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Bikini body? Ready. Dieting and controlling myself at the table? Every day since I had my first encounter with a mirror at fifteen. Christmas dinner? You know that it will inexorably come.
At the moment we’re in that fantastic time frame when everyone will begin to wear more clothes. Food tends to be more solid, hot and fragrant.
And there’ll come a day, when it’ll be Christmas and every victory as regards to my figure will be in any case undone. So, why skimp? This is the right moment. The only time of the year when you can indulge yourself without feeling too guilty because no one will notice in the short run. We’ll all be together again in January running on the treadmill, trying to make amends.
Mankind has stopped having to face freezing winters (thanks to central heating and maybe even due – alas – to global warming), which is why there’s really no need to increase your calorie intake.
There are however some traditional eating habits that are still deeply rooted and a few common sense practices (those we call traditions) that are essential for a sound diet.
Some people support the theory that traditional European eating habits are one of the main reasons why obesity is less widespread in Europe than in the U.S.
Sitting at the table with other people tends to lower your calorie intake because part of the time is spent socialising, the traditional British five-o'clock tea justifies and contains when you have sweets (which shouldn’t really be eaten at other times of the day), any Italian would have a latte or a cappuccino in the morning and never after lunch.
Taking a break from watching your weight between October to January is also part of the equation.
If it’s true that a healthy body is a prerequisite to having a healthy mind, then it’s just as true that only a healthy mind can lead to a good physical shape. A neurotic mind, obsessed with non-stop calorie counting begins to boycott our bodies and do us some serious damage.
This has become a thing on social media: The Vegan Blonde, the New York fitness blogger who sold over 40.000 copies of her detox diet. It all went well until Jordan Younger’s hair (she had been depriving herself of animal derivatives, gluten, sugar, oil, seeds and legumes) started to fall out in chunks.
#eatclean is now a global trend that runs the risk of becoming much more than a diet, rather a poison for your mind. Many people who subscribe to the healthy eating craze are actually convinced that the eating habits of the majority of the population don’t just make them fat, but also impure.
According to the Guardian, the number of diagnosed eating disorders that masquerade as healthy eating habits is increasing every year. Orthorexia nervosa (from the Greek Orthos, correct and Orexis, appetite) is the most extreme version of these psychological disorders and includes those people who stick to a strict diet in an obsessive manner for a long period of time, with a particular target in mind. This problem is already widespread within the bodybuilding community. In fact many bodybuilders impose on themselves, for years on end, a diet without fruit and carbohydrates but with a disproportionate protein content.
#cleaneating is also encouraged by many food and fitness bloggers with worrying side effects on certain impressionable youngsters.
This is why indulging yourself from time-to-time is not only not a sin, but goes with having a balanced lifestyle. And if we can’t let go of our self-control, let’s also do it methodically by gradually loosening up when it comes to eating. While you’re swapping your summer clothes for winter ones you can also revise your dietary plan: with more days when you can eat as much as you want rather than just one and ending on the 2nd January next year. When we promise that we will return to the old regime and renew our gym membership.
Unless we feel like indulging in life’s little pleasures (and we’ve only got one life, note to self) a little longer. Maybe until Easter.