7 Tips to survive the silly season!
Updated: Dec 8, 2020
7 tips for a healthy December
Don’t panic, I am not going to tell you to stop drinking wine! Hee hee. (maybe moderate it instead!)
I am however going to give you some really practical tips to help you get through the party season with your clothes still fitting.
You simply do not need to start the new year feeling yuk. Yes, that is my official term. Yuk. That really is how you can feel if you let it all go. And for what? For the sake of about 11 meals?
I have broken it down to 11 meals in December.
If you eat 3 meals a day, that works out at 90 meals. Let say you have 5 parties or social occasions to attend – that is 5 meals.
Then Christmas day/ eve that is another 4 meals.
New years eve /day is 2 meals. A total of 11 meals out of 90.
Is it really worth feeling yuk and then on the 1st of January, beating yourself up and desperately looking for a quick fix? If you said yes, well then that is your choice and I can help you in January…..but not with a quick fix. With a healthy, sustainable lifestyle change.
If you choose (yes, it is, always your choice) to follow a healthier path. Then continue reading.
I have some great easy to use tips to get you through December feeling great.
1. Water, water, water!! This little chemical, H2O, is insanely important.
If you do not water your plant, what happens? Well it dies! Our bodies are made up of about 60% water. Check out this awesome infographic by (USGS.gov) which explains just how important water is. We need water for chemical reactions to take place. We need it to help eliminate toxin. It is important for our brains to work, lubricates joint and helps our bodies function. So please drink your water. To work out the minimum water you need multiply your body weight by 35ml. So, if you weigh 70kg, you need a minimum of 2.45litres of water per day. Get drinking, water that is!
2. Eat only 3 meals per day! Yes, I know, many people would not agree. I see it all the time. People complain that they are exercising and eating 5 small meals a day and they are simply not shifting the weight. Well, they are eating to often. We simply overeat. If you have 3 meals a day and allow each meal to digest properly, you allow your hormones to regulate. One hormone, in particular, is insulin. When you eat all the time, insulin is constantly being released. When insulin is high, you cannot burn fat. If you allow insulin to do its job and then come back down to base level, you are able to burn fat. This also protects against insulin resistance, which is another whole blog in itself!
3. Have some protein with each meal! Most of our body is made up of protein. It is the building blocks of our body. Muscles, skin, nails, hair, these are all protein.
The body needs protein to exist and thrive.
Protein keeps you fuller for longer, therefore managing those hunger pangs and helping to stop cravings. It helps to repair and rebuild the body constantly. So have a bit of protein with each meal. And no, it does not mean eating a 400g steak everyday. You only need a palm sized piece of protein. Protein comes in animal and vegetarian sources like legumes, mushroom and grains.
4. Reduce consumption of simple carbohydrates! These include sugar, processed foods and bread. Reducing these can make a huge difference to your waistline. Sugar is just empty calories, which gets converted to fat, without the benefit of nutrients. Bread, well wheat bread can be inflammatory and often causes bloating. Try slow fermented sourdough instead but try not to have it every day. Processed foods are stripped of nutrients and can be very inflammatory and drive weight gain.
5. Eat loads of vegetables! Vegetables are little nutrient bombs. They are full of fibre which helps keep our bowels regular and happy. Some fibre acts like a prebiotic, which is food for your gut bacteria. There are also plenty of vitamins and minerals in vegetables that our bodies need to thrive. Make sure that you have vegetables with every meal. Even breakfast! This is easy to do. If you are having eggs, pair them with mushrooms and spinach. For lunch add a salad, and for dinner, protein, and veg. Easy, done!
6. Exercise! You may be rolling your eyes at this one, but it can be incorporated into family fun. Of course, doing formal exercise like going to the gym or to your usual classes is great, but if this fails there is plenty you can do every day. Go for a bike ride with the kids, play tag in the garden. Take you dog for a nice long walk every day. Just make sure that you get 30 minutes a day and move your body. This will ensure that you get through the silly season with a relatively good level of fitness. Makes for a happy heart.
7. Limit alcohol intake! Yes, I know I said that I was not taking away your wine. And I am not, but this must be said. Alcohol gets digested first and gets converted into fat and dehydrates you. This little thing can really derail your health goals. So, limit your alcohol intake to events. Do not drink everyday and when you do drink, match each glass with a glass of water. Pretty simple really. By drinking water with alcohol, you rehydrate and aid your body in the detox process and eliminate the toxins in a more efficient way.
Those are my 7 tips to get you through the silly season. Remember that your body is not a bin, so do not treat it that way but adding a whole lot of rubbish and overloading your system. Chew slowly, this allows digestion to start in the mouth, making the process so much easier for your digestion.
Enjoy the silly season by loving your body, you only have one, and you will pop into 2021 feeling good and ready for an awesome year.
Written by Zita Dixon, Nutritionist, Metabolic Balance Practitioner, Chef and Fitness Coach