Relax for 1-2 days – its not going to make a huge difference in the 365 days of the year. If it’s only a few days of festivities please ignore all the info below, its probably the last thing you need. If the festivities go for quite a few more days it might make a difference over the week or month to your health goals. In that case you might feel like learning some pointers.
Its ok to try everything you like, while focussing on not overdoing it. Portion size is usually my number one talking point to reduce the impacts of the holiday season. This doesn’t matter so much when it comes to the foods in the green box below, like vegetables, fruits, legumes and wholegrains. This is because they are not as energy dense, they are comprised of more fibre and water than the other foods which means you are more likely to fill the stomach without the calories. So tuck into the veggies, fruit salads, Mediterranean bean salads, quinoa & brown rice salads.
Alcohol. If you drink more than a few, its always good to try spacing out your alcohol with water, not only for hydration but encouraging less energy in. Lower energy booze does make a difference… light beer that has less alcohol are often half the calories than many other beers. For spirits you can’t go past soda and fresh lime as a mixer. Artificial sweeteners have been shown to alter the microbiome and increase insulin resistance more than real sugar so diet drinks may not the best substitute. As we can adapt to different levels of sweetness, you might find that after a while sparkling water with a dash of lime or juice doesn’t taste too bad.
Sometimes when trying to follow a healthy eating plan to achieve your health goals you tend to get too focussed on food. Try taking a holistic approach to your events just as we should with our health. Make the most of the people you haven’t seen for a while and get carried away in a conversation. Sit back and smile at Uncle bob dealing with your overzealous kids/nieces/nephews. Bring along a set of totem tennis, miniature cricket or a card game to take a moment away from the table and finish up feeling that bit clearer headed and more motivated for the following week, hopefully filled with some good memories of Christmas.
For those of you that find Chistmas a bit socially draining and need a few pointers to get you though check out this great post by Matt Hurley, a brilliant exercise physiologist in Queensland.
Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year!