I’m often asked about my commitment, dedication and perseverance with regard to my transformation. What people really want to know is how to start and how to keep the momentum going. Sounds easier said than done, or is it a simple approach to a radical lifestyle change that is required?
So, when I was asked to write for the Entertainer Hub about this very topic, I jumped at the opportunity.
The hardest part of any fitness journey is knowing where to start.
Firstly lemme keep it real. Over the past few months I’ve been slacking and yes I have had a few setbacks but my mind hasn’t fully been in the game. And I can’t use the setbacks as an excuse. It was all me. Hence my progress has been little to none.
Time for Change
But that’s about to change. Tomorrow (18 June 2018) I will start a 4 month body transformation journey. A defined timeframe with specific goals. Follow #SmashedByTash on social media because I’m ready to smash my goals and take my body to the next level. I’m going from fat to fitter and stronger. I promise that you don’t want to miss this. The next 4 months will not be about perfection, but about a commitment to myself, dedication and perseverance.
Why a 4 month transformation?
Why 4 months, well because I turn 41 in October and what better gift to myself than good fitness and health, after all your health is your wealth. But there’s another reason which will be REVEALED in due course.
My Plan of Action
Work on a plan of action. 4 months to be “Fleshed out“, fitter and stronger. Start date is 18 June 2018 ending in October 2018.
Tuesday morning I will take my progress pics. I’m going to do a weekly update comparing with this pic and not my previous ones. For me it’s the best way to see progress (Now go on … take that first dreaded pic. It’s the best motivator by far).
Wednesday I’m off to see a guy about a thing. Official first weigh and measure. Going to do some testing to determine a baseline and figure out my diet and exercise regime. You will have to wait until Wednesday to see who the guy is. Trust me when I say he deserves a reveal of his own.
My diet will be supplemented to aid my progress. Did loads of research and I’ve decided on a new brand. Separate post to follow regarding my decision.
I’ve decided to set some smaller goals along the way. Every 5kg lost will be celebrated with a trip to the spa or maybe some clothes shopping. Post to follow with my starting numbers
Steps for a Successful Body Transformation
Day 1 means photos
Set a goal and create an event
Know your starting point
Create your plan of action
Nail down your nutritional needs
Your workout must match your goal
The smart way to incorporate cardio/HIIT
Rest and recovery is a must
Build your support system
Pay attention to your feedback loop and make change where necessary
Wish Me Well
So that my POA. Tonight I go to bed, excited that tomorrow is the start of a new chapter in my journey.
My fitness journey has been one of the most amazing experiences, entirely because of the inspirational women that have come into my life. This week’s feature for My Daily Inspo Series is the gorgeous and oh so kind-hearted Nikki Peeriyalal. Nikki follows the LCHF diet also know as Banting. This SAHM is also a serious cross-fitter and has successfully lost 36 kg since her journey began 2 years ago.
1. When did your weight become an issue?
My weight became an issue when I looked at a photo of myself taken on the 3rd of January 2016 at my cousin’s wedding. I couldn’t believe I was so large and hadn’t even noticed the changes. I often hid behind the comment, “you’re tall so it’s ok to be big!”
2. What was your lightbulb moment that pushed you to lose the weight?
The lightbulb moment didn’t even happen after my moment with this photo. It happened several months after in May 2016. My son told me I couldn’t run with him because he didn’t think I could keep up because I was too fat. He also proceeded to question why I was so fat even after having my baby.
3. What made you decide to start banting?
In May 2016 on my son’s birthday, I made him a promise that a year from that day I would be healthier and fitter. I made him a promise that I’d be able to do any strenuous exercise with him.
4. How much have you lost to date?
I wasn’t initially going for a goal weight as I don’t believe in the BMI method. So I worked on a goal dress size. I worked towards a size 36. On my 1 year anniversary of banting, I comfortably fitted into a size 36 and had lost 35 kilos. I really couldn’t believe it was that much!
