It’s that time of year again, where all the holidays fall within the same month – Christmas, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and Australia Day, and while it’s great to set goals and be determined, it’s also extremely important to have balance. When dieting, the ‘all or nothing’ approach is quite common but, it doesn’t have to be that way. We are all human, we all need a little down time and so does our body. So, here are three tips to help you tackle the fast-approaching holidays without falling off the bandwagon!
First and most importantly, a few days off dieting can actually be beneficial! Sounds insane, right?
When you have been in a calorie deficit (on fat loss plan) your body is under constant stress, in order to burn fat. After you have been in a deficit for a while, your body becomes accustom to the lower number of calories and your rate of fat loss will begin to slow down or plateau. You can use the holidays to ‘shock’ your body by consuming a few extra calories. Now I’m not telling you to be ridiculous and eat everything in sight but, an increase can be the kick your fat needs to gain momentum and starting burning again.
Keep in mind, that the day or two following, can leave you feeling sluggish and probably looking like you have gained a few kilo’s however, it’s mainly your body reacting, holding water and bloating. Drink lots of water, do a little exercise and you’ll start feeling and looking like yourself in no time.
Try to moderate or restrict any foods that you know your body reacts badly too, for example; if you know you are gluten intolerant, don’t eat the bread rolls or perhaps bring your own gluten free bread rolls.
When we consume foods that our body struggles to process, we are essentially creating more work for the immune system. Intolerances create internal inflammation (amongst other things), that will leave you feeling unwell, bloated and/or extremely exhausted. Instead, bring some roast veggies or a salad with you – It’s polite to bring a dish to gatherings.
Lastly, let’s talk about alcohol.
It’s fair to say that most of us will enjoy a wine, beer, cider or spirit, on one of the upcoming holidays. When choosing a drink, remember you can get gluten, preservative and additive free beverages; there are even organic and low carb options. If you are drinking a spirit, consider mixing it with soda water and lime.
The most important thing to remember, is to consume twice as much water as you do alcohol! Trust me on this one, you’ll thank me the next morning when you wake up hydrated.
Enjoy the holidays, have a balance and don’t be too hard on yourself. Try focusing on preparing your meals for the days surrounding the holiday events, so you don’t slip into having one huge binge for the whole month. Have a few days here and there, where you don’t watch everything you put in your mouth but, in between those days, go back to your plan and make healthy choices.
Happy holidays everyone – enjoy a rum ball (or two)!!