The silly season is well and truly upon us! For those with kids school is almost out, some have end of year reporting they can’t wait to get through or you may be (just) surviving the hectic weekends packed full of parties.
For many of us the festive season brings holidays, celebrations, spending time with good company whilst enjoying great food and drinks and it cam also mean time away from home or your usual routine.
Regardless of whether you are travelling away or staying home entertaining others there is no need to fall out of routine and let your health and fitness progress and goals slide. Yep, I'm saying that you can basically still have your cake and eat it to so as to not sacrifice your healthy habits.
Here are my top tips for surviving the silly season with your goals in check:
Get outdoors: Generally traveling can mean a lot of time sitting around either making your way to your destination or socializing whilst there. Being away from home means there are new places to explore & fresh scenery can do wonders for your motivation and mind. Now that it is summer get up early and get outdoors to go for a walk or run and explore the area (and beat the midday heat). Take the family for a walk/bike tide to a nearby park or head to the local beach or swimming pool for some fun and activity. Arrange to meet family or friends for a walk followed by the coffee date, or pack a picnic full of wholesome, healthy foods instead of eating out for lunch or dinner.
Look up or try a new activity or fitness classes nearby: Travelling is a great excuse to try a new fitness class or check out a new gym. If you prefer to exercise in a group, get online and have a look at where the nearest group fitness classes are, whether it be Les Mills, F45 or a nearby yoga class. It is also the perfect time to hire a surfboard or give stand up paddle boarding a go if it's been on your to-do list! Movement doesn't always need to be structured.
Accommodation: If possible book or request a self-contained accommodation when travelling. This way you have all the facilities you need to cook your own healthy dinners, skip out on the continental/buffet breakfasts and keep it simple with your regular breakfasts or lunch. It can also save on eating out which is a bonus in itself. Go shopping when you arrive and keep it minimal but healthy: basic salad stuff, some lean meat for a good source of protein, grains and dairy.
Pack your diet essentials: For me this includes my protein powder, brewers yeast, chia seeds and flax meal (I am breastfeeding and these are all lactogenic foods that can assist in boosting and maintain milk supply). Pack a small amount of each to get you through your time away. Don't forget any multi vitamins or fish oil if you take these regularly too.
Food is fuel: When loading your plate up on Christmas Day (or in general), look at your food as protein, fats and carbs & have a balanced selection of each macro nutrient on your plate
What about the alcohol? Limit alcohol if possible (which can be very hard at this time of year); so you don’t need to give it up completely. I do recommend avoiding pre mixed drinks completely, although the odd cocktail at happy hour should be fine. Instead opt for white spirits mixed with soda water or light wine & beer varieties. These contain less alcohol so therefore have a reduced amount of calories compared to the full strength varieties.
To help metabolize any alcohol consumed, kick-start the next day with a short HIIT session. It may be the last thing you feel like doing but one of the best things you could do to eliminate the toxins - alcohol is metabolised first. If you choose to drink you need to be mindful of the number and type of calories you are consuming throughout the day. You still need to eat, so be aware that alcohol is dense in calories (7calories/g) compared to protein and carbs (4calories/g). Try to make sure your alcohol consumption doesn’t contribute to a large portion of your daily energy intake!
Also be sure to:
- Drink plenty of water
- Prioritise sleep
- Don't forget to pack your exercise gear!
Make sure you look after yourself and your health this silly season and remember everything in moderation. Life is about finding balance for long-term sustainable health. Try to remain active and make mindful food choices with your overall goals and longer-term health in mind. Why wait until the New Year to practice healthy habits?