5. As a mom of three, how do you find balance in your life?
Let’s just say that I wing it. However, keeping meal plans and ideas at the fore helps bring balance. I’m lucky that my older children are almost the same age. So I don’t have that much of a disruption with routines. I’m strict about sticking to schedules and meal plans. If there are a sudden unfortunate obstacles in my way, I improvise whilst still sticking to clean eating.
6. What has kept you motivated when you were feeling down?
There were many people who told me that they know my personality and that I am the kind who gives up when things get too hard. I don’t ever recall being that way, so I was even more determined when I was feeling down, to continue and achieve my goal. It was always so difficult to eat clean while everyone else in the family refused to join me. So I was alone on this journey and had to prove them all wrong. The lack of encouragement and belief in me was all the motivation I needed.
7. What is your biggest struggle – food, exercise or temptation?
Right now, I don’t have a struggle because I’ve become used to this lifestyle. However during my first year, my struggle was exercise and temptation. More exercise because I had last done it in high school. So I was extremely unfit and I felt I couldn’t do it.
8. How has your weight loss affected your relationships?
Weight loss and relationships: It’s amazing how people see you differently when you lose weight. They’re always full of compliments as well as questions. But I find I’m more approachable now. My husband in particular is loving my curves and muscles. We talk a lot more and I’m able to encourage him and others daily to keep trying to make healthier decisions. Weight loss brought me closer to my husband because I’m no longer hiding in a fat body and not dealing with things. I’m confident and at ease now, so automatically I feel more drawn to him and others and them to me.
9. Lastly, tell us what your tagline is.
It’s a Maya Angelou quote – “Do the best you can until you know better, then when you know better, do better.”
Even though I haven’t met Nikki in person she is what you would call an Insta Friend. Neither distance nor meeting in person has stood in the way of her encouraging me to push harder, eat cleaner and continue on my journey. Her support means the world to me. Nikki lives to encourage, inspire and motivate people on a daily basis through her Banting Beauties page on Facebook. Nikki is a lifestyle and wellness consultant focusing on the low carb lifestyle for all ages.
When I entered the Woolworths#startswith challenge, little did I realise that I would find inspiration, motivation and best of all … friendship. The #startswith challenge brought the most amazing and inspirational women into my life and for that I am truly grateful. One of those inspirational and remarkable women is Dil Pillay. She is a woman of love and sheer strength. She has overcome so many obstacles in her life and that’s what makes her a real life superhero. She is humble and probably one of the kindest people I have ever met. We recently met up for a picnic in the park and got to chatting.
Who is Dil Pillay?
I am extremely passionate and diligent about everything that has been laid on my heart. I thoroughly enjoy sharing what positively impacts my life. My world pretty much revolves around the love of my life, my little four-legged boy- Chow. I have developed a passion for creating new and delicious healthy foods. I especially love surrounding myself with people who love to eat, laugh, pray and who unconditionally give of themselves.
You have a rather impressive story to share in terms of your weight loss, would your care to elaborate?
My weight fluctuated on an ongoing basis from 2011. I weighed in at an impressive 110kg at the end of 2015. I couldn’t bear to come face to face with the harsh truth of the scale so I avoided it at all costs and didn’t weigh myself. For some unknown reason I lost the weight and when I finally mustered up the courage to hop onto the scale I discovered that I had lost 20.1kg. At the time I was living with depression, PCOS and type 2 diabetes which put a huge strain on my life and my weight, so in Feb 2017 I made the decision to commit to a lifestyle change. It was time to stop making excuses and commit to myself.
Tell us more about your change in diet as a result of your food allergies.
