Undoubtedly there are occasions when you indulge during the festive period so I think it’s worth noting here that this post isn’t about being perfect or strict, but more about being mindful of the temptations around you.
You only have to walk into the entrance of a supermarket and be overwhelmed by the tubs of chocolates piled high, alcohol on offer and snacks galore. I can sometimes feel myself being draw into the frenzy of panic buying until I ask myself, “Would I normally buy this?” I’m not a humbug by any means but I can’t help feeling like we’re being lead to believe we need these items and ‘we must stock up before there’s none left‘
The moment you become aware of your environment, you develop a consciousness to your choices, especially around food and in social situations.
Below are my top tips for a healthier festive season while still enjoying the food you love.
- Get onto a good start each day with a high protein breakfast. Choose either eggs, fish, bacon, or yogurt with berries. Alternatively, any leftovers from dinner the night before! There’s nothing wrong with eating non standard breakfast items for your breakfast!
- Drink plenty of water, especially if alcohol is on the cards later on.
- Listen to your body and stop eating when you’re full. Don’t rush your food down and try to chew it thoroughly.
- Remove the temptation of chocs and sweets by putting them away. Leaving them on the table to been seen every time you walk past is no help at all to your willpower! You’re just going to nag yourself to eat it until you give in.
- Exercise. Even if it’s only 10 minutes a day. Some form of physical activity will release endorphins to keep your mood happy and energy good.
- Reduce your caffeine intake. Try to limit it to 2 beverages per day. Replace your hot drink fix with an alternative like hot water with a slice of lemon.
- Avoid fizzy drinks, they have no nutritional value at all… (Even the calorie free and no sugar ones)
- Make your own sweet treats from raw ingredients. (That way you know what’s in them and there’s no transfats) There are tonnes of quick no bake recipes online – a few of my favourites are Jamie Olivers vegan chocolate fudge bars and Madeline Shaw’s peanut butter brownie cake. Infact one of the best ways to enjoy chocolate guilt free is to switch to Dark. It may taste bitter to begin but trust me you will get used to it. I eat 85% dark now and enjoy it much more than milk chocolate.
- Ask Santa for an activity tracker. It’s a great way to see your activity levels and gives you the motivation to keep active daily.
- Get some good quality sleep. The duration you sleep for isn’t necessarily the best, it’s the quality of sleep you get. (Most activity trackers now have this function to monitor the depth of sleep – double bonus!)
Lastly, don’t beat yourself up about the little indulgences that are inevitable this time of year. If you follow the 80/20 rule and eat well 80% of the time you’ll get away with the remaining 20%.