The holiday season has started as we welcome the arrival of summer and the Christmas count down. Never-ending social events, flowing champagne and mince pies can railroad our healthy eating and lifestyle habits.
Whether you’re looking for weight loss, to maintain your cosmetic surgery results or to increase your fitness, follow these tips to avoid sabotaging your health goals.
Tips for keeping your health goals on track over the festive season
You’ve worked hard to keep in shape and you may even have invested time and money to contour your body through cosmetic surgery. Don’t let the excitement of the holiday season sway you from maintaining your hard work or achieving your results.
That being said, we don’t want to take the fun out of it.
Making a few healthy choices can help you stay on track and allow you to celebrate Christmas and the new year too.
- Listen to your hunger cues
Tuning in and listening to your body can help you avoid overeating, especially if you have a busy social calendar. Stick with your regular meals outside of the festive events and monitor your portion sizes.
- Watch your liquid calorie intake
The calories can sneak up on you during the holiday season thanks to the free-flowing alcohol, festive smoothies and soft drinks. Limit your intake of alcohol and sugary drinks where you can to avoid empty calories. Perhaps stop your usual after-work drink or wine with dinner and reserve alcohol for the holiday parties and get-togethers. If you do want to indulge in some festive cheer, alternate your drinks with a glass of water.
- Eat a healthy meal before parties
Filling up on healthy food including veggies, protein, complex carbs and healthy fats before you go to a Christmas party will help to prevent yourself from hoovering too many calorie-dense treats and cocktail snacks. These may look like innocent bite-sized pieces, but add them up and this can quickly lead to weight gain.
- Choose quality over quantity
It’s the time of year to enjoy yourself with friends and family. Even if you’re aiming for weight loss or simply want to stick to your healthy habits, you should allow yourself to have fun this holiday season (even if that is eating a couple of serves of Christmas pudding!).
If you do love cheese or desserts, allow yourself to enjoy your favourites but stick with good quality whole foods rather than processed foods and watch your portion sizes.
- Identify your weakness
Don’t rely on willpower alone. Identify your weakness (or weaknesses) so you’re prepared. If you have a weakness for chips or chocolate and can’t stop at just one or two, avoiding it altogether may be the best option. If there is a food that leaves you unsatisfied no matter how much you eat, it’s not the right food to indulge in if you want to meet your diet and fitness goals.
- Keep active
Keeping up your physical activity regime and moving where possible will not only help keep your waistline under control but it will also help you manage your stress and maintain balanced energy levels. Remember, it’s much easier to continue working out than starting up again after a month of poor exercise and eating habits or two sitting on the beach doing nothing. If you’re struggling, investing in a personal trainer over the holiday season may help keep you accountable. And for those travelling away from the gym, there are plenty of online programs and apps you can do anywhere.
- Manage your stress
This time of year is stressful for many. We’re snowed under with end of year deadlines, racing around doing Christmas shopping, spending time with family who we may not always get along with and on top of that, our purse strings are being stretched to the max. Practising techniques to keep your stress in check is just as important as dieting and exercising if you want to have a healthy holiday and meet your new year’s resolutions. When stressed we tend to overeat and Christmas conflicts tend to rise. Go to a yoga class, walk on the beach, read a book or simply spend 10 mins focusing on your breath.