With the “silly season” fast approaching there are many opportunities to gorge yourself with fantastic food and drink of all varieties. However, this can often result in weight gain and guilt about the promises one has broken to oneself. There is also the likelihood of increased binge drinking that can have negative effects on such things as anxiety, mood, and sleep (and if you read last week’s article on sleep you will understand how important it is). So as you approach the silly season, it is important to have some goals (even if loose) for how you are going to manage the deluge of parties and celebrations.
To begin, let’s examine what diet actually means. The word diet has assumed new meaning in our day and age. It is often thought of as a time-limited restriction of food that a person undertakes, either to lose weight or for medical reasons. However, the Oxford Dictionary, while acknowledging this definition, also states that diet is the kind of food a person habitually eats; and in fact, the word ‘diet’ originated from the greek word “diaita”, meaning a way of life. It is often helpful to think about diet in this way because it will help you to create a diet that is sustainable and achievable, giving you a sense of mastery and success – an important element of happiness and wellbeing.
Dr Julie Blaze of Bulli Medical Practice (http://bullimedicalpractice.com.au) has set up and run a weight management clinic with great success over the last four years. She recommends familiarising yourself with a few important facts: what is a healthy weight for you and how much food does your body actually need each day to achieve this. Dr Blaze recommends mindful eating and mindful thinking to help you achieve your dietary goals.
Mindfulness means to bring your awareness to something , so it makes sense that being more aware of what you are eating and drinking over the Christmas break will help you stick to your goals. Savour your food and appreciate every mouthful. This approach can also help for drinking alcohol. Make a plan for how much you are going to drink and be mindfully aware of what you are drinking when you are drinking it.
For further information about mindfulness or for help with achieving your dietary/alcohol related goals, please contact Marsden Clinical Psychology and speak with one of our psychologists. In the lead up to Christmas there will be another article focusing specifically on binge drinking, so stay tuned.