How to stay on track at Christmas

So I think i’m allowed to officially mention the “C” word…its banned in my house until the 1st or until I hear Larry Gogan play his first Christmas song 🙂

Christmas is such a fab time of year..its when everyone seems to breathe a sign of relief from the year and take stock of everything that has happened throughout it. There are so many occasions to meet up and celebrate with friends and family and just take some time out to relax.

But with social occasions comes food and alcohol as these things inevitably go hand in hand. And food and alcohol should never be an added source of stress for any of us especially when we are taking some well deserved time out to celebrate life and our successes from the year so far.

I’ve shared some tips below that I find help me through the Christmas season. I’d love to hear from you if you have any tips you find help you stay on track during the Christmas season.

  • Try to maintain a normal exercise schedule. It can be tempting to ditch the gym come December but maintaining your normal exercise regime will help you in so many ways. There will be more treats around both at work and at home so keeping up with the gym means you have a little more leeway when it comes to this. Also its the perfect opportunity to get into a routine before January. If you know the gym isnt going to be as easy to get to in December try incorporating more walking into your routine. Wrap up warm and walk to work or if that isnt an option try get off the bus a few stops early and walk the rest of the way.
  • Its also the perfect time to try out some new exercise classes. If you book in to a new class with a friend you are much more likely to go. Even better book a course of classes in December that will bring you through to January and February so you will feel like you have a headstart come the New Year!
  • Work treats…do you really need or want them? I used to have a rule at work…99% of the time I didn’t eat treats. Now don’t me wrong – if it was a birthday or special occasion I would treat myself…I am human after all… but I found when I ate treats at work it was usually because I felt stressed or tired. I ate them mindlessly and really didn’t enjoy them. Next time you are reaching for a treat…take a second to ask why? Are you feeling stressed, tired or bored? Do you really want it? I know I would sooner take time out  to really enjoy a treat rather than munching mindlessly at my desk.
  • Mind your liver! Your liver is an amazing organ and does everything we need in terms of detoxification. However December will usually put an added burden on your liver as we are usually drinking more alcohol and this must be metabolised by your liver. Ensure your diet is packed full of antioxidants predominantly through a diverse selection of fruit and vegetables and consider the use of a supplement for a short period of time such as milk thistle. Hydration is also key so up your water intake. If you find it difficult to drink cold water during winter up your intake of herbal teas just make sure they are mostly of the non caffeine variety.
  • Remember Christmas is only 1 day….I don’t want to sound like a party pooper but Christmas day is only 1 day. Now I don’t mean that you shouldn’t enjoy treats along the way in December but if we treat December as a month long Christmas we’ll be doing a lot of damage to ourselves that will mean we’ll have to do a lot in January to get back to point zero. By all means indulge on Christmas day but try to limit it to one or two days max over Christmas.
  • Remember the golden rule of breakfast. Did you ever notice that if you eat something sugary in the morning it seems to set you up to want sugary things all day?? Thats because its negatively impacting on your blood sugar causing it to go to high and then too low causing us to crave sugar again. Start your day with a protein and/or fat rich breakfast to help keep your blood sugar levels in control for the day.
  • Back away from the buffet table. Parties mean party food! And unfortunately party food for the most part is usually salty and fried which means we drink even more. My advice is to eat before the party. For the most part party food is not terribly satiating which means we’ll just try eat more and more to fill up but will never really feel satisfied. If you are tempted grab a plate put whatever you want on to it and move away from the table. Constantly grazing means  you’ll never really know how much you have eaten and will just encourage you to eat more.
  • Every second drink…this is a tip I find works really well for me and avoids all those awkward conversations about how much alcohol you are drinking! I usually drink a gin and tonic when I am out but if I know I am going to be out for the night i’ll have one every second drink. This works really well for something like a gin and tonic or a vodka and soda as a sparkling water can easily be disguised as a fancy gin and tonic. And avoids any awkward conversations about what and how much you are drinking. With that in mind I usually find it better to stay out of rounds..it means you can keep control over how much many alcoholic drinks you are having and you don’t need to drink at other people’s pace.

I hope some of these tips help you and you have a wonderful run up to Christmas!

Lauren

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