It’s no doubt that the festive season is a time of indulgence, but can we have fun while still enjoying healthy holidays? 2020 has been a wild ride. Many of my patients are already struggling to work off the COVID kilos accumulated this year during lockdown or whilst working from home. Alcohol consumption has increased, and gym closures and restrictions have caused exercise routines to go out the window. So what are some things that can help get you back on track going into this festive season?
Our first concept is that classic “B” word which is balance. This is something that I always teach as a ground rule to my clients that are having issues with weight or struggling with their body composition. We need to find a place of harmony and balance within our diet and lifestyle. We can choose any diet, and choose any approach, but to be successful in shifting the COVID kilos, you need to create a calorie deficit. This calorie deficit concept is the main thing to build from if you want to be successful in weight loss. Finding the balance of energy in vs. energy out.
This basically is the secret formula on how to have a healthy weight or body composition. Energy in vs. energy out. The balance between the two is the key. Most diets are modelled around a core principle for example Paleo or Keto or Intermittent Fasting. While they each do work around a specific dietary pattern or theme, the core principle which allows them to all prove affective in weight loss is that they create some form of calorie deficit.
So how would we address your day within this concept of balance?
Let’s say your carbohydrate intake is how we are tackling your “energy in” component. We decide to reduce them, BUT, we don’t cut them out completely (I always prefer to leave some carbs in the diet for my clients). So, we build your lunch around a nice healthy serving of complex carbohydrates and allow space for a little serve at dinner too. Why? That’s because we will be well satiated by lunch, we will achieve sustained energy through the day, and we will also support quality sleep by giving that little serve of carbs at night.
On top of this we add in some movement – we have endless choices here. Yoga in the morning, lunch time walk, HIIT class, weights session, pilates – whatever floats your boat. We create a form if energy output.
So you can see from this that one of the keys to having healthy holidays really is finding your balance. We need to just think; where is our energy actually coming from? Are we choosing foods rich in nutrients? Are we moving enough throughout the day to balance out what we are putting in our mouth? No two people are the same, so no diet or exercise plan is going to be what works for everyone. Balance is a principle we can build upon to achieve results.
Another concept is planning. Planning ahead helps you to be prepared and organised throughout your day, reducing opportunity for slip ups in your healthy holiday routine. It allows us to know when we are going to eat, what it’s going to be and to what amount. Planning makes it harder for things to creep in, or to be caught short and have a blow-out.
Planning is a skill we use a lot at this time of year regardless. We plan social commitments, changes in work demands, deadlines etc., not to mention our finances so we can spoil our loved ones. So why wouldn’t we plan for our health? We plan end of year drinks, we plan Christmas parties, so we need to plan our exercise, our meditation, and the foods that we will eat (most of the time). Planning is an essential strategy to have healthy holidays with as little hiccups as possible!
~ Obviously, sporadic things do pop up (and plans do fail) and that is totally okay! This concept is for the majority of your time and days to keep you on track.~
The final concept in your healthy holidays package is to have fun. Everyone knows that 2020 has been a year full of absolutely unexpected things. First of all we had insane fires, we had wild storms and flooding, and then we had the influx of COVID. We have been lucky in Australia to hardly suffer with the illness, but we’ve seen friends and relatives around the globe suffering with no ability to help. We ourselves have endured extreme lockdowns and periods of isolation. COVID has turned almost everyone’s lives upside down in one way or another and with this comes added stress, anguish and financial pressure.
This can cause us to adopt methods of coping, such as binge eating, abusing alcohol and/or drugs, and letting our routines and motivation disappear. What this final concept is meant to remind you of is to start finding your fun again. Start finding ways for you to reconnect and to find things to smile about again. When you’re sitting in a happy balance in your emotional and mental state, you feel able to indulge yourself within reason. You feel more in control of your ability to say yes and to say no and to know what you really need. You will really be able to get the most out of your holiday season without taking it too far.
One of my favourite tips for coming back to this is a daily meditation. Whether it be to open or close your day, even 5 or 10 minutes is enough. This is going to be something that’s going to allow you to reconnect with what makes you happy, what you’re grateful for and what your purposes are.
These tips will allow you to survive the holiday craziness, and allow you to feel strong and able to sail through them as smoothly as you can. Healthy holidays are possible, especially after a year like 2020. Aiming for healthy holidays will allow you to come out the other side of the festive season, ready for a new year of new ideas and rebuilding out the other side of the pandemic, something I think we are all looking forward to.
For personalised plans on how to get yourself back on track and prepare for this upcoming crazy few weeks shoot me an email and let’s work together. I have a new opening promotion of 25% off appointment costs which is going to last all the way through the New Year. Book in a session take advantage of the promotion and let’s get started on helping you stay on track through this festive season!