How strict should you be with your diet over Christmas?
A question that is asked every year again and again and will always garner some varying answers. Some will argue you should continue to track, offer ideas for damage limitation. Others will be aghast at this and say this is extreme and Christmas should be enjoyed.
Now let’s be honest here.
If you are happy where you at, are not working to lose weight or towards any specific goal and want to binge eat mince pies from 1st December then go for it.
If you are trying to work towards a goal however that mindset is likely to leave you feeling a little crap by January. What might be a more balanced approach is to decide in your mind when Christmas actually is. Because Christmas is really the days between, say, 24th- 26th December maybe even 24th- 31st December. The rest of December is the Festive season sure, but not actually Christmas.
So a strategy of:
- Not tracking at all and eating whatever you like between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day (or New Years Day)
- But tracking for the rest of December so you are aware of what you’re eating
- Yet also being aware that you might not hit a deficit or even maintenance every week because you’re still going to be going to events and celebrating with friends
- But being aware that by tracking you probably won’t go madly off track every single day and you’ll feel in control which in itself can stop you from going on a mad binge
- When you do go out you can then chose whether you just eat whatever you want or if you decide to follow damage limitation strategies (not depriving yourself but substituting full fat mixers for diet, having a small wine instead of a large, lining your stomach or pace yourself so you’re less likely to eat a kebab shop on the way home and so on).
The upshot is in December if you eat breakfast, lunch and dinner there are 93 meals. If you eat whatever you want between 24th- 31st December that’s 24 meals. That’s 25% of your month. If you are sensible (not strict just not a dick) for 75% of the month to be honest you’ll start 2022 feeing pretty good.
So how strict should you be over Christmas- the answer is not strict at all but Christmas isn’t 31 days long unless you want it to be!