‘Tis the season to be jolly! However, socialising, stress and being out of our usual routine can take its toll on both body and mind. Read on for coping strategies for the holiday period, all those wonderful parties, and how to stay healthy and happy throughout.
Leading up to the big day
Control the controllables! The month of December can feel like a whirlwind of shopping and socialising. By staying mindful of your exercise regime, nutrition, rest and lifestyle you can minimise the damage and stay glowing for the holiday period.
Nutrition: At this time of year temptation is around every corner, but by making smart choices you can indulge without damaging your health and waistline.
Control what you can – by keeping the meals you prepare yourself super clean (lots of lean protein, green vegetables, good fats) you can limit the damage done when eating out and at parties, where good choices may not be that abundant (see below for more advice on eating at parties). By keeping your blood sugar levels steady through eating a combination of lean proteins, good carbohydrates (green vegetables) and good fats you are less likely to give in to temptation.
Be prepared! Make sure you are stocked up at home with the above good choices and include healthy snacks such as nuts and seaweed. Turn to hearty soups and stews instead of comfort foods to make you feel warm and satisfied.
Drink a lot of water! Alcohol, central heating, salty food and lack of sleep can all cause dehydration at this time of year, which can lead to tiredness, bloating, lacklustre skin and make you hold on to body fat. Use an aluminium or BPA free water body to keep you hydrated on the go.
Be mindful! Be aware of what and how much you are eating. Consider keeping a food diary to keep you accountable. Choose your treats wisely, and make them count. Do you really need a hot chocolate and a mince pie? Often just choosing one sweet treat is enough to satisfy you.
Exercise: Endeavour to continue with your exercise regime – if you feel your calorie count is increasing over this period consider adding one more session a week. You could even book in a personal training session with a personal trainer to ensure you are getting the most out of your workouts.
If weather or travel means you cannot make your usual workout then consider one of the many online workouts now available – from Barre to Zumba there is no reason to not workout! And don’t dismiss the benefits of a brisk walk in the crisp sunshine (increasing Vitamin D levels and lowering stress).
Short for time? Try a 15-minute circuit of press ups, planks, triceps dips and curl for an effective, fat-burning full body work out.
Lifestyle: This time of year can see us burning the candle at both ends, and this tiredness can lead to stress, weight gain, cause us to make poor food choices and rob us of energy to work out.
Rather than meeting for drinks in the evenings find different ways to catch up with your loved ones; take a class together, catch a feel-good Christmas movie, or go for a brisk walk in the winter sunshine
Ideally, at this time of year, we need nine and a half hours sleep! If this seems like an impossibility then aim to get to bed 30 minutes earlier, and remember that sleep before midnight is of better quality then after midnight.
Keep good sleep habits to ensure every minute counts – don’t take your phone, tablet or laptop to bed, make sure your room is dark and quiet and consider taking a natural sleep aid such as magnesium if you have trouble with quality sleep.
Look after yourself to enable you to look after your loved ones – consider taking time out for meditation or a relaxing massage to de-stress, look and feel great, and re-charge your batteries at this hectic time of year.
Surviving the Christmas Parties!
Exercise before you go out! Just ten minutes of exercise can raise the metabolism, improve posture, lift and tone muscles and make you glow! Many of my celebrit clients train just before they hit the red carpet to ensure they look their best. Exercising before you hit the party scene can also help you make smart food and drink choices as you are less likely to undo all your hard work.
Eat before you go. A meal of lean protein, good fats and green vegetables will keep blood sugar levels stable, and decrease hunger, again helping you make smart choices. Be fashionably late, or pre-book a taxi for before the night ends so you are not faced with temptation all night.
Choose your drinks wisely. Clear spirits such as vodka and gin have fewer toxins and are less likely to cause a hangover. Red wine contains anti-oxidants and Spanish and Sardinian red wines can help to lower your estrogen levels. Make every second or third drink a glass of water with a squeeze of lemon or lime.
Canapes can contain a surprising amount of bad calories and saturated fat. Choose protein based canapés, and fill up on crudités. A great trick is to carry a clutch bag – this means you only have one hand to hold a drink OR a canapé!
And lastly, but most importantly, have fun and relax! Take the time to re-connect with friends, laugh, sing, dance and party!
There are 2 chances to get your balance back with me in the next coming weeks! Join me for the last Superfood Society Brunch on 12/30 where I will be leading you through the Sweat Session, my 60-minute blend of strength training, HIIT, barre and core, followed by a DIY Oats Bar and Q+A session.
OR start the new year the right way with the return of Sweat and Superfoods on 1/1 as I lead you through a 30-minute lifting technique class and a 60-minute full body workout, followed by Superfood Smoothies and a discussion on the benefits of weightlifting for women.
To grab your tickets for both these events head to:
I can’t wait to see you there!