The festive season is well and truly here. Spending time with friends and family, enjoying food and a drink or two… It is a lovely way to celebrate but unfortunately also a time when most of our healthy habits go out the window. But it doesn’t have to be this way. A bit of mindfulness and you can start the New Year happily smiling at those ‘must go on a diet messages’ coming your way!
Our Pilates360 nutritionist, Tina Henwood, whom we partnered with at the end of this year, has put together 6 tips to help you reach the New Year healthy and full of energy.
- Practice healthy habits 80% of the time
Remember, one green smoothie isn’t going to make you healthy and you won’t get fit after one run. Therefore, sharing a drink and a slice of pizza with your friends isn’t going to cause you weight gain or damage your liver. So, my first tip would be: relax and enjoy the special moments with people you love.
But remember, when you wake up the next morning, go back to your ‘healthy routine’. Start the day with a big glass of water with lemon, do some exercise and treat yourself to a nutritious breakfast. These habits take a bit of effort, but they are so worth it. They instantly make you feel good, ready to tackle a new day. Research shows that starting the day on the right note hugely increases your chances of continuing with healthy habits for the rest of the day!
- Create your own ‘healthy platters’ to take to parties
It’s amazing how many people love to see fresh, whole foods on party platters and how many positive comments you get when you show up with delicious wholesome nibbles. Veggie sticks and seeded crackers go wonderfully with home made pesto, hummus or roasted carrot dip. Plate these with young cheeses such as ricotta or mozzarella, add some parmesan for the taste and put raw nuts and seeds next to it. I like to add fresh berries for the colour and antioxidants and some delicious black olives, full of healthy fats. Nibbling on these won’t make you feel bloated and over-indulged the next day. Remember: healthy life should be fun too!
- When having alcohol, make every second drink water
This will not only make you drink less alcohol but also prevent dehydration and cravings for unhealthy foods that occur the next day. With your body feeling healthier, you have a better chance to start the following day with healthy choices. And as we said before, starting a new day on a good note will increase your chances of ending it this way as well.
If you do find yourself with a sore head the day after, include liver supporting foods such as broccoli, cauliflower, beetroot and greens into your meals and sip on green tea. These foods are powerful antioxidants and great for supporting your liver enzymes!
- Slow down, sit down and eat your food on a plate
Having food on a go and multitasking during meals will more than likely lead to you overeating. Plan when and what you are going to eat, chew food slowly and minimise distractions while eating. Keeping your attention on your plate, rather than on your to-do list will make it possible for you to read your body’s fullness signals and prevent you from over-eating.
- Protein, fibre and healthy fats
Have protein, fibre and healthy fats in all your meals. Protein and fibre both promote satiety and increase the levels of appetite-reducing hormones. Lean meat, eggs, or plant protein sources such as lentils, chickpeas, beans, nuts and seeds will keep you away from searching for food shortly after you’ve eaten.
Plant protein sources are also great sources of fibre, as are vegetables and fruits. Remember, fibre will not only help with keeping you full but will also soak up excess toxins as well as help stabilise your blood sugar and lower your cholesterol levels. For that extra hit of fibre, add some chia seeds to your overnight oats or salads this festive season!
Finally, have some healthy fats every day! They are the ones that help your hormones in check, reduce inflammation and help with heart health. We know how stressful holidays can be so give your body a boost with avocado, nut butters, virgin olive oil and wild caught fish these holidays!
- Keep up with the exercise
It is one of the best things you can do not only for your body but also for your mental health. Take time for exercise, schedule it in and make it an everyday routine. You don’t need to sweat at the gym if this is not your thing. Doing some stretches, quick run at the beach or a nice bushwalk with your dog and kids will make you feel happier and healthier!