Serial aperitifs, long meals, six-course menus: do you feel like you’re always eating during the holidays? This year, we’ve decided to stop feeling guilty to make the most of the holidays. Finding a balance is also in the mind: the less frustrated you are, and the more you listen, the more likely you are to be worry-free during the winter holidays!
It is possible to put things into perspective without feeling guilty
The real scourge of the festivities is not on the table, but in the head. Guilt is self-inflicted. It causes stress and deprivation, which leads to eating more, storing more, and feeling guilty more. To break the vicious circle, make some concessions and put away the scales. The holidays don’t last all year, and you’ve earned the right to enjoy them without feeling guilty, especially since the famous post-holiday kilos are often due to water retention and food excesses that are not evacuated. A few days without excess are enough to make them disappear naturally.
It is not a question of forgetting all caution – it is simply about not spoiling the festivities for a few excesses with temporary effects. True benevolence applies to everyone, including you, so don’t feel guilty! An extra trick? Eat mindfully. Chew, concentrate on the flavours and enjoy every bite – you’ll eat less while enjoying more and digesting better.
Get organised to avoid guilt
Less guilt also means getting organised to limit the opportunities to blame yourself. If you are in charge of the holiday meals, take time to choose the recipes carefully in order to master the menu as best as possible. For example? Replace some of the aperitif petit fours with raw vegetables and reduce the size of the starter to reduce the calorie bill. Choose whole foods as sides and use herbs in main dishes, both of which are easy to digest. Depending on your tastes and your guests’ expectations, also consider increasing the dose of vegetables, replacing the butter Yule log with a frozen Yule log, potatoes with sweet potatoes, etc.
As far as your schedule is concerned, manage invitations as much as possible in order to set aside time to recover, rather than hosting a non-stop series of lunches and dinners. Between meals, plan light buffet options rather than real dishes so that everyone can compose their own plate according to their hunger. Whatever happens, stay attentive to your body and your feelings: learning to listen to yourself leads to saying no spontaneously, rather than out of guilt.
What if you chose balance over guilt ?
There is a logical reason to put things into perspective to avoid guilt during the holidays : a balanced diet is achieved over a week, not a day. And the method is particularly simple, since you just have to wait until hunger returns before returning to the table! Enjoy each meal without any guilt and then wait until the first gurgling before the next aperitif – you will naturally restore a balance.
In between, drink water or herbal tea to aid drainage, and move around. Enjoy an outdoor walk with the family, take the dog out, tidy up the house or relax on a yoga mat. Also, keep in mind that motivation always comes easier when you’re not alone! In any case, forget about a pre- or post-holiday diet – you will avoid frustration, deprivation and guilt with a return to equilibrium that is sometimes slower but is much longer-lasting. All that remains is to wish you a happy holiday season!