Updated: Apr 20, 2021
I’m going to go against what most personal trainers will tell you at Christmas time and tell you to eat what you want this Christmas!
If you want it, eat it!
Yep, I’m serious!
Well, this year I’ve learned a little bit about the Non-Diet Approach and Intuitive Eating.
This approach suggests that once we get to know our signals for hunger and fullness (again- almost all of us have been able to do this since birth, but we have unlearned this because we are taught to ‘finish our plates’ or ‘don’t eat that much’ etc), and re-learn to trust our body’s signals to tell us what we need, that we can eat exactly what we want, when we want, without fear of going overboard and bingeing on an entire Christmas ham in one go.
Many people believe that if we took diets away in our society, that we would have millions of people eating only fast food and chocolate and become morbidly obese and put more pressure on our already strained medical system, but the science points in the opposite direction.
It’s a more complicated issue than simply giving up diets, but the evidence suggests that, in the absence of food rules and diet-culture, people are more likely to eat smaller portions, and make healthier choices than those on set diets.
Meaning those that eat intuitively, are less likely to overindulge at the family Christmas feast because they are more able to recognise when they are satisfied than those who aren’t.
I think we all know what happens at Christmas feasts… plates get piled high, seconds and thirds are always on the cards, we drink more and still go for dessert at the end of the night! There are probably some form of food coma and/or indigestion that follows, right?
So, today's thought is more of a seed that I’d like to plant in the back of your mind.
What if you could eat exactly what you want, and as much as you want at Christmas feasts, without feeling like you’re 10 months pregnant with a food baby?
What if you could do it all year-round, without the rebound weight gain you get from dieting, and all while still (or finally) loving the body you’re in?
It takes some conscious effort, and continual practice, but it is possible. So, even though my opening line may be a little misleading for the average person, if you’d like to give yourself permission to eat what you want this Christmas, do this:
1. Ask yourself, before you even look at the food ‘What do I really feel like right now?’.
2. Then have a look at the food and check again ‘What do I really feel like, out of what's in front of me?’
3. Then only put the things that you REALLY want on your plate and eat that. Eat it with as much enjoyment as you can, and only go back for more if you’re still hungry.
There may be some FOMO, it may feel really weird, and you may feel a bit judgemental about your choices. That’s ok for now, but if it’s something you want to learn more about in 2021, I’ll be here. I can help you get started, or refer you to an expert.