Here comes the silly season!
I love this time of year, the weather is great (sometimes anyway!), that ice cold beer or glass of wine tastes that much better and its BBQ time! I will certainly enjoy myself this summer as I always do. That being said, I’ve learnt a few things over the years that allow me to enjoy this time, but also keep myself from over doing it!
Stay hydrated – OK, you’re going to have a few drinks, let’s plan ahead! Having a glass of water in between drinks will help your stay hydrated as alcohol is a diuretic. It can also make a difference to how your body processes the alcohol and in turn, how you will feel the next day. It’s simple; every time you finish a drink, have a small glass of water!
Party food – There is always going to be some food going around that’s less than optimal for our health goals. That’s fine, we want to enjoy these things and we SHOULD, we just need to eat it in moderation. Again, planning ahead here will help a lot. If you know that you’ve got a party on in the evening, try and have a lighter breakfast/lunch or less calories earlier in the day, then have a small fibrous snack before you head out. This way you won’t be ravenous when you get there, eating everything that comes your way, but you’ll have also left yourself some wiggle room with your total caloric intake. Let your hair down, enjoy some nice food and drink and relax!
Keep training – Well you knew it was coming. Whether we are off on holiday, or we’re staying here in the Highlands, getting some form of exercise will make an enormous difference! Now this doesn’t mean that we need to be in the box every day, or scrambling to drop in somewhere if we’re out of town. Use the fitness you’ve built over the year and go on a nice hike or grab a stand-up paddle board and take it out for an hour. Play with the kids/nephews/nieces/grandchildren and try keeping up with them or show them how to do a burpee! Even if you’re not feeling 100%, getting into the box and moving with a little less intensity will still do wonders. Just don’t feel guilty if you don’t!
Chill out, man! – Meditate, relax, and breathe, whatever. Just take some time to yourself it you’re feeling stressed (this doesn’t just go for the holidays!). Stress raises cortisol levels in the body and will negatively affect insulin sensitivity which can lead to weight gain and other negative side effects. Start the day with a few minutes of mindfulness or breathing exercises and be thankful for what you have. Also, don’t try and fit in with everyone’s schedule or think that you need to go to everything! Trying to do too much or a jam-packed schedule could be the number 1 holiday stress maker, so remember to say ‘no’ sometimes, it’s OK and people will understand.