Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
I was planning on uploading a video to YouTube today… I’ve been thinking about changing things up a little and giving vlogs a go. I did a little bit of filming yesterday, but there were some problems so I want to redo it before I upload. Maybe I will have something ready for you next weekend instead! In the meantime, I thought I’d quickly post something here because I don’t want to be flaky the minute I just got back into blogging.
As it is the beginning of December, it seemed fitting to talk about healthy tips for the build up to Christmas. It’s the time of year when we all seem to just let loose and overindulge a little… I think it’s important to actually enjoy Christmas Day and have no restrictions, but that should be for a couple of days not the full month! There is nothing worse than waking up New Years Day with a banging headache, trying to stomach a garden salad because you’ve realised things have gotten out of control. A day won’t derail your progress, but a month will.
Without further introduction, here are my tips for staying healthy, which I am sticking to myself:
1. Stay Away from Office Chocolates
I’ve said this in a previous blog, but I think it’s the most important thing so I’m going to say it again. Stay away from the box of Quality Street! It’s a generous time of year and people like to bring in lots of sweets and goodies, STAY AWAY. It becomes addictive, you think oh I’ll just have the one after my lunch. Before you know it you’re taking one out of the box every time you walk to the printer. Not to be a killjoy here but 3 sweets have about 16g of sugar! Not only are the chocolates empty calories, but your sugar levels will be all over the place and you’ll feel a crash (unless you consistently keep topping up throughout the afternoon…). I’m quite happy just having the chocolate in my advent calendar every day.
2. Keep Your Veggie Intake Up
It’s not just about what you should avoid, it’s what you should include in your diet too. Just because it’s not ‘salad weather’ there are plenty of seasonal vegetables that are delicious and good for you. Having lots of fibre is good for your digestion, and the micronutrients are very beneficial for your health. It’s the time of year when everyone gets sick, so get lots of vitamin C! I like to track my macros (protein, carbs and fats) but I’m also mindful about getting a variety of colour in my diet too. Have your dark leafy greens like kale, but also throw in some beetroot which is a great source of iron and folate. Not only will you feel better in your NYE dress, but you’ll minimise the chance that you’ll be sniffing and coughing your way through the night.
3. Make Time for Exercise
December is always rammed with Christmas parties and beers at the German market, but still remember to make time for yourself. Exercise has so many benefits for the body and your mental health. By all means pencil in your parties, just remember to plan a couple of workouts a week too. I have said myself that I would workout 3 times a week as a minimum, and I’ve been sticking to it very well. I tend to do more than that, but at least it gives me freedom if I have a particularly busy week. Just because it’s cold, don’t compromise on your health. Although it is chilly, the weather has actually been particularly nice so far! No excuses for not making it to the gym, you can’t blame it on the rain.
4. Plan Your Cheat Meal
I think I’ve discussed this before, but make sure to go ‘off-track’ in a meaningful way. Having a treat meal once a week is perfectly fine and beneficial for your progress. No one wants to feel like they are being restricted. If you know you have dinner plans with friends at the weekend, just make sure you have a great week of prepped meals and dodge the mince pies at work. That way you’ll still make progress, and you won’t associate these social events with guilt. I stayed completely on track this week, and then when I went to London on Friday I ate to my heart’s content (I ate dessert twice, no regrets). Saturday morning I was back to having my proats, and I was completely happy. Balance is the key to all of this!
5. Don’t Feel Guilty About Saying ‘No’
There are times when people harmlessly try to pressure you into eating/drinking something when maybe you don’t want to. Someone in your office has made gingerbread men, and they are walking around with the tin insisting you try some. You don’t even like ginger, but you don’t want the person to feel like you don’t like their baking. You end up eating it for the sake of it. Drinking and eating are very social, but don’t let them be the only way you can enjoy yourself. And you are never obliged to do something you don’t want to! If you want to have something, then please go ahead. But do not give in just because you don’t want to offend someone. Check that you are doing something because you want to, and not to please someone else.
Those are my tips! I’ll close with this last thought, it’s not included in the healthy tips because well it isn’t one. Enjoy Christmas Day and eat what you want. Have the Buck’s Fizz for breakfast, eat chocolate coins while you unwrap presents, and if you’re not unbuttoning your trousers by 4pm something has gone wrong.
I will admit that I’ve struggled with ‘balance’ in the past, I have let dieting rule my life at times which is bad. I can fully admit that the reason I felt so guilty about indulging was because I wasn’t sticking to my goals like I should have been. I was blaming the plateau in progress on my cheat meals, when realistically it was the rest of my diet. I’m now at a point where I don’t compromise midweek, and so at the weekends I am free to treat myself carefree. If you eat your vegetables and exercise throughout this month, be proud of that. You’ll feel so much better in a few weeks, and Christmas Day will be a great day with lots of food and fun.
I hope you all have a great week, prep your lunches for the week today, and you might have a YouTube video from me next week (eek!).