My body and skin were reacting badly to the types of food I was eating, so I had no choice but to make several huge changes to the way I was eating. The fact that I was diagnosed with PCOS compounded the situation further, so I made the decision to become a Pescatarian. I hear you ask, “Pesca what?” A Pescatarian is someone who does not eat red meat at all but does eat fish. Therefore my diet is just plant-based foods and seafood. In addition to being Pescatarian, I also do not eat gluten, dairy, refined sugar and certain nuts due to allergies. This change in diet has transformed me into an absolute foodie who spends an insane amount of time whipping up healthy dishes for myself.
What is your approach to exercise?
I initially had a gym contract but due to being uncomfortable about my weight, I cancelled it. So the workout aspect of my journey started with me walking my little boy. I gradually increased the distance and began walking him every morning and afternoon. Walking him around the park several times progressed to jogging, which in turn progressed to running. Eventually I felt ready to do more than just walk or run, so I used the internet to research exercises that would best suit my needs. I bought a yoga mat, just one 10kg weight and a skipping rope. These items became part of my work out routine. My current routine involves me running on the spot mixing it with high intensity training 3 times a week for 45 mins. I also mix things up by adding some yoga, squats and lunges to my routine.
Did you try losing weight prior to this?
Oh yes I did! In the past I attempted losing weight by just trying to eat healthy without proper information about my body type and what my body needed. I jumped into diets and failed within a week. I now know that my mindset wasn’t ready for this journey.
What was different this time around?
This time around I realised I needed to make it a lifestyle change, but before that I needed to educate myself about my condition. I spent hours on the net researching exercises and healthy eating alternatives. I was in the right frame of mind and I was ready to commit to myself, my health and my life. I started cooking more from home, creating healthy dishes rather than buying take-out. I learnt to make healthier choices when I ate out and before I knew it, those changes had become a lifestyle for me.
What does faith mean to you?
Faith is what keeps my mind at peace in the midst of many life situations as it reaffirms that there is always hope. Faith gives me reassurance that as long as I keep my faith I will certainly overcome all obstacles. During my journey having being diagnosed with depression at one stage in my life and having gone through a divorce I have been challenged emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Faith has helped me stay at peace and motivated me to move forward. My faith in God is what led me into getting my body right, knowing I was created not to have these health barriers and that healing was for me which is evident in my life right now .
How do people react to your transformation?
It has been an amazing journey and more people are inspired and curious as to what it is to be a Pescatarian. People want to know what my secret is and want to know what diet i’m on. I’m blessed with the support and love of so many people, many of whom are people I have never met in person but who make up my support system.
Has there been a downside to losing weight?
There definitely are downsides. I now suffer with low blood pressure and the main downside is the excess skin. Losing 50 odd kilograms is an unbelievable amount of weight and unfortunately or maybe fortunately, I have all this excess skin around my tummy area. I say fortunately as it is a constant reminder of a place I never want to find myself at ever again.
Any words and advice for people wanting to lose weight?
Make a mindful choice that you want to change to be better, feel stronger and achieve your best health possible . Don’t be hard on yourself but at the same time I urge you not to give up. Get up and get moving. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to embrace yourself for who you are. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals. You can do this no matter what your struggle is . I am living proof it can be done.
Dil Pillay is indeed proof that we can step outside our comfort zones, tackle the obstacles life throws at us and still come out on top. I’m extremely grateful and honored that Dil has allowed me to share her story with you and I’m extremely blessed to call her my friend.
As for those that follow me, you will know that the information I share with you is raw, uncut and a 100% true reflection of my life. This being said, its time to keep it real and share the numbers behind my journey.
I went for my first full body assessment for 2018 and the detailed report left me smiling. Granted I’m choosing to focus only on the positives and I still have a long way to go. So here goes …
In terms of my body composition I’m big boned, have 10.2kg of muscle and a mother load of fat. I will need to reduce my body fat mass by half to be exact. Now lemme tell you, that 10kg of muscle is what I’m truly celebrating. A year ago I literally had almost nothing in terms of muscle. I can feel the leanness in my back and shoulders to be honest.
