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How to Sleigh the Silly Season

The end of year festive season is often the time where you find people get off the rails, fall off track to their goals, and re-start the cycle to New Year's resolutions.

The festivities and Christmas parties lead to a continued relaxation of the healthy eating pattern you've worked so hard to achieve throughout the year. It can make it seem like all your progress got thrown out the window and you need to start again in the New Year.

So here are some of my favourite tips to ensure you don't feel like you've gone backwards in your goals.

Stay Active.

This one should be fairly self-explanatory.

As best as you can, keep to your usual training schedule. If you currently exercise 5 days a week, keep that up. It doesn't have to be as strenuous as gym or sports, but still keep the habit of blocking out time for movement. A nice walk, yoga, or trying a new activity such as cycling or rock climbing will do.

Consistent Eating.

Even with a busier social calendar, stick to your usual meal timing pattern. Eat your main meals and the usual snacks to avoid being over hungry for any social meals or events.

Feeding your body on a consistent schedule can reduce feelings of being over-hungry or stress around when you're going to be eating.

Keep your Healthy Eating Up.

The silly season is no reason to throw your fruits and veg out the window.

We are sticking to our usual eating pattern, which means that outside of social events and meals, we can ALSO stick to our usual food choices.

Just because you're on work break or have more time off doesn't mean that you can now eat all the comfort foods and say goodbye to basic nutrition.

Aim to get all your fruits, veg, whole-grains, and lean meats in most of the time.

Listen to Your Body.

When you are eating at social events, it can be very easy to eat past fullness and over do it.

As best as you can try to select the foods which will make you feel good, and stop when you are comfortably full.

These events don't happen all the time, I know, which makes it even more tempting to keep eating. But you must remind yourself that this food is always available to us, pretty much at any-time of the year. It's not that special anymore. You can always buy it from the shops or make it yourself. You don't have to only eat it on these occasions.

If you are feeling full but want to have more, you can always pack it up and have it at a later time. There's no point making yourself uncomfortably full.

Drink socially.

The same goes for alcohol.

Some people don't drink at all, and that's great.

But for those that do like to drink, this is one you can limit to the social events. Meaning that you don't need to be drinking every day back to back when you don't have an event on.

Furthermore, when you are drinking at an event, listen to your body. You don't want to be feeling sick, so try to find your 'happy' point, this is where you're feeling good, enjoying your time, and don't need to drink much more.

Lastly, try to be drinking water in between each alcoholic drink. This will help you feel much better the next day.

Look at the Big Picture.

At the end of the day, Christmas celebrations and work parties might make up between 3-6 days of the month. That's at MOST 20% of the month. Which means you still have at least 80% of the month to stick to your healthy habits.

Enjoy the good food, but balance it with your nutritious food.

Relax and slow down, but balance it with exercise and movement.

Happy holidays!

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