Winter can be a time when we feel a bit out of control with our diet or feel guilty for indulging in comfort foods, more often than usual! If this sounds true to you, you are not alone and there are many reasons why we feel this way during winter.
Firstly, we tend to hibernate more and this can leave us prone to isolating ourselves. When in hibernation mode, it’s not uncommon to overeat especially compared to when in the company of others. This can leave us feeling poorly about ourselves.
In addition to this, in winter we naturally crave food to help raise our body temperature and keep us warm. Undeniably, stodgy foods are what we are drawn to and appeal the most.
There is nothing wrong with eating a little bit more from time to time or having a few extra stodgy meals, but its when we start to feel negative about ourselves, our choices or stressed by our diet, that we need to make a change.
If you have fallen into this cycle, here are some steps to get back to feeling good about your diet.
Focus on the journey not the destination
I am a huge fan of this saying because too many of us focus on where we are going rather than actually enjoying our trip there. Our relationship with food and health is fluid and constantly has its ups and downs. We don’t have it altogether all of the time! Be ok with imperfect and take each day as it comes.
Accept and move on
If you regret a choice made, there is no point going back over it and trying to rewrite the past. Instead, accept where you are at and focus on your next step by looking at what has led you to be in this position. For instance, did you overeat due to stress or boredom or have you gotten into a pattern of skipping lunch only to come home starved?
Once you have identified what needs to change, go on and make the change and enjoy the journey ahead.
Aim for balance not exclusion
When we overindulge, we often try to compensate by excluding certain foods or food groups from our diet, for example – no carbs today! Restriction and deprivation only leads to craving those foods more and sets up a negative cycle. Instead, focus on balance and know we can have all foods, in the right balance. After all, balanced eating is the most satisfying way to eat!
Keep up some form of movement
We intuitively eat better and feel better about ourselves when we move or engage in some form of exercise. However, during winter, some people struggle to keep up with their exercise routine and it drops off. If this has happened to you, try to get back into exercise, even if it’s a walk around the park over your lunch break and see what difference it makes to your food choices and how you feel, generally.