My overall score of 57/100 is not ideal but is mainly due to my BMI, which requires me to lose another 29.1kg. That’s like losing a child to be honest, but it is what it is. The focus isn’t on my weight as much as it is on my visceral fat. So, this is my focus area and I will need to put a lot more effort into losing around my tummy area
Visceral fat is known as a “deep” fat that’s stored further underneath the skin than “subcutaneous” belly fat. It’s a form of gel-like fat that’s actually wrapped around major organs, including the liver, pancreas and kidney.
We also did measurements and here are those figures as of end January 2018:-
Waist – 40
Arm – 16
Calf – 19
Chest – 43
Hip – 48
Thigh – 27
Back to those 10kg of muscle. The distribution is basically around my arms, thighs and believe it or not … my abdominal area (and I have the photos to prove it).
I also found out that I’m not eating enough in a day. This came as a shock because I eat all day long and I’m often too full to have my 6th meal for the day. I use my fitbit app to track what I eat and have been aiming for 1500 kcal. According to the report my Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is 1486 kcal which is pretty damn accurate. I should however be eating approximately 1900 kcal. That’s basically another healthy meal. So I’m planning to include more complex carbs into my diet.
Many of you must be wondering why I said I was smiling after receiving my report. Well it’s about progress for me. I can see the changes and I can definitely feel it. I also know this is a journey and having information like this report empowers me to work on specific areas. I’m done living in denial and I’m happy to tackle improving my health one day at a time, so bring it on!
The Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule, the law of the vital few, or the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Pareto developed both concepts in the context of the distribution of income and wealth among the population.
The Pareto principle can be applied in all aspects of life. When applied to healthy eating it basically means consume healthy food 80% of the time and fun food for the remaining 20%. The 80/20 rule is really an approach to a healthy and balanced lifestyle. It’s about eating the foods you like, losing the weight and keeping it off. Is it possible that you can have your cake and eat it too???
Can avoid that failure-prone mindset
Keeps you motivated
Able to enjoy your diet more
Don’t feel so restricted
Get to enjoy the foods you love
Able to maintain your eating plan long-term
Determining that 20%
Falling back into old habits
Winning at Life
10 months into my journey I managed to lose 15kg, but here’s the catch … I still ate carbs and sugars (in moderation of course).
Seeing as I am an absolute foodie and have been basically all my life, this flexible approach to weight loss serves me well. I love food, the yummy, tasty, hearty not so healthy kinda food.
I aim to eat clean from Monday to Friday. I’m however less restrictive over the weekend and tend to eat the food I love that may not necessarily be on my eating plan. This may or may not include the occasional glass of G&T.
I’m a true Libran, always looking to sustain balance in my life. The 80/20 rule allows me to live my best life, while I smash out my goals. If I slip up in the week and don’t achieve my 100% clean eating I no longer beat myself up about it. I no longer feel guilty about the occasional piece of decadent chocolate cake and I refuse to allow minor slip-ups to derail me.
Lets be real people. Life isn’t perfect and life “happens”. Setting a goal like 100% clean eating can and will only set you up for failure, making you feel despondent and even depressed. This often leads to us just throwing in the towel, because the situation has become too overwhelming. So instead of setting the bar too high, rather set small goals and gradually work your way into a lifestyle change. Do everything in moderation and focus on positive and happy vibes. The rest will eventually fall into place.
2017 was supposed to be the year of adjustment for us. Having relocated to Gauteng in September 2016, the plan was to take things slowly, settle in and find our feet in the City of Gold. Life however, had other plans for us and we hit the ground running (both literally and figuratively).
When I set out on my weightloss journey on the 4th of January 2017, all I ever had in mind was losing weight and improving my health. That was it, the goal was pretty simple. So I did the New Years resolution thing and the kids and I joined the gym. I mean, who really continues gyming after the first two to three months anyways?!?! Well, I did. We gymed 6 days a week and this became our everyday normal. There were no excuses and it felt great to be exercising again. I started becoming obsessed with exercise and never missed a session. If you were looking for me at 5am on Saturdays and Sundays, you would have to find me at the gym where I spent no less than 2 hours training.
