Over the years that I’ve been writing nutrition plans and supporting my clients I’ve seen lots and lots of people almost totally abandon their healthy eating changes and efforts to achieve a healthier level of body fat over the summer – also at Christmas.
What happens is they start all over again in September, then December comes and they say “Well it’s Christmas so I’m going to eat ALL the food and drink ALL the drink!” and they regain the fat they lost between September and December, and more. Then they start again in January and by the time May/June rolls around they get into the summer holiday eating mode and regain all the fat they lost between January and May, and more!
It’s always a choice
Now of course this is always a choice but if you REALLY want to make healthy eating changes for good then holidays, summer, Christmas, Easter, etc are really no different to normal in terms of dietary quantity and composition. I think when people switch to eating high energy, high fat, high sugar, high refined carb foods at those times it signals there is still a lot of fundamental work to do with mindset.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t eat a bacon-and-cheese-filled croissant and mocha latte, slice of cake or a full-on Christmas dinner occasionally. Doing that on a regular basis just because it’s a holiday only ends up being damaging to physical health but perhaps not damaging to mental health
Although lots of people tell me that they feel bad at the end of one of these stints, so maybe all the food is not ultimately worth it!
Are you making healthy eating changes for good?
Anyhow, if you are starting the autumn having eaten and enjoyed all the food in the summer then it’s a good idea to explore whether you are making the September changes for good or whether it’s just until next time. Look back over the years and think how many years have you been trying to lose body fat – is it five, ten, twenty, thirty? What will be different this time – REALLY different? And do you want to spend The Rest Of You Life trying to lose weight, get an activity habit or eat better?
Stop there and think about that.
Do you really want to change forever or are you happy to stay the same or gain a bit as long as you have stints of eating more nourishing food – that’s definitely an option. It’s worth doing this because if the answer is the latter you can let go of the pressure to lose fat and come at it from a different angle. OK not the healthiest physically because despite popular opinion carrying excess body fat is not a health behaviour (just as being underfat isn’t) and 100% does drive disease but not worrying about it can be mentally freeing, and if you feel more mentally comfortable that has profound physiological effects.