The festive season for many, albeit a time of joy, can be a time of great stress for people trying to lose weight and get healthy. There are generally more social outings in the lead up to Christmas and New Years, you're eating out more often and not in your normal routine. But that does not have to mean that all is lost and that December is a complete right off.
Here are my 5 tips to staying on track this Festive season.
1. Eat mindfully
Just because there may be more social occasions and parties in December and in the lead up to Christmas doesn't mean that you need to be eating cake for 3 meals a day. Be sure to still eat mindfully and to remember you don't need to eat food just because it's there in front of you. Most of my clients that I talk to about this say that it one of their downfalls at parties when platters of food are there in front of them and before they know it they've eaten half the wheel of cheese. Ask yourself if you are actually hungry and if you are then opt for the healthiest option that you can. I'm not saying to not have cake but to just pick and choose the occasions when you are going to allow yourself to have cake and be a bit more flexible with your eating.
2. Make sure to keep up your exercise
This is going to be one of the things that will help you not pile on the kilos in December. Keeping up with doing over 10,000 steps per day and your normal exercise regime will help you not only avoid putting on that holiday weight but also help keep your digestion and detoxification process working. Eating out and foods that you are not normally used to eating can cause problems such as reflux, heartburn, bloating and indigestion in many people. Getting up and moving your body can significantly help to reduce those symptoms.
3. Keep up your water intake
This is especially crucial in the southern hemisphere as we are in summer but applies to everyone, be sure to keep up with your water intake over this period. Try interchanging every second drink at an event or work function for a glass of water instead of alcohol. Not only will this ensure you don't drink as much alcohol and reduce your liquid calorie intake, but also helps to make sure your water intake stays up and thus you stay hydrated.
4. Don't overdo it
You are allowed to say no. Just because there are lots more social engagements on at this time of year, you are allowed to say no to one or two. It is great to be busy and to have lots of fun events on but this coupled with work being extremely busy for most people in the lead up to the end of the year can put your adrenals into overdrive and cause significant burnout. Allow yourself time to just relax and actually enjoy the end of the year and holiday period.
5. Don't go on any crash diets
After all the festivities of December and New Years are over it can be so tempting to start a crash diet where you only drink lemon water and eat 3 sticks of celery a day to help shed those excess holiday kilos. The best way to avoid this is to be mindful of your eating throughout the whole period so that there are no excess kilos to lose. But even if a few extra kilos do stick around, firstly don't beat yourself up about it. Think ok yep that's happened now what am i going to do about it. The best thing to do in this situation is to get your eating back on track through a good diet of fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains and lean protein and limit your refined sugar intake. This is going to be a lot better for you and help you a lot more in the long run then any lemon detox diet you may see.