How did you manage your food intake over the Christmas Holiday? Did you find yourself eating things that you would normally avoid? Maybe put on a little bit of weight?
Usually Christmas would see me add a few pounds, I can remember Christmases twenty years ago when I would put on at least 7 pounds over the two weeks of festivities, back then I was really quite fit and would drop the weight easily once I was back cycling to work, playing squash and volleyball with my workmates and swimming a few times a week.
Over the years I continued to add weight over the Christmas holidays, however I wasn’t always successful in dropping the pounds, especially in more recent years. My favourite foods for the holidays would have included Mince Pies with lashings of thick cream and Brandy Butter, sandwiches with butter, pate, chestnuts, mayonnaise, cheese – yes, that was all in one sandwich!
This year I avoided all grains and sugars successfully and it surprised me how easy it was for me to do. I will admit that I had a very quiet Christmas and was not in the company of people eating all the foods I wished to avoid so I think this is the main reason that I found it easy.
I had food treats in the form of really good, nitrate-free rashers (bacon), good quality meat, lots of coconut oil and cream, good organic veggies, lovely Irish butter and I kept my fruit intake to a Clementine per day.
I guess the one real non-paleo food was fresh organic dairy cream, which I added to hot cocoa drinks, mixed with coconut cream and cocoa for ice-cream replacement snacks and put in my coffee. One of those coffees was in bed most mornings – really decadent in my book and very enjoyable!
I think that this was the first Christmas for well over twenty years when I did not add any weight and I am really pleased. I didn’t loose any weight although I wasn’t expecting to so I am not disappointed at all with that. However now I really feel that I need to kick start my metabolism with exercise.
Over the holiday I stopped logging my food and I did very little physical exercise, mostly I watched movies and read some great new books – in other words – I sat a lot. And when I say a lot, I do mean a lot!
I have started to use my food journal again and it has reminded me of the correct proportions of protein, carbohydrate and fat that I am aiming for in my weekly intake. I have stopped having a mug of coffee automatically first thing in the morning and I have found that I am drinking more fresh water as a result. I save my one mug of coffee for later in the day now and enjoy it more.
For the last week or so I have been gradually adding physical exercise back into my life, in the form of walks, splitting wood for kindling, spring-cleaning, washing windows and doors etc. Not massive changes however I think these are the sorts of changes that are more likely to stay a part of my lifestyle. I know that when the weather is better I will be doing a lot more outdoor work, until then I will continue to increase daily activity and hopefully undo some of the damage all the sitting has done.