Silly season is well and truly upon us!
We have school break ups, street parties, family get together’s, work christmas parties….weekend after weekend there seems to be a festive “event.” Some of us may even be heading off on holidays, which may scream plenty of alcohol, soft drinks, chips, lollies and other “holiday foods”…. But maybe that was the “old you” and you are wondering what to do this year…
You have been seeing and feeling so much progress, inside and outside of the gym. Your nutrition has been on track and supporting your goals, your workouts have been strong & effective, and you have more energy, you feel less bloated and you are more vibrant.
But holidays are looming and you are fearful of undoing all of your hard work.
Does this sound like you?
Here are some of my tips and advice to help you stay on track over the Christmas season and avoid going backwards:
Eat a healthy breakfast
Treats are going to slip in, food isn’t going to be 100% perfect, but it doesn’t need to be! One simple tip I like to follow is always have a healthy breakfast. By starting the day with nourishing food, you are going to set the scene for the rest of the day. It is also giving our muscles and our system the nutrients that we need. If we keep the good stuff in, and keep the treats as additional, our body will be more efficient in the processing and the digesting of the treats. If we are full of protein packed, complex carbs and good fats, our tendency to blow out will be minimised.
Tip: Don’t replace your healthy foods with treats, keep them as an extra.
Limit alcohol & soft drink consumption
This is a big one. And whilst I know entertaining regularly comes with consumption of alcohol, be mindful of your consumption. You may have read my post about why I no longer drink and whilst I don’t judge those who do, alcohol is essentially a toxin and it is going to have detrimental effects on your weight loss and your bodies ability to burn fat and run efficiently.
Do yourself a favour, and ditch the soft drink as well. You don’t need the extra sugar and calories that comes along with it. Liquid calories is a big contributor to weight gain and poor health, and you can make the choice to not consume these on a daily basis, or in excess.
Tip: If you are going to drink, stick to clear spirits mixed with soda water.
Drink plenty of water
Whilst you may not be able to control everything that you eat, you can control the amount of water you drink. Especially with the heat factor, staying hydrated is so important! You can start your day with a warm glass of water with half a squeezed lemon to help aid in liver detoxification. If you get bored of water, flavour naturally with citrus fruits, berries, etc and chill with loads of ice! Yum! The more water the better when you are over indulging!
Tip: Aim for 3L of water per day.
Be mindful, but do not feel guilty or regretful
This is about mindset. Remember it is OKAY to treat yourself. It is not going to make you gain weight overnight and you CAN get back into your healthier choices when the season is over. YES it is HARDER. Sugar and starchy carb addiction is a killer, but it CAN be done. Focus on keeping things as consistent as possible, again, adding in the treats as EXTRA rather than replacements. Eat a well balanced breakfast, lunch and dinner. That way, your body is still getting the nutrients it needs. The more consistent you keep your routine, the easier it is going to be to get back on track when holiday season is over. Don’t use it as an excuse to give up on what you want most.
Tip: Sometimes the stress and guilt of over indulging, is worse than the foods itself.
Think about how you want to feel
This is a big one for me. When you are living actively, and eating well, how do you feel? Energised? Lighter? Less bloating? Clearer head? More stable moods? I can hear you saying, “yes!” How do you want to spend your holidays? Sluggish? Bloated? Moody? We are going camping for 2 weeks, and this is my main WHY I want to plan to still eat really well and stay active. I want to feel amazing! I want to feel confident on the beach. I don’t want to experience an upset stomach, painful bloat, moods and headaches. I want to have energy! If you love how you feel now, why would you want to feel anything less while you are supposed to be enjoying your holiday?
Tip: Eliminate the guilt. But remember how you want and deserve your body to feel. Limit them, and /when if you are going to eat the foods, enjoy it!
Take notice of your ingredients
When it comes to convenience foods, of course, there are going to favourable options, and not so favourable. It is going to be worth your time and effort to read the ingredients before purchasing. You can still indulge in chips, crackers, etc without indulging in the artificial flavours, preservatives and colours that can wreck havoc on your system. Personal favourites of mine include Carman’s muesli bars, Macro Organic Original Corn Chips and Kettle/Red Rock Deli Sea Salt potato chips. The Sweet Potato ones from Red Rock Deli are pretty delicious, and the ingredients aren’t too bad either! If you can understand the ingredient list, if there are no numbers, it may not be ideal, but it is a LOT better alternative. Make educated choices. Easy snacks include fruit, nuts and bliss balls (that can still taste indulgent and are still a treat, but full of nourishing ingredients!). Mountain bread wraps are a great option for easy lunches with cold meats and salads.
Tip: Check your ingredients. Buy foods that you can read and understand. Keep it simple.
When on holidays, take away becomes a more regular occurrence (because if you are like me, not having to cook is a holiday!!!!). This probably can’t be avoided altogether, but you can make the better choices. Most places will offer a protein + vegetables option. Just because there are indulgent options on the menu, doesn’t mean you always need to choose them. Stay balanced. Stay focused. Again, make sure you drink plenty of water, as the salt content and oils used can sometimes be quite dehydrating and you will need that extra water to help flush it through. Oh, and Woolworths pre-packed bag of salad and a hot chicken is a quick, cheap alternative also! !