I initially considered a personal trainer but later opted to see a biokineticist instead. My weak core and issues with my back meant I needed to focus on those areas before anything else. Tasneem designed a training program specific to my needs and wants, and after a few short weeks I was no longer experiencing any back pain. I was losing centimeters and gaining muscle. Yay for gains!!!
Thanks to my friend Heidi Shrive, I attempted running. She got me to join her for a night run at Steyn City. I did the race because I hadn’t seen my friend in years and was more excited to see her than to actually run, but I was prepared to take one for the team all in the name of friendship. Now let me tell you that I absolutely hated running. I didn’t get it. My mind refused to even consider the possibility of running. I guess my hatred for running stemmed from my days in the Airforce were I was forced to run for 3 months straight while being shouted and screamed at. (I don’t take to well to being ordered around). On a side note, I think I need to write a blog about my experiences with basic military training. Anyways, I went from that one night run with Heidi (best decision ever) to weekly Parkrun’s and 5km races. I started out walking a 5km in just over an hour, to achieving personal bests week after week with my best time being 40.59.
I stuck to my diet like a legend and consumed no carbs and sugars. I also gave up alcohol and in 4 short months I had achieved insane results. My approach to eating was aggressive and not something I would be able to maintain long term because I’m a foodie through and through. After several months I adopted a more sustainable 80/20 approach to my eating. Everything in moderation!
Just as I was hitting my stride, I fell ill. In May I was experiencing a lot of pain and the doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. I was really frustrated because the pain was impacting my energy levels, moods and training. After several days in hospital I was discharged with the fact that the doctors thought I had cancer and were awaiting the results for the associated tests. I was pissed off to say the least and despite being sick and in a tremendous amount of pain, I decided to do the Discovery 947 Run. My Instagram post read “Despite being sick and in a lot of pain, tonight I needed to do this race. I needed to remind myself that I’m no quitter, that I don’t lose and that I’ve overcome so many obstacles. So whatever the future may hold, I will take it in my stride and I will be okay!!!”
So its turns out it wasn’t cancer after all, but the doctors did thankfully find the cause of my pain. I had this huge cyst which had to be removed. It meant an operation which inadvertently meant no training or running. This was a huge set-back and I wasn’t eating right either. I guess I was feeling sorry for myself, but that meant I had put on 5kg. As much as this was a set-back, it was also a wake up call. It made me realise that life is never going to be perfect. It has its ups and downs, and set-backs are actually the things that make us stronger.
I had the operation in July which saw me celebrate my 3rd wedding anniversary in hospital. Exciting right , well actually yes! I’m blessed with amazing friends and I just want to say, “Thanks Sonya for making that a special day for us. We really really appreciate it. Love your stacks!” Balloons, flowers, yummy food and non-alcoholic bubbly sealed the deal and we had an awesome anniversary dinner despite being in hospital.
I started training as soon as I received the all clear from my doctors. I went back to gyming, running and attended many cool events like Fit Night Out and Muddy Princess. Due to time constraints imposed by my mummy duties, I moved from exercising at the gym to home workouts. I had no intention of slowing down and there was no room or time for excuses. Then Woolworths started the #startswith challenge in September and I was keen to give the challenge a shot. It was a truly amazing experience where I learnt to find balance in my life. Below is my submission for the last challenge that pretty much summed up my #starstwith experience.
