December is upon us and with it comes the holiday season; more beer, more wine, more extravagant foods… more food in general! All that eating and partying can play havoc with our usual stress levels, diet and fitness routines, so we’ve come up with our top tips to help you stay healthy over the holidays.
1. Plan ahead
Whether it’s making a Christmas present shopping list, writing down the things you need to complete before the holidays start or planning out your meals on Christmas day, taking the time to plan ahead can save you a lot of last minute stress and last minute shopping runs (it’s even worse when you need something and all the shops are closed!). Become a ‘list’ person; there’s only so much you can hold in your head, so get it down on pen and paper to avoid forgetting what you need and what you have to do.
2. Take time out
If you feel the stress getting the better of you, give yourself at least 30 minutes away from it all. Go for a walk outside, head to the gym, meditate, or dance to your favourite music. Your head will feel clearer and you’ll be ready to get back into it again.
3. Eat healthy foods when you can
You don’t want to deprive yourself over the holidays, but it’s easy for a normally healthy diet to get thrown out the window at this time of year! Try to maintain balance by eating healthy foods when you can. Make it a priority to eat your 5+ fruit and veges every day. If you know you’re going to have a lot of Christmas mince pies and puddings in the evening, make sure you eat a healthy normal breakfast and lunch. Don’t starve yourself by skipping meals and thinking you’ll ‘save yourself for later’ as this will just play havoc with your metabolism. And make sure you just eat one or two Christmas cookies in one sitting rather than the whole tub!
4. Pace yourself at the work Christmas do
Alcohol is treated as a toxin by your body, and you’ll pay for it the next day… Make sure you drink plenty of water when you’re consuming alcohol and don’t do it on an empty stomach! Alcoholic drinks also add a lot of extra calories that you’ll end up having to work off later (along with). If you do end up drinking too much, don’t let a hangover get the best of you the next day. Drink more water (alcohol dehydrates you), have a banana to get your potassium levels up, put on your sunnies and go for a brisk walk. It may feel like the last thing you want to do, but sweating helps flush toxins out of your body and exercising helps pick up your metabolism. It won’t help get rid of the hangover, but it may help you feel better and recover faster.
5. Try and stick to your regular exercise programme
While you may feel you have a billion other things to do, remember that your health is still a top priority and it’s important for your body and your mind that you get in regular exercise. Try and stick to your regular exercise regime whenever you can.
6. Be the healthy food bringer
If you’re going to a party, offer to bring a healthy dish. Salads, cold roast vegetables, carrot and celery sticks, fresh strawberries… you can guarantee that enough cakes, biscuits and other high calorie/low nutrition foods will be brought by others, so help to balance things out.
Image / FreeDigitalPhotos.net – cescassawin