This year has been a crazy, wild ride and no doubt you’re seriously looking forward to enjoying a much deserved break this Christmas. But contrary to popular belief, relaxing and celebrating doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your health in the process.
Of course there’s plenty of time for you to enjoy yourself – but making merry is hard to do when you can’t shake that pounding headache you acquired after hitting it a little bit hard the night before. So to help you out, we have compiled some tips to help you keep your health in-check over the Christmas period:
- Don’t Stress Yourself Out: Its not called the “silly season” for nothing! Shopping, cooking, wrapping presents, being the hostess and not to mention family politics are all major contributors to high stress levels around Christmas time! “Stress is one of the biggest contributors to overeating as it causes your body to produce the hormone, cortisol, which leads to appetite increase and weight gain. You may also crave calorie-rich foods and drinks because they bring emotional comfort and trigger the release of feel-good chemicals, such as serotonin, in your brain” says nutritionist August McLaughlin from Live Strong. So remember keep calm and carry on!
- Stay Hydrated: This is a crucial one especially as we experience a summer Christmas. Heat and alcohol is the perfect recipe for dehydration and a horrible hangover. You should drink 0.033 of a litre of water per day for every kilogram of bodyweight. For example if you weigh 70kg, that is 70 * 0.033 = 2.31 liters of water. If you are drinking alcohol, coffee or tea you need to consume at least one glass of water in between. Drinking coconut water is also great for replenishing electrolytes.
- Make Smart Alcohol Choices: We all like to have a drink or 3 over Christmas period, but unfortunately sugar and alcohol can play havoc with the digestive system. Go for organic wine and white spirits that are mixed with lime and soda (Click Here from some recipes). Also taking it slow will help to avoid binge drinking.
- Get Creative With Food: Christmas time means an abundance of fresh and colourful produce available. Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t allow yourself to indulge a little, it is Christmas after all, but when entertaining think of how you can take advantage of showcasing fresh, gorgeous produce – its pretty & delicious! You don’t need heavily processed food to delight your family.
- Don’t Eat Just For The Sake Of It: Just because there’s amazing food in front of you doesn’t mean you have to eat it all. “Many people rationalise splurging during the holiday season by convincing themselves that it’s OK because it’s a special occasion,” says Jenny Giblin, a psychotherapist and nutrition coach in Hawaii and New York. The common misconception of missing breakfast to save room for an enormous lunch is another major contributor to overeating. A fool proof plan would be to eat a light breakfast and medium sized lunch (refer to recipe link for ideas), this will reduce the risk of stomach discomfort and bloating, and it will help to regulate your ghrelin levels (hunger hormones) and blood sugar levels, which helps to regulate mood swings!
- Keep Moving: Just because its Christmas doesn’t mean you should stop exercising, in fact it is even more crucial to help combat the high stress levels and the extra food! Go for walks together; play sports or any other activity that encourages you all to be out in the fresh air, this is also great opportunity spend time and catch up with friends and family. It is also easier if you get it done in the morning before the day gets away from you.
So there you have it, my top 6 Tips On How To Survive The Silly Season! Got some tips of your own? We’d love to hear about them by simply commenting below!
Yours in health and fitness,
Director & Head Coach