Tip: When eating out, always request your “sauce” on the side. This is a request easily accommodated and you can then control the quantity of what you use. Sauces can generally contain a lot of extra sugars, salts and over indulgent calories. You would be surprised at the changes that a restaurant/cafe is willing to make if you just ask.
Don’t succumb to peer pressure
Family members, sometimes friends, can ridicule you about your choices. Please remember that these comments say more about them, then you.
You can say “no!”. You don’t have to participate in the heavy drinking, the heavy binging. Sit back, enjoy the occasion, and feel proud and great within yourself, that you can walk away feeling amazing, and still on track towards your goals. Your why is the most important, not somebody else’s. Stay true to yourself, and don’t let anybody convince you that you are doing it wrong, or making changes that are not necessary.
Tip: This is your journey. Believe in yourself. Stay true to yourself. Don’t let anybody dull your sparkle.
There is no detox that will do what clean eating does. Avoid the temptation to participate in a commercially advertised “detox”. Simply cut out the sugar, cut out the artificial foods, give yourself plenty of green vegetables and rainbow colours, and drink plenty of water. Epsom salt/magnesium baths or even foot soaks are a great way to help process the toxins from all your over indulging!
Tip: Don’t believe the hype of advertised detoxes. There is no quick fix. Eat clean, drink water and move your body.
I find when I eat poorly, I do not have as much motivation and energy to exercise. It is more important to really make the time and commitment to move your body and allow the mind and body to relax. Even if it is as simple as a 20 minute walk to get the endorphins flowing. Don’t let the feelings of sluggish win! Remember how you will feel after a workout to motivate you to start. I will be completing some 15 minute body weight HIIT workouts that can be done with no equipment! Motivation is what gets you started. Discipline is what keeps you going. Check out #builtbyalf for the support, ideas and programming to stay active from wherever you are, whenever you can!
Tip: Move your body. Just 15 minutes a day, either low impact or high impact, can change your mindset and keep you committed to your goals.
Make plans for 2018
When holidays are over, make sure you have a date set where life is going to be back to normal. You need a start date where you are going to get back into your routine. You are home from holidays, the parties are over, and it is time to clean out the cupboards and get back into your regular workouts. As a new client to ALF Health, to help get you kickstarted, I am offering 10 and 20 session passes at an incredible discounted rate. You can purchase 10 sessions for $89 or 20 sessions for $159 to be used within 2 months. Get your hands on one now.
Tip: Make a commitment for 2018. Be ready and prepared for when there is no excuse not to return to your normal routine.
Aim for maintenance, not progress
Don’t place pressure on yourself to keep losing weight, to keep moving forward, over such a hectic time. Aim for maintaining what you have done by living a balanced, healthy and active lifestyle, but being aware of the extra treats and occasions, some missed workouts and the lack of accountability.
Tip: Maintaining during a time where food and alcohol and parties are everywhere is an achievement within itself! Don’t beat yourself up by not progressing.
If you are tired of starting over, stop giving up
Be true to yourself. Channel your inner why. WHY you started this journey to health & happiness in the first place. WHY you have wanted to see the progress, and have since made the changes and progress that you have. WHY you want to feel happier, more confident, more energised and proud of who you are. Remember the respect you deserve, and the love you want to have towards yourself. You are worth it. And you don’t need to keep starting over again. Be stronger than your excuses. And be true to who you are, and who you want to be. Do you really want to return after holidays to jump on the scales, or take progress photos, and be taken back to where you started? If you don’t, it is your choice, you are in control.
Tip: Don’t give up what you want most, for what you want in the moment.
It is easy to get caught up in the hype and the hecticness of it all. Stress is a major factor in weight loss, and other health ailments. If we don’t make time for our body to reset, everything we eat will generally be stored as fat due to the “fight or flight mode”. Say “no” to things that don’t serve you, and place your wellbeing at the top of the priority pile.
Tip: Make sure to schedule in down time so your body can reset and recharge.
Be happy & enjoy yourself
Have fun, relax, spend beautiful quality time with your family and friends!
Your feedback is so important to me! If this has helped you, please leave a comment below, or on my Facebook page and let me know. I want to give you the tips, and advice, that you want to see, that you want to read, that helps you move forward. But without your feedback, I don’t know what it working, what is helping and what you want! I do this for you, so I need to know whether it was valuable!
I will be away on holidays, enjoying much needed time with my family, with a huge limit on social media, between Saturday 16th December and Monday 1st January. But training kicks off on Tuesday, 2nd January for an AMAZING 2018 with lots of new and exciting changes!
PS. Simple Steps to Healthy is another fantastic resource to help you stay on track over the festive season and also to kick start your New Years Resolutions. Use code XMAS15 for a discount x