3 Strategies to Stay Slim during the Silly Season

Strategies to stay slim

With the Silly Season now upon us are you juggling a jam-packed schedule full of office parties, Christmas drinks and mince pie madness? Here are 3 strategies to stay slim and sane amongst the frivolity of the festive season.

1. Don’t lose sight of your values

As I’ve blogged about before, our values drive our decisions. They dictate where we spend our time, energy and money. We feel best about ourselves and our lives when we live in alignment with our values.  If you’re reading this, it’s likely that feeling healthy and good in your body is an important value to you. If you find yourself feeling tempted to subjugate your value of health in order to fit in with the crowd at this time of year, I invite you to take a moment to reflect.

Get curious about how you can still be social and festive while living in alignment with your values. The next time the voice of temptation (posing as a rowdy colleague) urges you to have another drink, take a moment to check whether that decision is in alignment with your broader vision for yourself. Ask yourself whether accepting another drink will support your deeper desire to feel vibrant and confident in your body, and then make a decision to honour your values.

2. Become aware of sabotaging beliefs

As detailed in an earlier post, beliefs colour our view of the world and create the boundary conditions of our thinking. Beliefs like “I’ll look like a party pooper if I don’t join in the eating and drinking” or “people will think I’m unsociable if I abstain” limit our ability to think creatively about socialising.

I invite you to examine your current beliefs about what it means to be sociable.  In order to begin challenging those beliefs, I encourage you to put yourself in your fellow guest’s shoes.  Ask yourself which of these two scenarios would be more enjoyable for you at a social event?

Scenario 1. Trying to talk to someone who is so distracted by their internal ping-pong match over having another glass of wine that you barely feel that they notice you, or

Scenario 2. Feeling the warm glow of someone’s focused attention and interest as you spend some time getting to know a new acquaintance

Its likely that how another person makes you feel in their company is far more influential than the number of calories they consume.

By delving deeper into beliefs about what really constitutes being sociable we begin to open up alternative ways of socialising that honour what’s most important to us.

3. Discover what you’re really hungry for

This time of year is steeped in tradition and ritual, and the serving of rich foods is one such tradition that can be challenging. Traditions and rituals create strong unconscious associations that evoke memories of good feelings. When food is involved in tradition and ritual we anchor those positive feelings to foods. If you often find yourself over indulging in particular festive foods, ask yourself what feelings you’re really craving. Is it comfort, warmth or the cozy memories of preparing a special dish with a loved one from your childhood?

By becoming aware of the feeling you’re seeking beyond the sweet treat you can take alternative actions to enjoy that feeling in a way that honours your values.  For instance:

  • Cuddle with a pet or loved one to enjoy feelings of connection
  • Hunker down in soft pyjamas and a good book to elicit feelings of comfort
  • Create new traditions and memories by experimenting with healthy recipes of old Christmas favourites

Amongst the busy-ness of December I encourage you to take a moment to get in touch with your values. When you take the time to consciously honour your values over the holiday season you will find yourself well ahead when the New Year arrives. Then, instead of spending January making up for poor decisions made in December, you’ll be ready to step into the New Year, right on track and ready for an amazing year ahead of you.


Image Credit: Steven Depolo via Flickr

On Food and Decision-Making

On food and decision-making

In Sex and the City, Carrie Bradshaw said, “Before 10am, everyone is guilty”.  It turns out she wasn’t far from the truth!

A recent study at Columbia Business School and Ben Gurion University[1] found that Israeli judges were 65% likely to parole an inmate at the beginning of the day or after a lunch break, but 0% likely to approve parole in the cases seen in the slot immediately before a food break!  The data shows that their clear thinking and impartial judgment was affected by their hunger.

I have become aware of how my energy levels, my ability to navigate challenges and my emotional robustness directly correlate to my blood sugar levels.  Just like those judges, in the days before I’d sorted out my nutrition, on a difficult morning I was at risk of falling back into less than optimal behaviours.  These days I have built good nutritional practices into my life to ensure I am able to be the most calm, clear-headed, positive version of myself I can be.

At 7pm on Thursday 1 August I’ll be hosting an information session on stress, energy and nutrition with Dr. Rupal Naik in Islington, London. Dr Rupal has been a practising GP and partner in one of the UK’s largest surgeries, with 26,000 patients.  She is now in private practice using her twenty years’ plus experience to consult on stress, nutrition and well-being.  In the session we’ll be talking about the importance of correct nutrition in support of excellent mental and emotional function

We will cover:

  • Why traditional breakfast choices are like punching a hole in your fuel tank each morning
  • How macro and micro nutrients are essential to creating energy molecules to fuel your morning
  • How excellent nutrition will ensure you remain clear headed and in control
  • A practical solution to excellent nutrition that won’t have you wasting your busy morning in the kitchen

Do you feel that your diet could use a boost and you could benefit from more energy and better nutrition? Then click here to RSVP or simply drop me an email.

[1] Shai Danzigera, S., Levavb, J, Avnaim-Pessoa, L., “Extraneous factors in judicial decisions”, PNAS April 26, 2011 vol. 108 no. 17 6889-6892

Image Credit: Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity via Flickr