Surviving Christmas: Wellness coach Pat Divilly tells VIP how to enjoy this Christmas, guilt-free

"Beating yourself up about anything will only bring on feelings of inadequacy."

Pat Divilly tells us how to enjoy this Christmas, guilt-free.
Pat Divilly tells us how to enjoy this Christmas, guilt-free.

Christmas is the one time of year when we all want to let loose and enjoy ourselves. Our fitness and healthy eating regimes go out the window, one glass of wine turns into two, and we overindulge on all the yummy festive food. However, come January we hate ourselves for it and instantly regret the choices we made. Where’s the fun in that?

In an effort to avoid the post-Christmas guilt in 2017, VIP Magazine spoke to Ireland’s leading wellness coach and mentor, Pat Divilly. He gave us his top four tips for surviving the festive season, without any of the guilt. Why not give them a try this year?


Be Mindful:

For most of us, it’s one of the few times of the year where we spend days at home watching movies, being with family and eating everything in sight! We all love a few treats, but often fall into the trap of mindless eating, just picking up what’s in front of us because it’s there and we’re bored! Before tucking into food or drink just ask yourself, is it because you’re hungry and want something sweet? Or are you just bored and looking for distraction? This type of mindfulness around food will at least halve the amount of calories we consume in the holiday season and typically this will make us enjoy the foods we take in more.

Banish guilt:
One of the biggest things I see for many people is an unhealthy relationship with foods that leaves them feeling guilty after straying from a healthy eating plan. Ironically, guilt after eating is probably going to do more damage than the food itself! Stop thinking of foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and simply take note of how they make you feel. Guilt leads to an emotional eating spiral. And, beating yourself up about anything will, as we all know, only bring on feelings of inadequacy.

Banish the guilt this year.
Banish the guilt this year.

Stay hydrated:
We can often get so caught up in the finer details of nutrition and training, but when we peel it all back there’s a few key principles that can help you drastically improve your health. For one, water intake. Two litres of water minimum at all times of the year will help energy levels, sleep, skin and digestion, but during the Christmas season where we’re having a few extra drinks, it’s worth having a few extra glasses of water, too.

When it comes to exercise and nutrition, the idea of the compound effect can be one of the most powerful steps to change. We’ve often got a perfectionism mentality where we want to eat ‘perfectly’, train seven days a week and live like monks to see results. In reality, small, consistent changes create a compounded effect, which can lead to massive change. If you were to get a 30-minute daily walk in for the two-week Christmas period, you’ve done seven hours of exercise without stressing yourself out, or overdoing it!


Upgrade your Life by Pat Divilly is in all good bookstores, or online at patdivilly.com



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