You've been doing your best to get healthy all year. Now that the festive period is in full swing, LetsGetChecked is here to share their secrets on how to stay healthy during the holidays.
You're shopping for presents, catching up with old friends, hanging out with family, and squeezing in as many festivities as you can ahead of the "new year, new me" trend.
If you're reading this article you're probably in need of some inspiration and motivation to get you through the month. Try not worry about falling off the bandwagon, you can always get back up, and with these simple hints and tips, you'll be looking and feeling your best by the new year.
Eat Your Dinner
It's a rookie mistake to skip dinner before a night out on the tiles. It has been proven that drinking alcohol before meals may cause you to over-indulge so make sure you eat first!
There could be a number of reasons that you're skipping your last meal of the day. Commonly, people believe that if they skip dinner, the calories from alcohol can be justified. Not eating dinner before a night out is a big mistake.
Eat your dinner because if you don't, the alcohol will hit you quickly. Nights out are about the journey, not the destination. Ensure that you are drinking slowly and enjoying the social aspect of the night. If you don't fill up on some healthy carbs and protein before going out on a cold winter night, you will not only be hit with brain fog but also intoxication faster.
Eat your dinner becase alcohol is full of empty calories. If you skip a healthy dinner and replace it with booze, your body will be lacking in the daily minerals and viatamins it needs. This will make you more likely to experience fatigue and low mood on the night out.
Eat your dinner because if you don't, it will inevitably lead to a late night snacks. If you have skipped your dinner and have made it to the end of the night, you will inevitably make eye contact with a fast food joint. At this point, you're probably feeling disinhibited. Voila, you are off the healthy guidelines you use to stay healthy. In saying that, there is nothing wrong with a treat, balance is healthy, but if you are trying to stick to a certain plan, eat your dinner!
Genuinely not hungry before a night out?
Have two slices of whole-wheat bread with smashed avocado, boiled eggs and black pepper. The whole-wheat bread offers healthy carbohydrates, while the avocado and boiled eggs offer up a nice serving of healthy fats and protein.
Drinking enough water is the best present you can give yourself this Christmas.
There are many conflicting messages out there about how much water you should be drinking each day. 6 cups, 8 cups, 2 liters, 4 liters?
Let's keep it simple. Mayo Clinic recommend that you drink enough water so that you rarely feel thirsty and your produce 6 cups of pale urine each day. The average person goes to the bathroom 6-10 times a day. If you're seeing a pale coloured urine that amounts to about 6 cups, you're doing good.
The importance of drinking a sufficient amount of water stands year round, however at the holidays you should ensure that you are getting enough for a number of reasons.
Drink water because it's a natural immunity booster. The holiday season generally includes cold outdoor weather and stuffy indoor heating. This is the perfect breeding space for bacteria and germs. Our immune systems can come under attack during the Winter months for a number of reasons, weather changes, end of year deadlines and social stressors can leave us feeling run-down. If you want to give your immune system boost, hit up lemon water. Lemons contain Vitamin C which is an easy and natural way to wash toxins out of the body. Drinking a sufficient volume of water each day will wash toxins out of the body that can build up, allowing for your immune system to come under threat.
Drink water because it gives you the glow. 64% of your skin is water so it is no surprise that water is a natural moisturizer to your complexion. It is easy to tell the difference between people who live on sodas and people who always have a bottle of water in their hand. If you want an inexpensive way of looking great during the party season, stock up on water as your natural beauty ingredient.
Drink water because it allows for better digestion. During the holiday period, we often eat foods that we wouldn't be eating on an average week, which is delightful, however it may be a bit of a shock to the system. There is nothing festive about constipation. Water helps your body to break down food so nutrients can be absorbed into the blood stream and excess, can be expelled from the body with more ease. Win, win!
We are not trying to be your mom, dad or joykill but there is a place called stop. Locate where it is and remember to stop! Drinking alcohol is one of the biggest road blocks to hitting your health-related goals from a physical and emotional perspective.
Drink responsibly because you should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week. A unit equates to a glass of wine or beer. This doesn't mean that you should stockpile all of your units into one day, however think about your social calendar and try to map out how much you will drink per evening. Try to avoid getting into "rounds" or drinking games as this can speed up how fast you are drinking. If you do get stuck in rounds with your friends, keep a glass of water beside you and drink at your own pace. The holiday season is a marathon, not a sprint.