I turned 40 in October and I was rather chuffed with myself. Over the year I’ve lost 15kg and I went from a size 44 to size 38. I have learnt to prioritize myself and I am living my best life. I made the lifestyle change that improved my health, self-esteem and well-being. Best of all I stuck to the promise I had made to myself and hit the beach in a bikini. No sarong, shorts or long t-short to hide my body. Turning 40 saw me realise that self-love is the key to happiness and a well-balanced life. I don’t give a shit what people think about my appearance (wait, did I ever??). Okay so let me rephrase that …. I don’t give a shit about the so-called perfect body. I don’t have any intentions about waiting to be the right size or right weight or right anything. I’m perfect at this very moment, jiggly thighs, stretch-marks and all. I am immensely happy with who I am. I’m prouder than ever of myself for persevering and achieving so much in just 12 months.
2017 wasn’t only about the serious stuff like lifestyle changes, fitness and weightloss. It was also about adventuring. We definitely are that family who’s constantly chasing the next adventure and we love exploring our country. Here are some pics of what we got up to this year
Through this journey I’ve met so many inspirational and amazing people who have truly motivated me. I’m so so appreciative for these connections and absolutely love this federation of strong women.
Last but not least, I’d like to thank my family and friends for their amazing support this year. I really couldn’t have done this without you. Just know that there will be no letting up as we will be hitting 2018 harder than ever. 2018 will be the year we achieve our full potential while we live our best lives.
A New Year is an opportunity for a fresh start. An opportunity to evaluate and reassess. It’s an opportunity to work on becoming a happier and (for me), fitter version of myself.
So let’s start here …
” Hi my name is Natasha and I am a compulsive goal setter.”
For the past two decades I have religiously set new goals for the year ahead. I absolutely love setting goals as it helps me stay focused and on track. Setting goals ensures that I have a plan which in turn gives me direction. I may not always follow the plan 100% and I may not always achieve all of those goals but each goal achieved is a definitive show of progress in my life. Let me tell you, I am all about progress not perfection.
In the last week of each year I grab my goal setting diary and tick off the goals I’ve managed to achieve. I then reflect on the goals I haven’t achieved and assess if they were realistic or not to start off with. Next I decide if these goals need to move forward to my new list and then finally I add some new goals.
2017 was about personal growth, prioritising myself and improving my fitness and health. Can you say, “Goals Crushed”? Well that’s exactly what I accomplished. I’m stoked that l managed to achieve my goals beyond my wildest dreams. I really and truly am super proud of myself. I’ve fallen in love with the concept of prioritising myself and have no idea why I didn’t do this sooner. My health improved tenfold. I’ve lost 15kg and I’ve learnt to slow down.
My 2018 goals
Continue prioritising myself
Continue with my healthy lifestyle
Improve my fitness level
Achieve a sub 30 for a 5km race
Be a badass
Goal weight 80kg
Dress size 14
Live to inspire
Be kinder to myself
Travel to at least one new place
Camp more (our new hobby)
Improve my blogging skills
Learn a new skill
Gym twice a week (I miss the gym)
Workout at home 3 – 4 times a week
Eat out less (No need for such negativity)
Walk away from negative people (damn straight)
Learn to ride a bicycle (Yes, I am 40 and cannot ride a bike 😂)
My 5 rules for successful goal setting:
1. Figure out your plan of action
Time to come up with a plan of action for your lifestyle change, weight loss or fitness journey. Whatever it is, you definitely need a plan. Consider making small progressive changes as this will be more attainable.
2. Think short-term.
Set short-term goals and build on them, as this will help keep you focused on your progress.
3. Work on your fitness.
Exercise alone won’t get you to your goal weight, however setting fitness goals along the way will help keep you motivated. This in turn will help you feel more committed to leading a healthier lifestyle.
4. Be realistic
Be realistic about your weight-loss and don’t expect miracles. The slower the process the better the outcome.
5. Track your successes.
Don’t forget to take time to revel in all the hard work you’re doing and how it’s paying off. Document your journey as it’s an amazing motivator.
So whether you set daily, weekly, monthly or annual goals, just do it. Raise the bar and push yourself to live your best life. It is within your reach and you most certainly can do it. You most certainly deserve to live your best life. So let 2018 be the year you took control of your life as a whole.
