The Paradox of Modern Life
Modern society is built in such a counter intuitive way.
We have everything our ancestors could only dream of at our fingertips.
The world’s knowledge, deliciously addictive food. Constant entertainment to keep our minds stimulated until the day we day we die.
The paradox of this though. Some of the most important things in life require the exact opposite of our natural inclinations.
Losing weight, the ability to save, avoiding procrastination. All of these require self control.
Christmas time though is the quintessential show of immediate gratification.
Think of all the triggers and enticements for you to spend money.
All the sweets and biscuits you find on every kitchen table you visit.
All the alcohol available on tap.
The ability to control ourselves could be the most important skill in the 21st century and the need for it around Christmas time becomes even more apparent.
The Goal at Christmas
The goal should not be to remove the goodies in December. The goal should not even be trying to moderate your behaviour completely.
The effect of December could see you playing catch up for the rest of the year. .
January might be a fresh start. But then you have Valentines day and mid terms from school to knock your groove. All of a sudden you find yourself on your Summer holiday..Within an instant you can feel like the year was swept from under your feet.
You don’t need to keep spinning your wheels though. By controlling your overeating, you give your self a chance coming into the New Year..
5 Tips to Deal with Over Eating
Self control can be the difference between a few celebrations and the entire packet.
The easiest and most practical method for self control is removing any junk food. This prevents binges altogether.
Christmas can make this impossible however. The sweets, the alcohol and the luscious food will make an appearance, there’s no doubt about that.
If we can’t change the environment then the only alternative is to change ourselves.
Here are five tips to help avoid overeating around Christmas time.
Awareness- Whether you care for calorie control or not, your body keeps track of what you eat. Don’t ignore the calories, You might not know how many calories are in your foods and drink but you can guess. Stopping, thinking and writing before you eat instantly reigns in a binge. Those 10 malteser celebrations don’t sound as appealing when you realise they contain 80 calories each.
Slow Down- All of the social events around Christmas raise our excitement and our emotions. But this excitement lowers our guard. We drink and eat much fast than normal Mindlessly reaching for the chicken wings or sandwiches. Gulping down our pints.. The most effective way to combat this is to slow down. Slowing down by taking a moment for a second before you respond automatically. This gives your rational brain a chance. “Maybe I don’t need that 12th chicken wing and sandwich today”.
Understand the social pressure- People you spend your Christmas with influence how healthy the month will be. Different groups have norms. Dates with certain friends involve coffee and a salad. For others it involves 20 pints and a funny story. Having a say in where these events take place can be the difference maker. Meeting people over coffee will reduce the amount of alcohol consumed for example.
Automate meals - We are our habits. How easy is it for something to knock us off our groove. During the Christmas period adds a lot to an already busy plate. A great way to save energy is systematizing your meals from now until Christmas. This involves sitting down and making your own meal plan based on your schedule.Trying to decide every day what to eat each meal when you are tired is a disaster waiting to happen This energy can be reserved for other tasks like organizing Christmas events or trying to moderate alcohol and food intake..When you don’t have things decided and ready to go you are at the whim of emotions
Own Your Decisions- The biggest thing you can do with your decisions is take ownership. Whether you get cravings because of nostalgia of the past or social engagements have you slipping up. It these situations you need to ask yourself who is really in control. You need to ask yourself your over eating really what you want or need right now? Take responsibility for your actions. If you want to eat junk food, don’t lie to yourself in the justifications, be an adult about it.
Christmas can be an amazing time. It provides closure on a long year where we can sit back, relax and enjoy some much needed down time with friends and family.
But without control it can be unmitigated disaster on our waistline. Your future self will do nothing but thank yourself if you show some moderation during this month.
You can control the binge by monitoring the food that enters your mouth, slowing down and enjoing the meals and drinks, recognising how people affect your decisions, Automate meals to save your energy and take responsibility this Christmas by owning your decisions.
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