Let’s play Real or Not Real inspired by the Hunger Games.
(If you haven’t watched the last Hunger Games movie Peeta was brainwashed by the Capitol and Katniss and comrades use a game of Real or Not Real to help him figure out which memories are true).
So here are some thoughts you probably have around the holidays. Are they ones you can believe or not?
You deserve a break.
Most women need a break not only from work but from constantly being restricted by diets, expectations and pressure we put on ourselves. But there are many ways to take a break that don’t involve stuffing your face with food and drinking copious amounts of alcohol. And if you feel that restricted by your diet during the year than you need a better, lifestyle friendly plan.
Christmas is all about the food.
Christmas has its origins in paganism and Christianity, and it’s also about spending time with our loved ones. Interestingly the earliest Christmas holidays did have an element of overindulgence in food but they were also celebrated by sexual indulgence, singing naked in the streets (the precursor of modern caroling) and human sacrifice. So you can see that Christmas is about a lot more than food.
It’s ok to relax and gain a bit of extra weight. You’ll lose it all again next year.
I know what you’re thinking. You need to relax and ‘live a little’. And this is the biggest mistake you’ll make over the holidays so the rest of this article is going to look at why this is Not Real.
Why you won’t lose the weight next year
So what’s the harm with relaxing over the holidays? This is your break and your chance to ‘live a little’. Well, if you feel that limited by your diet and life during the year, you probably need a better plan and that’s something to address. But the reality is if you relax too much over the holidays you’ll have an even more restrictive, disappointing year. Here’s why.
Let me introduce you to fat overshooting. Basically fat overshooting explains why when you regain weight, it can be so hard to lose again (like when you gain weight over the holidays and try to lose it in the New Year). Here’s what you need to know about it:
1. Rebounds are more the exception than the rule. This means if you lose weight you are more likely to gain it all back rather than keep it off. The odds are against you.
2. When you regain weight after a period of restricted eating, you are likely to gain even more fat than you had before you started dieting. This is called fat overshooting and it’s an adaptation your body has to losing weight. When you finally start eating again your body piles on fat and holds onto it even harder in case of another period of starvation (ie. another diet).
3. Not only do you end up fatter than before, but when you try to lose that weight again, it’s harder to lose than the time before.
So if you find yourself rationalizing overindulgence during the holidays, feel free to picture Finnick Odair whispering in your ear. Maybe dreamy Finnick can change your mind.
Reality is you’ll just end up fatter
Your biggest mistake is thinking it will be easy to lose that extra weight you gain over the holidays. In fact, it’s going to be even harder to lose next year. You can’t keep dieting yourself out of an indulgent holiday. If you think you can, mark my words, you’ll end up heavier and heavier each year.
That might seem harsh but research and experience back me up.
Studies show that the more people engage in dieting, the more they gain weight in the long-term.
Many women remark how easy it used to be to lose weight in the past mistakenly attributing being unable to lose weight to aging. Maybe you’ve even experienced this yourself. However, rather than aging being the culprit, you may be feeling the effects of being on the ‘diet – weight regain’ cycle too many times.
It’s ok to relax and gain weight over the holidays. Not Real.
You’ll lose it all again next year. Not Real.
There’s a good chance you’ll end up fatter than before. Real.
You’ll have a really hard time losing it next year. Real.
You’ll feel disappointed in yourself if you gain weight. Real.
Christmas is about more than food and you can find other meaningful ways to celebrate the holiday. Real.
If you want some help with your nutrition over the holidays (or after them), contact me today for a chat about how you can stop dieting for good. I promise it is a lot easier than you think!