It’s that time of the year when over indulgences are the norm and the consumption of alcohol is no exception. It really is a challenge to avoid alcohol over the festive season, especially when it is so ingrained in the South African culture. Festive over-indulgences are not beneficial to one’s health and can be detrimental to ones self-respect if not properly controlled.
So here I sit with having to make the decision of whether to drink or not. My biggest issue is that I don’t feel it’s worth it to set myself back months of hard work just to succumb to the norms of the festive season. The struggle is most certainly real when it comes to weight-loss and I don’t want to go into the New Year several kilos heavier due to excessive indulgences. I don’t have to drink to have fun as I’m still the same crazy and fun person I have always been with or without it, so I’ve decided that I’m going to rather drink in moderation as opposed to not drinking at all.
The 6 Rules of Sensible Drinking
1. Stick to your meal plan
Firstly, continue to stick to your meal plan as far as possible over the festive season and eat a well-balanced diet. Protein and veggies will keep you fuller throughout, while keeping calories low. Secondly, you definitely don’t want to drink on an empty stomach. It’s the quickest way to getting drunk. Being hungry will also result in you wanting to eat everything you can possibly get your hands on. This holds exceptionally true when it comes to snacking, which goes hand-in-hand with drinking and socialising, therefor healthy snacking is vital. It’s important to know that alcohol calories still count so if you’re tracking calories to lose weight, you need to account for the alcohol you drink.
2. Be a picky drinker
Know what you are drinking by doing some research ahead of time. Avoid sugary drinks like ciders and cocktails which contain higher calories. Drinking vodka or whiskey would be a better and more sensible option. Use sugar-free mixers or water with your liquor. Dry wine is another excellent option. Avoid mixing your drinks as it will not only make you drunk quicker, but it’s also harder to keep track of how many drinks you’ve had. Drink at your own pace and don’t let anyone pressure you to drink more or to drink faster.
3. Drink in moderation
For most people, the hardest part of incorporating alcohol into a healthy lifestyle is knowing when to stop. The key to sensible drinking is most certainly drinking in moderation. Try and stay under two to three drinks and within the recommended guidelines for safe drinking as stipulated by the rules of your country (refer below). If you plan your consumption and practice moderation with your drinking habits, alcohol can still be a part of your life without negatively affecting your weight-loss goals.
4. Drink safely
Let’s be honest, now. We live in ever-changing and dangerous times, so it’s rather important to be savvy when consuming alcohol. Make it a rule not to accept drinks from strangers and don’t leave your drinks unattended. The rule of “safety in numbers” holds true when it comes to drinking at parties and night clubs. There have been so many reported cases of people having had their drinks spiked that’s its definitely better to be safe than sorry this festive season. Make sure not to mix alcohol and medication, as this could have huge negative consequences.
5. Water is your wingman
Hydrate hydrate hydrate! Water is definitely your best friend when consuming alcohol. Aim to drink a glass of water between alcoholic drinks. This will aid in keeping you sober, whilst indirectly limiting the amount of alcohol consumed. It will also aid is lessening the effects of a hangover.
6. Deal with your hangover safely
After a night of Festive drinks, you may encounter a bad hangover the following day. The best thing to do is to refuel your body with wholesome food and water. Drink water in smaller portions as this is sufficient enough to get your body re-hydrated. Surprisingly, exercising can help with hangovers, too. Mild exercises such as walking or yoga can help to ease the hangover and make you feel better. If you only have a few drinks, then you probably won’t have to worry about dealing with a splitting headache and/or inside-out stomach feeling the day after.
It’s mid-way into December and I have given serious thought as to how I’m going to survive the dreaded festive season. It’s the season to be jolly and festive which really means over-indulging while you socialise like there is no tomorrow. Constantly faced with the very temptations you were able to resist all year through, the festive season can easily set you back months of hard work. I’m going to be rather realistic about the festive season and keep things fairly simple. I have decided not to implement any new or drastic changes at the moment. It’s going to be a matter of maintaining as opposed to chasing goals and losing weight.
