Christmas survival Guide

Christmas survival Guide

Christmas survival Guide

With two weeks to go until Christmas and party season in full swing, many of us are in “survival mode” when it comes to our health and wellbeing. With weekday office parties and weekend family gatherings, we’re not getting the recovery time we need between festive occasions. Heavy food, late night and alcohol disrupt sleep and leave us dehydrated – both of which in turn lead to poor food choices and alcohol cravings, and the cycle starts again.

So here’s our 5-step survival guide to surviving Christmas party season!

Choose your celebrations wisely – whilst you might want to go to every party and gathering going, you don’t have to drink at each of them. You might not be able to survive the office Christmas party sober, you can probably get through that boring family gathering without alcohol – so give it a try. You’ll consume far fewer calories, make better food choices and sleep better, breaking the cycle of overconsumption.

Plan ahead with alcohol – lots of people accidentally get in over their depth with drinking at Christmas parties – your glass keeps getting topped up, there’s a free bar, you end up staying out much later than you intended. You have a general idea of your limits – have a total number of drinks in mind, keep track of what you are drinking and stick to it. Try and also have some soft drinks to slow down your alcohol intake, and know in advance what time you’re going to stop drinking altogether and either go home or switch to soda.

Have a plan when it comes to food, too – the main food event is usually a delicious lunch or dinner so enjoy that but try and keep away from that tin of chocolates in the office, or tray of canapes at the party. The occasional indulgent meal is a luxury but if you’re constantly eating rich food, it can feel more like an endurance event! Snack on healthy fruit, nuts, raw veg or rice cakes and savour the fancy meals. You don’t have to eat the chocolate “just because it’s there”; if people give you selection boxes or tins of choccies, melt them down, make rocky road or rice crispie cakes and give them away as gifts!

Hydrate! – drink plenty of water, and then drink some more! By the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated to a degree, so get ahead of this by sipping water constantly. We all know that too much alcohol leaves us dehydrated, but did you know that even a small degree of dehydration can lead to slower reaction times, decreased mental clarity and poor food choices? So stay ahead of thirst and if possible take a daily electrolyte supplement with water to replace lost salts.

Supplement – if you’re not already taking a multivitamin supplement, now might be the time to consider it. Most people are deficient in something or other – a multivit helps keep your bases covered. If you’re drinking a lot of alcohol, an Omega 3 supplement would be a wise choice – usually in the form of cod liver oil, this supplement will help combat the inflammatory effects of alcohol. Magnesium is also worth considering – it combats the effects of cortisol, your natural stress hormone (your body will be under stress, especially if you are drinking a lot). It also helps with anxiety and poor sleep – also side effects of alcohol.

So that’s out five-step party season survival guide! Enjoy your Christmas festivities – and remember, this is a great time to start practicing some of the habits that you want to implement in January!

Noel & Meredith

December – Our Podcast

December – Our Podcast

December - Our Podcast

With only three weeks to go until Christmas, the countdown is on! For the next few weeks, it can be a challenge to stay on track with your nutrition and fitness; a lot of people find that once Christmas party season begins, and they are eating and drinking more than usual, fitness starts to slide as well. Knowing it’s a finite time and that in January you’ll get back on track again, it’s all too easy to go crazy for a couple of weeks, regret it and then feel the need to punish yourself in the New Year. It’s no wonder that January is often the busiest time of year for us in the gym!

As happy as we are to be busy in January, we try to help our clients to stay focussed and on track throughout December as well; the cycle of excess and punishment isn’t physically or psychologically healthy, and December is a good time to remind ourselves of the importance of consistency. Try to limit your “cheat” days with food and drink to the big occasions; find the time to fit in that walk or class as well as going to the office Christmas party; drink plenty of water and fill up on colourful fruits and vegetables instead of that chocolate selection box!

Our big news this month is that our podcast is now live! The Intelligent Fitness Podcast is now on Spotify and in our first episode, we discuss the quick fix six week training programmes that are aimed at everyone in January who is mentally beating themselves up about Christmas overindulgence. Is a six week training plan advisable, and if not why not? Head over to Spotify and have a listen to find out what we think!

Noel & Meredith