We are entering the year-end festive season. What is your festive season health strategy?
You are looking forward to spending time with family and friends. As we get together, we plan to celebrate being connected with each other. We celebrate the start of a brand new year with wishes for a brighter future. As it should be.
I am also very aware of the inevitable overindulgence that accompanies our celebrations. With our health in mind, how do we celebrate and enjoy the experience, but remain focused on our goals?
Here are some proven strategies for limiting the impact of the celebrations lying ahead.
It’s Only Three Days
I used to view the holidays as one long period of hedonism. Whether I was packing the car or settled in for the annual staycation, one thing remained constant. All health goals were out the window. I would eat without thinking and stop my exercise regime every day of the holidays.
This abandonment of my health consciousness was accepted as part of the celebration of reaching the end of a tough year.
No more. You see, if you think about it, there are only three BIG days (depending on how you celebrate this season of course). The rest of the December/January holiday season are normal days in which you need to feed your body properly.
By changing my perspective and focusing on managing the days of overindulgence, it became more manageable. I also found I could refocus on being healthy for the majority of the festive season. It is a matter of perspective.
Change your perspective and you change the outcome…
Dose vs Poison
Our bodies are marvelous machines. We can put just about any substance into it, and our bodies will manage it for us. Even substances that are very hazardous to us.
Almonds, for instance, contain cyanide. But, we can safely eat almonds and the cyanide it comes with because the cyanide dosage is extremely low.
Similarly, we can minimize the impact of harmful practices like over-indulgence in alcohol or highly processed foods. Simply restrict the volume of consumption. Dish up smaller portions and prepare harmful foods less often.
You will be amazed at the overall positive impact of making the “dose” smaller.
What we resist will persist… Instead of cutting out harmful food or drinks, it’s always advisable to consider finding replacements.
Take alcohol for instance. Replacing cocktails or highly sugary drinks with spirits diluted with non-sugary fluids is a much better option. Moderation is key.
Or, you might want to replace highly processed carbs with low-carb alternatives. There are many options to choose from these days.
Cook for Enjoyment
Bring joy back in cooking delicious meals or snacks. There are so many options available on the internet. Let your imagination go. Find the joy in preparing mouth-watering low-carb dishes.
We recommend Diet Doctor for a huge array of delicious recipes.
Timing of Meals
Sometimes it is just impossible to avoid indulging in a family treat or traditional dessert. When this happens, try to eat the dish as part of your evening meal. You are at the start of your longest natural occurring fast, sleep.
During sleep, your body has enough time to normalize your blood sugar and safely metabolize the high-carb meal.
Timing a meal does unfortunately not mitigate the effects of the meal but minimizes the damage.
The best way to minimize the impact of an unhealthy meal is to fast. Delay your next meal as much as you can to give your body the opportunity to recover.
If you are already intermittently fasting you will know the power of delaying your first meal of the day. More so, when you have been overindulging in the previous evening meal.
Continue to Exercise
Always continue with your exercise routine. You will feel motivated to be healthy and eat well when you remind yourself of the joy of moving your body.
Besides, it is extremely difficult to get back into your normal exercise routine once you have let it go.
Your festive season healthy strategy will be as unique as you are. Whatever you do…just have one!
Be safe, be healthy.