The Festive Season is the one time of the year when we can give ourselves permission to relax a little! It is not the time to ‘diet’, but what you don’t want to do is have a blowout and either undo all of the great progress you’ve achieved during the year, or a mountain you have to climb when it’s all over! The key is to try and maintain where you’re at now. Enjoy some treats over the Festive Season, but don’t over-indulge. Relax and enjoy the Festive Season, and commit that you will get back on track after New Year. It’s really important that you don’t deprive yourself or feel like you have to go without as these feelings can lead to you feeling unhappy and can add to stress and anxiety levels.
Tip #1 – Keep Moving: Whether it’s maintaining your exercise, going for an early morning walk or getting creative about your catchups with friends/family over the festive season, set a goal to keep moving! Even if you cut back or take a break from your regular exercise regime. think about including some physical activity as part of your catch ups with family and friends – a walk, ball games, water activities, before you have that catch up drink or meal! You’ll feel much better for moving and getting some fresh air.
Tip #2 – Eat a Healthy Breakfast: The blow out meals tend to be lunches and dinners and a common mistake is skipping breakfast to ‘even things out’. Eating a healthy breakfast, particularly one that includes protein, will help avoid over-eating at other meals and/or snacking because you’re starving! It also helps keep your metabolism firing, your energy levels and blood sugars more stable.
Tip #3 – Stay hydrated: Fill up a couple of water bottles in the morning and aim to drink them throughout the day, particularly if you have an afternoon or evening of eating and drinking ahead. Try and have a glass of water between each alcoholic drink, as this will help with the dehydrating effects of alcohol and foods that are high in sodium and sugar. You’ll feel fresher, your skin will be glowing and you won’t feel so lethargic. Staying hydrated also helps control cravings and helps flush toxins from your system, so your liver and kidneys will thank you for it!cravings and helps flush toxins from your system, so your liver and kidneys will thank you for it!
Tip #4 – Don’t go to a party hungry: Chances are that the foods on offer will be fried, salty, fatty, creamy or all of the above! Eat a small snack before with a small amount of protein and healthy fat such as raw nuts, boiled egg, rice cakes with salmon or avocado (or both!). Still enjoy the party snacks, but this will help you avoid over-eating the not so healthy options!
Tip #5 – Boost your nutrients: During the Festive Season, we tend to eat different foods than usual and it can be more challenging to get in the nutrients that we need each day to keep our bodies going. Getting your ‘5 veg & 2 fruits’ can be challenging, so using a Greens Supplement can help make sure you’re getting in some of the goodness you’re missing out on.
Tip #6 – Eat right when you can: Make sure that your lunches, dinners and snacks around all the festive ones are healthy! Think ahead about what you have on and plan to have healthy meals when you are at home. Plan 3-4 meals to have during the week and shop in advance so you have everything you need when you need it. You’ll save time making unnecessary trips to the supermarket, money on wasted food or worse – takeaway options, and stress when you’re busy and tired if you don’t have to make decisions and you have everything you need in the fridge/pantry. Keep some healthy snacks on hand such as up veggie sticks with homemade hummus or guacamole, fruit, raw nuts, boiled eggs, homemade granola bars and protein balls make great easy snacks.
Tip #7 – Support your gut: Your digestive system can take a bit of a beating with the usual overload of alcohol, rich food and treats, and may need some extra TLC. Supporting your gut with a good Pre & Probiotic and Digestive Enzymes can help boost healthy gut bacteria and help with the digestive process.
Tip #8 – Offer to bring a plate: Not only will this be super helpful to the host, you can bring a plate with some healthy but delicious canapés or a healthy salad to share so that you know there’s something healthy you can enjoy.
Tip #9 – Boost your B Vitamins: Did you know that alcohol can deplete your body of key nutrients such as B vitamins as these are directly or indirectly involved in metabolising alcohol. As the building blocks of a healthy body, B vitamins have a direct impact on your energy levels, brain function, and cell metabolism, so boosting these over the Festive Season can help make sure you have the energy and brain power to get through it!
Tip #10 – Choose the healthier options: Whether you’re dining out and ordering off a menu, or at a party, aim for the lighter, healthier options when you do have a choice.
Tip #11 – Position yourself selectively! Avoid standing beside the food table or where the food comes out! Position yourself away from the food so you’re not as tempted to keep reaching for the food without realising!
Tip #12 – Pace yourself: Whether it’s eating or drinking, moderation is key! When it comes to eating, even just watching your portion size can make a difference. Have a break and wait 20 minutes to see if you are satisfied. Chances are you’ll realise you’ve eaten enough and the key is to tune into your body – it does know best!
Tip #13 – Choose lower calorie alcohol options: Choose soda over soft drinks for mixers, spirits such as vodka or gin and soda with fresh lime over wine or beer and alternate with sparkling water or water. There are some great non-alcoholic drinks too these days and it’s okay to choose to have an ‘Alcohol Free Day’! Your body will thank you for it in the morning!
Tip #14- Don’t over-commit: Whether that’s saying ‘yes’ to every event you’re invited to, or hosting events yourself. The Festive Season is often a time when we want to catch up with everyone. It’s okay to say ‘no’ or to suggest a catch up in the New Year to space things out. Consider hosting one or two events and getting groups of friends together so you can catch up with everyone at once, and be okay with asking people to bring a plate. Most people love to contribute and will gladly pitch in. You’ll enjoy it more, as you won’t be spending days shopping and preparing all of the food. Most people are in the same situation at this time of year and are often understanding that you can’t make it to every event. Suggest a picnic in the park, at the beach or by the river so it’s more relaxed and casual and you don’t have to worry about cleaning your house and preparing loads of food.
Tip #15: Make sure you get enough sleep: With parties, events and lots to do, the amount of sleep you’re getting can dwindle before you know it. Getting enough good-quality sleep ensures that you have the energy for all the things you need to do, can concentrate better, and you’re also less likely to burn out (something that we all want to avoid when we’re meant to be relaxing & having fun!). Aim for 7-8 hours per night, but you can always sneak in a power nap to recharge if you need to.
So relax, enjoy the Festive Season and have fun…just do it all in moderation! If you need some help to get through it, or when it’s all over and you want to get on track for the New Year and would love some tips, support or accountability, please contact me for a free 15 minute chat to see if I can help!