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!