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The Festive Season Essential Survival Guide

The Festive Season Essential Survival Guide

It’s all about balance!

Summer is finally here and hopefully the warm weather will hang around and not just tease us with some gorgeous sunny days. With the warmer weather comes that crazy, yet festive time of year! Christmas parties have started, more catch ups with family and friends, and of course more indulging in food, alcohol and all those yummy treats. Then come the summer holidays, Australia Day long weekend BBQ’s etc. Not to mention the fact that we are busy, busy, busy and often stressed which often leads to us getting out of routine, not eating well, not exercising or looking after ourselves properly. So to ensure you get the most out of this wonderful Christmas and holiday season whilst still maintaining your health, here are some practical tips you can apply to keep yourself in balance whilst still enjoying yourself!

1. No Guilt
There is no need to avoid all celebrations and socializing – you deserve to have some fun as you’ve earned it. No doubt it’s been a big year. So enjoy it without feeling guilty and implement some of the strategies below to help you get through without going totally off the wagon.

santa relaxing

2. Pace yourself
Regardless if you’re having breakfast, lunch, dinner or nibbles out or with friends or family, always remember – You choose what you eat and drink! You are in control!

3. Nutrition
DRINK MORE WATER – This is a great trick to keep you full and eating in moderation. In the warmer weather we need to drink more water and it’s this time of year that we are often so distracted with everything else happening, that we forget. Did you know that we are often thirsty when we think we are hungry? All the more reason to drink more water and you’ll find it easier to resist some of the more indulgent morsels this season.

water glasses

SMALLER PORTIONS – Put smaller portions of food on your plate and go back after 20 minutes if you want more. It takes that long before your brain registers you’re full. So don’t stuff yourself because you’ll feel like Santa afterwards.

food portions

EAT REGULARLY THROUGHOUT THE DAY – Have a light snack before dinner or lunch if you’re hungry. That way you won’t gorge yourself on unhealthy foods. We often make poor food choices when we’re starting, ever done the groceries when you’re famished? You’ll usually end up with a whole lot of junk food that you usually wouldn’t eat.

BREAKFAST
Is a great time to eat well as we usually don’t socialize as much over breakfast as we do other meals. Regardless, here are some healthy choices that will give you a great start to the day.

  • Avoid fatty, rich meals like bacon and sausages and have poached eggs rather than fried>
  • Avoid sugar-laden foods like pre-packaged cereals
  • Eat fresh fruit with plain yoghurt (not cream) or oats with fresh banana, berries and nuts or LSA (linseed, sunflower seeds and almonds)

LUNCH & DINNER

  • Aim for 1/2 of your plate being veggies or salad. It will fill you up with wonderfully healthy nutrient dense food. Make a 1/4 of your plate a lean protein (fish, chicken, meat, legumes or tempeh) and 1/4 grains.
  • Skip the creamy sauces, you often feel queasy after them anyway. Instead have your dressings or sauces on the side and then you can add a little if you want it.
  • Ordering dessert? Have an entrée-sized main to keep room for dessert and share it so that you can get your fix and keep it in moderation.

heart food

3. Alcohol
Enjoy a few drinks, if you enjoy a drink or two. You’ve earned it but heed these tips:

  • Drink in moderation. Have a glass of water for every alcoholic drink.
  • Add soda or mineral water as a mixer. There’s far less sugar and additives whilst you can still enjoy your mixed dinks.
  • Avoid cocktails with lots of cream or sugar syrup in them. Instead opt for fruit or sodabased options.
  • Volunteer to be the designated driver, then you have to avoid temptation. Your body and your friends will love you for it.
  • Eat something and drink water before you drink alcohol. It will reduce the effect and the amount of alcohol you consume. You’ll be thankful the next day when you don’t haver a killer hangover.

alcohol

4. Exercise
If you’re over eating and drinking more alcohol than usual without exercising, you’re going to put on weight! It’s not rocket science! Whilst everyone loves relaxing and indulging at this time of year, partaking in regular physical activity is a great way to keep those extra kg’s from creeping on. And what better excuse to get out and take advantage of the great weather.

  • Organise picnics or BBQ’s where cricket, tennis, football or volleyball are included in the activities. It’s great to get outdoors and it’s a wonderful way to bond with your family and friends while doing your body a favour. It will also boost your vitamin D levels (ensure you’re sun smart).
  • Go for daily walks especially if you’re away and enjoy the scenery.
  • Swimming is awesome for the body, whether you’re are the beach, local pool or in the backyard.

beach exercise

5. The 80/20 Rule
Remember this rule! If you’re good 80% of the time you can afford to indulge 20% of the time. So, remember to do all the right things when you can and enjoy some indulgences over this periods without compromising your healthy lifestyle too much!

balance

6. Nutrients
Don’t forget to take your regular nutrients like multivitamins and probiotics. These are even more important during this period especially when we’re over indulging. There’s no reason why you can’t enjoy the festive season whilst still looking after yourself.

Try these easy strategies to ensure you have fun, relax and unwind whilst looking after yourself.

From the team at MNMC we wish you and your families a healthy and happy festive season.

merry christmas

By Lina Capovilla

Lina is a clinical holistic Naturopath and Wellness consultant who is inspired about health and wellness. Her passion lies in supporting, educating and facilitating clients to overcome health issues and achieving optimum health, balance and vitality. Click here to read more about Lina.