Lab Therapist

Article ● Christmas has arrived! And now?

by Joana Teixeira on Dec 13, 2021

Artigo ● Chegou o Natal! E agora?

With the arrival of the Christmas season, which between work dinners, friends and the like, lasts the month of December, there are also concerns about avoiding excesses, making healthier recipes (and even so, not to gain weight, etc.). Since The Therapist is a space that defends flexibility and balance, which implies maintaining healthy habits without prejudice to socializing with our peers, and still preserving our well-being and mental health during the holiday season, here are some tips to survive this season:

    Christmas happens once a year. It is a moment in which, more than ever, we surround ourselves with our people, live together and celebrate. For some it has a more spiritual or religious connotation, for others it is just a moment of celebration. The truth is that it is a court that leaves few indifferent. So let us allow ourselves. With conscience. No fears or judgments. Because health is also this. Let's remember that the holiday season lasts (at most) one month in twelve and let's allow ourselves to give importance to what really matters. If you're going to share a meal richer in calories, made up of delicacies that we don't usually eat, then so be it. And that this is done in full, without value judgments, without further punishment/restrictions and with awareness of the privilege of being able to choose exactly what we want to eat and drink. A healthy and balanced diet implies consistency. And consistency is achieved when there is flexibility.

    When it comes to socializing at the table, where exaggerations can happen not only on the plates, but also (or above all) on the glasses, it is worth remembering that:

    We don't have to eat this world and the next in the same day. As mentioned initially, the court lasts a whole month, which gives us time to go and catch up on our favorite Christmas sweets throughout the month, without rushing or anxiety.

    It is not worth saving and restricting meals for one (or several) days so that we can later eat whatever is on the table. Not arriving hungry at a meeting is the classic catchphrase that does not fail in any article on food during the holidays. A classic that doesn't age. The probability of compulsive overeating is, in fact, much greater when we have not eaten for several hours and hunger pangs.

    In nutrition, as in any other field, the “lost per 100, lost per 1000” rule does not apply. If you overdo one (or more) meals, all is not lost. It is essential to resume our usual diet (understand, eating habits and never restriction), whatever it may be. Hydrate with water, flavored or not, teas and infusions, eat vegetables and fruits, choose quality carbohydrates and ensure a good supply of protein in every meal. Along with this, maintaining our physical exercise routine goes halfway to feeling good.

    Whenever socializing takes place at home, where each person usually takes a dish, choosing a healthy alternative can and should be an option, such as ours cookies gluten free or ours slices. It's a way to ensure that there is something healthy at the table, but above all, to share creative and balanced dishes/alternatives with those we love, showing that healthy eating is not boring.

    A gram of alcohol has 7 kcal. Which means that depending on the percentage of alcohol in the drink we choose, and whether it is made with soft drinks (gin and tonic, for example) or not, the excess may actually be more in the glass than on the plate. Therefore, it is worth trying to drink in moderation and, even more, choose options with less added sugar.

    Finally, underline that the distance that separates New Year's Eve from Christmas is much greater than that which separates Christmas from New Year's Eve. Therefore, let us be generous with ourselves, with our body and with our mind. Let us allow ourselves to enjoy this period in the best possible way, especially in this phase of pandemic, with so many uncertainties, during which we were (and continue to be) forced into social distance and all that this entails. 

      Merry Christmas! 

      Article written in partnership with Nutritionist Sumeya Osman, clinical director of The Therapist.

      Photo by crack images on Unsplash