The weeks from now until Christmas have a reputation for being particularly party-heavy and hedonistic. For those who try to live a healthier lifestyle, it's hard to stay healthy in the midst of mince pies and mulled wine. So, we’re busting 5 common mistakes made during the holiday season to help you feel a little bit healthier this year…
You Don’t Eat Beforehand
Saving most of your day’s calories for when you hit the booze and buffet later? Being surrounded by tempting treats when you’re drunk and hungry is a recipe for disaster. Trying to ‘bank’ calories for indulgent occasions usually does the opposite of its intention and can actually trigger overeating. Instead, try to focus on eating filling, high-fibre foods at regular meal-times throughout the day, before enjoying your holiday drinks and treats in moderation.
OR You Carb-Load Before a Party
Some don’t eat beforehand, others go completely the other way! Lining your stomach with a hefty plate of heavy, refined carbs before a night of drinking isn’t as clever as you think it might be. Focusing more on plenty of healthy fats and proteins that are slow-digesting will prevent alcohol being absorbed too quickly into your bloodstream. It will also avoid any nasty energy crashes that leave you diving head-first into the canapes!
You Stick With Your Regular Workout
Making sure to stick to your regular workout schedule might sound like a great idea, but the Christmas season is notoriously hectic, and trying to fit in your usual hour at the gym is probably only going to add to your stress levels. On super busy days, try breaking up your workout instead; doing a 30-minute hiit session in the morning and a quick strength session or even a chilled yoga flow later in the day when you have more time.
You Overbook and Stay up Late
Parties, an over-flowing work schedule, holiday shopping, travel and everything else that is on your to-do list during November and December is already a lot to handle. Instead of scheduling in more workouts, more social plans and more late nights at work, try to make sure you have space in your schedule to relax and prioritise yourself (and your sleep!). Staying up late and waking up early may help you get everything done, but sleeping poorly will have a disastrous effect on your mood and energy levels.
You Plan Your Post-Holiday Cleanse
Already seeing the ads for New Year diets and January quick fixes? It really isn’t productive to focus on what you’ll do in January to make up for December. Your healthy lifestyle should be sustainable, which means allowing for things to slide every now and again. Severe calorie restriction never leads to anything good, so indulge in moderation and really enjoy it.