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3 tips to beat Xmas stress and keep your weight loss on track

beat Xmas stress

SORRY to remind you, but in barely four weeks it will be Christmas Eve. Can you believe that?!  I’m in a state of shock!  I’ve already been asked when the decorations and the tree are going up!

Then I need to get the cards written and posted, the shopping done, the food and drink in, the presents bought and wrapped PLUS a million other things I’ve not even thought about yet!

Sounding like a bit of a humbug, I could do without it this year to be honest!

Christmas is always stressful but it feels that this Christmas – after the eight months of mayhem we’ve been through – is the toughest ever.

The worst thing about stress is that good habits can go out of the window and bad ones can march in through the door! Bad habits not only prevent you from accomplishing your goals, they can also jeopardise your health – mentally and physically – and waste your time and energy.

You may not know this, but bad habits are generally caused by two things – stress and boredom. Most of the time, bad habits like snacking, over-eating or drinking too much become a way of coping.

I’ve noticed over the years that sweet stuff and alcohol become my major stress response and I know the one thing so many of us do when we’re bored is snack!

I can feel you agreeing with me right now!  If we’re watching TV we start by just having one packet of crisps, then we get the taste for them.

Those crisps often then develop into us looking for biscuits and maybe a glass of wine to go with them!  How many times do you sit down in the evening with a glass of wine or a G&T for example?

Then it develops into a regular habit.

But you CAN change this – habits don’t have to be what consumes your life. You can create new and healthy ways to deal with stress and boredom which will replace your bad habits.

Here’s three tips to keep you on track so you can beat Xmas stress (and I’m doing a deep dive into this on my FB live on Thursday with more tips – join me then!)

Beat Xmas stress – tip 1

Work out what triggers your bad habit. Ask yourself these questions:

When does my bad habit happen?

Is it the same time each day?

Where am I when I do it?

We’re being triggered every day of the week and it’s hugely important to work out what sets off the behaviour, because when you identify this you can stop it – or at the very least control it.

Beat Xmas stress – tip 2

Track your habit’s favourite time and place.

Being far more aware of your habit can give you dozens of ideas for stopping it.  So use your phone to note down when it happens and what you are doing.

This little exercise isn’t for you to judge yourself or feel guilty – the only thing you need to achieve is to be more aware of what’s going on.

Awareness is the first important step towards change.

Beat Xmas stress – tip 3

Replace the bad habit with a good habit.

If you eat sweet stuff when you’re stressed then it’s not a good idea to  suddenly stop. That way your needs will be unfulfilled and it’s going to be hard to stick to a new behaviour or routine for very long.

Suddenly depriving yourself of something is the mistake a lot of people make – and that’s why diets can’t be sustained for long.

Instead what you should work towards is being aware of what you’re putting your mouth and then consciously changing it to something similar but not as bad for you.

In the case of chocolate – choose one with less sugar, or possibly some sweetish fruit if that works – because this way you’ll start adopting new behaviour that fulfils the same need but is healthier.

Of course,  if you’re on the Slimpod programme your tastebuds and your need for sweet stuff will probably have changed already and you’ll be getting your pleasure and reward from healthier food and exercise.

But if there’s something that’s being stubborn, or there’s another habit you want to break to help you beat Xmas stress, then these three tips will be really effective.

Breaking bad habits takes time and effort but mostly perseverance.  It’s that good old consistency word again.

Most people who end up breaking their habits have tried multiple times before they made it work.  So you may not have success right away but that’s ok – because the rewards will be worth it in the end

To help motivate you to kick your bad habits, I’ll be doing a deep dive on all this on my Instagram page live at 7pm UK time on Thursday (November 26) and then the main public Facebook page at 7.30pm.

What habits do you want to change before Christmas? How are you planning to beat Xmas stress?

Please let me know in a comment below.

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10 thoughts on “3 tips to beat Xmas stress and keep your weight loss on track”

  1. Want to change my sugar addiction and Christmas time with chocolates, mince pies, puddings just make it worse. Added to which although you are offering a free trial for your slimpods I can’t afford the monthly payments so I’m in a no win situation.

    1. There is a Black Friday deal? This will be the best money you have spent. An investment in you and your food bill reduces as you begin to eat less

  2. I’m going to try and keep the snacks to a minimum. Fill up on proper meals so I’m not tempted. Not buy the normal christmas food in the first place i. e. Tubs of chocolates, nuts , pork pie and puddings.

  3. By filling the fridge with healthy treats. I’m going to treat myself to a selection of tropical fruits, nuts and dark chocolate batons.

  4. This year no parties so not the usual three Christmas Dinners to plough through. Smaller family gathering so going to try and make this Christmas different and less stressful. Not going to buy in so much unhealthy food . Keeping my recent exercise routines going .

  5. Hi Sandra
    Well, I know my test time is in the evening, when I’m settling down in front of the tv. After about an hour, I feel the need for something sweet , ideally chocolate. I crave and crave it and usually give in. I become quite ‘edgy’ without it. Unfortunately, at this time of year, there are all sorts of bonus ‘treats’ about and I completely lack the willpower to say no.
    I’ve tried distracting myself by doing knitting or ironing, but ultimately the desire will win. I’d like to at least gain some measure of control over this. At the moment, I cannot content myself with a couple of chocolate biscuits or a small amount of chocolate. I keep eating even though I’m aware that I’m not enjoying it as much as I used to and that the sugar is doing awful things to my body.
    I don’t smoke or drink alcohol but I think chocolate is probably just as addictive.
    I feel as if I really lack the needed motivation to conquer my eating habits and general malaise in general at the moment.
    I do have bipolar disorder, so trying to keep an even keel on my mental health absorbs lots of my emotional resources. Comfort eating plays a big part in this.
    Also the meds I’m on make me crave carbs and hold onto weight longer.
    I feel more at ease when I’m not worrying about my weight, but I do have concerns about the effects on my physical health.
    Any help would be much appreciated.

    Kind regards
    Gillian Thompson

  6. I don’t know about xmas stress but I was very wound up today and promised myself a glass of wine with the bake off final. Got this email and hey presto, craving gone!!

  7. I love pastry, I love crisps and I just adore all the things that are unhealthy for me. I know that but I still can’t stop! I’ve successfully lost almost 4 stones now so Slimpod is definitely helping me but I’m worried I won’t be be able to be sensible over the Christmas period ☹️

  8. I want to stop drinking alcohol every night- not too much however I am still doing it. Maybe if I have had a drink today then I won’t have one tomorrow? Not maybe- I will do it!!

  9. I’ve decided to dip walnuts, Brazil’s, hazelnuts & almonds in very dark chocolate as our Christmas treat in small quantities. Good for us and enjoyable!

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About Sandra
Founder of Thinking Slimmer
Food addiction expert
Member of All-Party Parliamentary Obesity Group
Huffington Post contributor
DipCHyp HPD NLP MasterPrac
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