Photo by Thao Le Hoang on Unsplash

4 Nutritional self-defence moves to deflect peer pressure

It has now officially started around the world! The excessive eating race has begun and you must now negotiate the obstacles ahead. Depending on your level of activity in the next couple of days, which granted has been curtailed by the pandemic in most circumstances, you still may be faced with multiple indulgent feasts that require some careful consideration. Even if you happen to be the chef de cuisine for one of those meals, the temptation to taste-test as you go can be compelling! Here’s an emergency kit to help you cope with the flood of calories coming your way.

1 — As mentioned in my post earlier this week, use your safe words: “No thank you.” I know that in some families or circles your peers might still try to pressure you especially as the night goes on and some alcohol may be consumed… Remember to stay grounded and to abide by what feels right for you. If you’re clear about what you truly want for yourself, no amount of convincing will make you drift. Your self-respect will only grow stronger as well as the admiration of those around you. Your actions may even inspire and could lead to better choices for everyone.

2 — Make clear choices of the “YES” foods and the “NO” foods. You have to pick your battles and allow some flexibility for what you like most. Do you prefer salty or sweet flavours? If you like both then make a clear choice for this year as to what you will allow and what you will avoid. If you prefer salty dishes, you could focus on eating more proteins, reasonable fat amounts and fewer carbs. This way you get what you like most and stay reasonable with what is less appealing to you. On the other hand, if you’re a sweet tooth, you already know there’s no point in trying to control what you’re going to reach for. In this case, avoid fats. Each gram of carbs contains 4 calories while 1 gram of fat carries 9. By staying away from the salted nuts and the bacon, you will keep that caloric room for what tickles your fancy the most.

3 — I call decadent treats food for the soul, and nutritious delights food for your conscience. The health of your soul does need to be considered! Like the good old rule of thumb 1 to 1 alcohol-water ratio, one indulgence for one veggie. By balancing your intake of not so healthy items with the nutritional powerhouse of veggies, not only will you pace your appetite, but you will also make sure to not only binge on empty calories. It will have the added benefit of giving fibres when traditional Holiday dishes suffer from a severe lack of this gastrointestinal ally.

4 — Reversed guilt. Being mindful of what you eat is a form of self-care and for those who like to preach unhealthy habits and are trying to ridicule you, you may use my favourite rebuttal: “I love myself too much to make my body endure such things.” That’s a heavy weapon, but some people deserve to hear your truth to respect you and your choices. Instead of abiding by an old stereotype that you want to lose weight because you dislike your body, you can reverse the dynamic and demonstrate that it’s because you care about yourself profoundly that you nourish yourself well.

And a bonus tip:

Don’t forget that you don’t have to keep every gift you receive, I’m sure a homeless shelter would be pleased to happily accept the chocolate box you received at work. When taking care of your health, regifting can be a blessing both to yourself, and others!

I hope this will help you avoid typical Holiday eating pitfalls. Be the good food habits ninja and impress the family with the power of your dedication. Actions speak louder than words and if you abide by your convictions, only more respect will follow for yourself and from others. Spinning the wheel of positive change reaps its rewards over the long run — I’m speaking from dual experience from watching my mother display conscious eating in my childhood to sticking to my own self-love decisions today.

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Daily diary of a student entering university at forty. Just writing for me. Kaizenka, ex-nomade, foodie, and health nerd.

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Judith's Squirrels

Judith's Squirrels

Daily diary of a student entering university at forty. Just writing for me. Kaizenka, ex-nomade, foodie, and health nerd.

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