Drink responsibly because one drink has the same volume of calories and nutritional value as most unhealthy snacks. It will surprise you to know how many calories there are in one single alcoholic beverage, or shot of liqor and that is excluding mixers. For context, here are the calorie counts for some of the most popular drinks on the market:
- 1 Glass Of Wine: 228 Cals
- 1 Glass Of Champagne: 95 Cals
- 1 Beer: 208 Cals: 208 Cals
- 1 Shot Liqor: 105 Cals
Drink responsibly because what goes up must come down. Amidst all the fun of the festivities can come the January blues at the end of a long month. Remember that alcohol is a depressant. Excessive drinking over time may make you feel blue, overwhelmed and rattled come the New Year. Focus on catching up with friends and family, with alcohol being a little treat or bonus on the side.
Plan Your Meals
Planning your meals might sound excessive but let's talk about the 80:20 approach. 80% of the time, eat something that you know is nourishing your body and makes you feel good. 20% of the time, eat something you like to indulge in from time to time. It's the holidays, so even if this ratio goes to 70:30 or 60:40, bear your ratios in mind to help you plan your meals.
Plan your meals because with all of the running around at this time of year, it's easy to skip meals and opt for unhealthy snacks to fill the void. If you skip meals, you can experience low blood sugar, which will cause cravings for sugary snacks. If you are eating irregulary with large gaps in between meals, this can lead to sugar spikes and lows, mood swings and an overall feeling of fatigue
Plan your meals because its easy to graze at this time of year. Whether you're at a party or you're parked infront of the fire with family and friends, a table full of snacks can de-rail even the most-steadfast of gym bunnies and bucks. Of course, treat yourself but try not to let your diet be de-railed by too many pigs in blankets. Have a light meal before a dinner party and aim to eat the healthy snacks on offer like hummus, olives, whole-wheat crackers and carrot sticks. It might not sound that appealing now but come January, you won't have a New Year Resolutions list the length of your arm.
Plan your meals because the holiday season can be a perfect time for self-reflection. After a month of indulging, it may motivate you to think about what you want to achieve in the New Year in your nutrition. Make a list of your health triumphs and health downfalls. Think about steps you could make with your nutrition to start fresh. It's never too late to start something new and it's a great time of year to test your vitamins and take an allergy test.
Take Some Vitamin Me
The best supplement on the market is "Vitamin Me" and it's all for you! Don't be afraid to say no, don't take on more than you can chew and remember that the holidays should be time to sit back and relax. Let any remaining stressors of the year past melt away and instead focus on a healthy and happy year ahead. "Vitamin Me" time is essential and there is no better time to take it.
Take some vitamin me time because it is essential for your physical and mental health. Instead of agreeing to every single social event on the calendar, choose to do the activities that will offer you feel good energy, not drain you of it. This holiday season, bear the relaxation response in mind. This is the direct opposite of your stress response, also known as the "Flight Or Fight Response." Take 10 minutes every day to sit back and focus on your breathing, think of anything that might be niggling away at you and replace it with a positive counterpart. This strategy will equip you for whatever December throws at you.
Take some vitamin me time because it gives you the space to be more creative. Break away from cerebral congestion during the holidays. Go for hikes, paint a picture, arrange some flowers or even spend six hours in bed being bored. Getting a change of scene and doing activities that you wouldn't normally do gives you the space to be more proactive in thinking about your goals. Studies have shown that regular breaks from your usual routine supports creativity and problem solving.
Take some vitamin me time because it will help you be more productive in the New Year. Short term studies on activities as simple as sleeping has shown the dramatic effects that resting can have on your body and mind for productivity. Life is similar to studying. You can't run through life reading, high-lighting and taking notes forever. You need to work for 40 minutes and rest for 20 if you want to keep retaining information. The same can be said for life. A week off, to yourself will not make you lose focus of your goals, it will replenish energy stores that you didn't even know were drained. Rest, relax and focus on you, the results will surprise you.
The end of the year is a great time to take stock and plan for the future. Now could be the time to begin to track, monitor and improve your health. With LetsGetChecked you can know your health from the privacy of your own home.
LetsGetChecked offer at home personal health tests for everything from the lipids to your liver, and your vitamins to your overall vitality. Browse wellness, women's health, men's health and sexual health with LetsGetChecked today.
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Written by Hannah Kingston | Medically Approved by Dr. Dominic Rowley