Christmas is almost here like literally 8 days away.
We all have so many Christmas parties and maybe holidays this time of the year. What do you do when you get so caught up with it especially when you are eating well and being physically active? Do you let yourself go into lapse and let all your effort gone down to the drain?
I am going to discuss how we are going to manage our lapses.
A lapse is a brief and small slip in your efforts to make healthy changes. A lapse might be overeating at parties for a day or two, or skipping your physical activity for a week while on holidays or too busy catching up on Christmas shopping and lunching/coffees with friends. Experiencing a lapse is normal. You should not view them negatively.
To deal with lapses, it is important to be prepared for them. If a lapse is left unchecked, it can sometimes grow into relapse. A relapse is a full-blown return to your previous habits. It usually results from a series of small lapses that snowball into a relapse.
Lapses can sometimes be a trigger to give up on your goals for healthy changes, but they don’t have to be! Lapses can be a chance to learn about yourself and can help you to become stronger in your will to change.
The key to sticking with your new healthy habits is to work out your strengths and weaknesses.
You can then learn to identify your lapses early and deal with them before they turn into a relapse. You can also plan for a lapse so you are in control of how often and how much you lapse.
Here is a task to help you make a controlled, pre-planned lapse in eating.
My plan for a lapse:
- What will you eat that does not belong to your healthy diet?
- Amount to be eaten?
- When and where are you likely to lapse?
My own rules for lapses:
- My future lapses can be:
- A single occasion eating a pre-planned amount of a favourite food
- A special occasion when I can eat whatever I want and how much I want
- A day off from lifestyle change that I give myself
- Other (be specific)
- How often can I have such a lapse?
- Every second month
- Once a month
- Every second week
- A couple of times a week
- Several times a day
- What rules for lapses should I have for holidays or other times when I’m not following my normal daily routines?
- Ask some questions and know what you’re getting as unlike packaged food, food bought from cafes and restaurants does not have to show nutritional information, so choosing the healthier options may not always be obvious, or easy. Here are some questions you can ask.
- What’s in the dish?
- Can you swap fries for a healthier side eg. Roast potatoes, salad or vegetables?
- Can the dressings and sauces be placed in a separate dish on the side?
- Can you have a smaller portion of meat and larger portion of salad/vegetables?
- How is it cooked? Can it be grilled instead of fried?
- Can you order an entrée sized meal instead of a main? Or can you share a larger meal with a friend?
- Can you add some lemon, lime or orange wedge to add flavour to tap, mineral or sparkling water?
What would you do on the Christmas Day itself?
I would suggest go for a long walk before the day start and it’s going to be crazier. Enjoy the day and perhaps go for another walk after the meal. It doesn’t have to be long, 30 mins it’s a good to start. I hope this would help you managing the festive season.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!