Here’s some simple yet effective ways to survive the upcoming festive season:-
1. Rest up!
Life is a rat-race that has us constantly striving to find more hours in a day. As each year passes we seem to have increased commitments, so why not use the holidays to catch-up on some much-needed R&R. Sleep in late and take those afternoon naps without feeling guilty. Switch off your phone and read a book instead. Try journaling and reflect on the numerous blessings bestowed upon you in the past year. Laze in a hammock and think of absolutely nothing. Whatever it may be that brings you that much-needed rest and helps you recharge your batteries, do it. Enjoy every single minute because you have certainly earned it.
2. Stick to your meal plan
The festive season is most certainly not a license to over-indulge every single day. The occasional “treat” is acceptable, but it is important to stick to your usual meal plan as far as possible. Start your day off with a healthy breakfast that will not only keep your sugar levels stable and hunger pains under control, but will also help you avoid those empty calories. Try to make healthier choices when eating out and limit those carbs and sugars. You really don’t want to undo all the hard work and effort you’ve put in during the course of the year.
3. Drink that H2O
Maintain that H2O level. It is so important to stay hydrated during summer. Drinking enough water will also keep you fuller for longer. Aim to drink a glass of water before each meal. Diet drinks, sugar-free fizzy drinks, fruit juices, milkshakes, tea and coffee should be consumed in moderation. Also try to drink 1-2 glasses of water after every alcoholic or caffeinated drink as this will prevent your body from dehydrating. Add lemon or fruit to your water to create your own infused waters and always keep a water bottle with you.
4. Continue to be active
As far as I’m concerned, being active is most certainly not restricted to the gym or a fitness class. You can be active anywhere and anytime, so there are no excuses. Now that it’s the festive season and you have more time on your hands (well most of us do), take your workouts outdoors and enjoy the beautiful summer days. Keep active at the nearest beach or park. Go for a hike or a swim. Try and keep to your weekly Parkrun for instance. Take the kids to the nearest Trampoline Park or Acrobranch and join in on the fun.
5. Healthy snacks
One of the biggest obstacles over the festive season is the constant snacking. It is therefore best to get your healthy snack game on. Make sure to stock up on healthy snack options that you can keep in your bag, car and home. This gives you easy access and you will always be prepared. Avoid after-dinner snacks like chocolates and biscuits.
6. Limit alcohol
Avoiding alcohol is not always the easiest of things to do over the festive season. If you do decide to drink alcohol, then find alcoholic options that are more forgiving on the waistline. Believe it or not there are healthier alcoholic drinks like light beer or wine; a margarita, Bloody Mary, vodka or whiskey on the rocks. Alternatively, drink your vodka or whiskey with water as opposed to cool drink. Always add ice to your drink and never mix your alcohol. Remember to drink a glass of water between alcoholic drinks. Also try not to over-indulge. This will help you avoid horrible hangovers, possible embarrassing situations and those unwanted calories.
7. Portion control
I can’t emphasise enough the importance of portion control. Try to eat off a side plate as opposed to a dinner plate. Also stick to one helping of food as far as possible. When faced with a buffet, pace yourself and rather be a picky eater. Only eat the foods you really really love. It will help not to linger around or be too close to the buffet. Rather select the food you want and find a comfortable spot away from the buffet where you can enjoy your food. Also try to choose healthier options like fruits, veggies and protein.
8. Don’t beat yourself up Lastly, just remember that you are human. So, if you do over-indulge and fall off the wagon, a new year is just around the corner and you can set new goals and pick-up from where you have left off. Why not start the new year off with a detox?!?!
So my lovelies, there is no need to fear as there is hope after the dreaded festive season!