It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas is fast approaching and people are starting to get overwhelmed with present shopping, party planning, food order, the list goes on and on. Feeling stressed over the Christmas period gives us all the perfect excuse to binge and say yes to that extra mince pie. Christmas is also a time for mass food consumption, research by Wren Kitchens found that the average Brit will consume 6,000 calorie son Christmas Day! This is 3 times the recommended daily intake for women and over 2 times for men. It may seem crazy how we can consume so much in one day but most people see Christmas as their “get out of jail free” card meaning they binge more on this holiday than any others. 

Avoiding binging over the Christmas period can be challenging as there are so many delicious foods and every supermarket rebrands all the yummy food to look Christmassy, just look at M&S and their Christmas range. Our social calendars are getting filled with events, parties, activities, family visits, on and on and on. This can make it so easy to binge on food since every event you go to you may have the mindset that this only happens once a year so having that extra mince pie won’t hurt. Well it all adds up!

We have created some tips to help you to avoid binging over this festive period and stay on track with your fitness goals.

1. Look after your mental wellbeing

Christmas can take a lot out of you physically and mentally. It is important to check in with yourself every now and again to check how you are feeling. If you feel stressed or overwhelmed try meditation, apps such as Headspace are great for this. Another great way to check-in with yourself is to fit in 30mins of exercise every day. Doing this enables your body to release endorphins making you feel happier throughout the day, it also gives your brain a chance to breathe and focus on something that isn’t Christmas related. Feeling good about yourself will help you to not binge on food and drink since you will be thinking about what is best for your body. 

2. Get enough sleep

Getting enough sleep is super important if you want to not binge on food and drink since sleep deprivation can lead to overeating. A study conducted by Mayo Clinic found that men and women who slept less than 5 hours a night were more likely to crave (and eat) food with high calories. With so much to do around the Christmas period, it is vital that we listen to our bodies and sleep for at least 8 hours a night so we don’t get these cravings. 

3. Focus on how much alcohol you are consuming

Drinking alcohol over the Christmas period is mostly unavoidable but it is manageable. An easy way to manage consumption is to alternate drinking glass a water after every alcoholic drink. Christmas is always a chance to order cocktails and indulge in drinks you wouldn’t normally have. But if you want to keep healthy you could try and have alternative healthier drinks such as a glass of red wine or vodka lime-soda, we know they aren’t as fun as an espresso martini but you’ll feel better for not having such a sugary drink. Alcohol can also lead to binging on food and overeating since your body will crave sugar after the sugar crash. 

4. Don’t go to a party hungry 

Before you go to a party where you know there will be lots of tempting food eat a small nutritious meal prior to attending. This will help you to feel full and stop you from binging on constant stream of hors d’oeuvres.

5. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself

Even if you have goals you need to reach and want to keep on track during this festive period don’t forget that you can indulge a little. Depriving yourself of holiday treats can lead to mass binging especially if you’re stressed. So treat yourself a bit during this festive season but always follow the rule of moderation.  

There are plenty of ways to avoid binging over the Christmas period you just have to make sure that you are prepared and ready. It is also a good idea to have a goal since that will make you focused. However, the most important thing is to make sure you are enjoying yourself and not obsessing over what you are eating, just make smart decisions and create a healthy balance.