ADVICE: How to avoid ‘food angst' this holiday season!

Here at The Delivery, we're known as festive eaters. Yes, as soon as the holiday season rolls around, we're usually the ones first in line at the buffet or making best friends with the waiters handing out those delicious h'orderves at the Christmas party, only to later regret our decision and spend the rest of the holidays feeling less than beach ready. So this time around we decided to get some friendly advice from leading Cricket Australia dieting Michelle Cort,  on how to handle food angst this holiday season. 

Over to you Michelle... 

Delicious food and a few drinks go hand in hand with most peoples Christmas celebrations. Consequently being a dietitian at a Christmas function can be a lonely affair. Who wants to mingle with the food police right? I couldn’t agree more with the ‘food police’ part. Fortunately this doesn’t go hand in hand with being a nutrition practitioner.

Christmas time (or any-time) shouldn’t be about focussing on labelling foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ choices, nor should it be about restricting one day to ‘reward’ yourself the next day. For most people this type of eating just leads to feelings of guilt and stress.

A more sustainable and healthy approach is to practice 'Mindful Eating' all year round (including Christmas).

What is Mindful Eating?

Mindful eating is not a diet, it’s the total opposite. Mindful eating supports you to bring awareness and curiosity to your eating habits, while at the same time letting go of unhelpful judgment and criticism. Having a positive attitude to food and eating are vital for health and wellbeing all year round.

Mindful eating strategies help you to eat more in tune with your appetite, let go of food rules and reignite your intuitive sense of being able to choose foods that nourish you at any one time. This allows you to be more flexible, less stressed and remove the guilt around your food decisions.

Some Mindful-Eating Strategies Include:

  • Shifting out of auto pilot- taking time to taste, smell and enjoy the texture of the foods you are eating
  • Appreciate all food equally-  don’t treat foods you eat everyday as boring and unimportant
  • Take the stress out of eating- be mindful of the way you talk about food. When you habitually talk about your discontent, you create an ongoing poor relationship with food.
  • Love your food- don’t buy into the idea that if you enjoy food too much, you’ll never stop eating it.
  • Take a chance and see what happens when you love your food.  When food is your friend, you can’t help but feel happier.

About Michelle Cort
Michelle Cort is an Advanced Sports Dietitian who currently works as the Sports Nutrition Manager for Cricket Australia, and is the Sports Performance Dietitian for the Australian Sailing Team. Michelle has worked with several AFL, NRL and Super Rugby Teams over the past 15 years and has previously worked in conjunction with the Real Madrid Football Team.