.
I think it's important to indulge, enjoy, and have extra foods around this time of year, because it's fun, you connect with friends and family, and it's part of the christmas season! I've ben there too many times before where I try to restrict so much good stuff, I just end up eating a whole leftover pie or endless handfuls of chocolate anyways….
BUT I definitely enjoy feeling good in my skin and my clothes, so am not too keen on gaining 10 pounds….
Here's what I am thinking…
1) Make conscious decisions to enjoy and indulge. Don't eat mindlessly, or make decisions on a whim and then feel guilty about them later. Stay in tune with your body and know that the decision to eat 100's of calories in surplus everyday will end up in weight gain over time… When we end up feeling guilty, gross, unwell, or unhappy after eating it definitely isn't worth it, and this is the type of eating emotional cycle we want to avoid. If I want a night of indulgences I will choose them, enjoy them, and feel great and happy about how delicious everything was!
2) I will ensure that I am eating enough vegetables, proteins, and fats with each meal so that I am staying nourished. By being nourished I will ensure I don't crave things as much. This way I am also not substituting foods without nutrients (popcorn, booze, cookies etc.) for good foods for my body. If I stay full and nourished I know my body will stay healthy throughout the holiday season.
3) I will find ways to stay as naturally active as I can throughout the winter when I am not biking as much. This means giving myself more time to walk places rather than bus, trying new classes at the YWCA, etc.
4) I will choose not to complain or beat myself up if my clothes feel slightly tighter come January, because I will enjoy myself!
5) I will stay hydrated and sleep a lot (both of these help to control cravings).
6) I will stay focussed on feeling grateful, finding ways to stay joyful and happy throughout the holiday season, rather than resorting to food to bring me these feelings.
7) I will check in with myself and my friends to chat about food choices, how I feel, etc.
So in a way, I have decided on all 3 choices! I will indulge in foods, in moderation, and so that it makes me feel good. I will increase my activity, and I will feel good come January no matter what.
What I won't do is overeat all holiday season and then get mad in January! That' doesn't work
I will be talking more about the holidays over the next few weeks, with tips like good choices to make over the holidays, and bonus ways to stay active.
In the meantime, take a look at a series of blogs I posted about Christmas last year:
If you are looking for some accountability, support, feel free to e-mail me at anytime, or post to the facebook page to get community support: https://www.facebook.com/KatherineTaylorFitnessAndHealth