4 ways to stay healthy during the festive period

It’s been 4 days since Christmas and there is no sign of any moderation to the constant flow of decadent foods and premium alcohol consumed over the festive period.  It’s an all too familiar cycle which is repeated on an annual basis.

 

It’s okay though, we have a plan. We will start our new regime of clean eating and exercise in the new year.  This allows us almost 2 weeks of guilt-free gorging knowing that every calorie being consumed will magically disappear come January 1. Once again, this is a cycle which is repeated each year.

So when January 1 comes around and we wake up with a vicious hangover,  we head straight to our local cafe which serves an all day greasy combo breakfast and then start the new year just like the previous year ended – carb loading.

Does this sound familiar?  Know someone who follows this all too familiar routine?  Well fortunately, after years of experience we have a few tips to deal with the festive period or any period for that matter where we all experience some type of diet and/or exercise blowout.

  1. Maintain some form of physical activity.   This is critical from both a mental and physical perspective.  Whilst you might not be able to accomplish your normal exercise routine, plan ahead to incorporate some well-timed physical activity to minimise the impact of upcoming festivities.   Below are some ideas to consider:
  • Get up a little earlier and go for a 30-minute power walk
  • Instead of going to the gym, do a few bodyweight exercise circuits such as push ups, burpees, squats and crunches in a circuit style fashion
  • If you have access to a swimming pool or beach – take a swim

These activities will boost your metabolism and prime your body’s natural ability to process what you consume during the course of the day.  Incorporating exercise during holiday periods will also have a beneficial impact on your self-esteem, especially if you usually normally exercise throughout the year.

2. Ditch the New Year Resolution / Fad Diet.  Being healthy is a lifestyle and should not be looked at as a temporary measure.  Sure, it is great idea to start the new year with some goals however hold off when it comes to making drastic changes to nutrition and exercise programs as you are more likely to lose motivation and feel like you are depriving yourself.  Consider the following goals:

  • Incorporate physical exercise into your routine daily
  • Aim to reduce your consumption of processed foods
  • Limit your intake of alcohol
  • Cope with stresses in your life
  • Enhance your personal relationships

3. Enjoy in moderation.  This is all about knowing your personal limits.  Im sure many of us have got out of bed following a night out and wished we didn’t have that extra glass or two of red wine.  It is important to plan ahead, think about your situation and set goals in advance.

Factors to think about include:

  • What is the duration of the event?
  • What options will be available for food and beverage?
  • If planning to consume alcohol, what are the limits?
  • How to maintain some form of discipline with food?
  • Share your goals with someone you trust (if possible)

I always try to load up on protein, which is usually in abundance during festive occasions. Protein regulates satiety which means you feel fuller for longer, so instead of going for the dips and crackers before a meal – look out for the roast chicken, beef or seafood.

4. Control your environment.  A popular online personal trainer I follow has a philosophy which really resonates with me – Control your environment, don’t let it control you.

This is all about planning ahead.  For example, if you know you have a full day of travelling ahead and limited options available to purchase healthy and nutritious food, then it makes sense to prepare some meals in advance and pack some healthy snacks in your luggage so you don’t give into temptation at the food court.

Or you might be taking a holiday to an unfamiliar destination and want to maintain your physical exercise routine.  Before you leave you do some research on local gyms and opening hours so you can schedule some workouts into your itinerary and stay on track.

We hope you find some of this information in this post helpful.  If you have any other tips you wish to share please feel free to comment below.

On behalf of the entire team at Health Deal, we wish everyone a happy and safe festive period.