How to enjoy December without feeling miserable in January!
The festive season is here, and there are fewer things we hate more than adding a few pounds over the festive season.
We all know how December is all about celebrating with rich foods and what seems to be unlimited drinks, but do you really believe you have to indulge in every opportunity?!
Let me tell you a true story.
Last year I only had one client wanting to start their weight loss journey in December? All my other enquiries wanted to wait for the new year to start looking after themselves. But this one didn’t. She knew there was never going to be a better time because her career involves a lot of client entertainment, so December was pretty much like every other month for her.
She smashed it!
Not only did she start losing weight in December, but also she didn’t put on weight between Christmas and New Year.
This was not a miracle. This is what happens when you listen to your body and apply a few guidelines.
January is all about new resolutions, but deep down we all know they won’t last because we don’t know where to start. And what was meant to be just a few temporary pounds tend to become permanent and accumulate with the years.
So let me give you my top 5 tips to help you stay healthy and fabulous this December:
Be prepared. You know the saying if you failed to prepare, you prepare to fail. I believe this is even more important at this time of the year, as foods are richer in terms of fats and sugar (the deadly combination) and alcoholic drinks more plentiful. By looking for what to do differently this year, I can guarantee that you will most likely easily sail through the month.
Hydrate. If there is only one thing you want to focus on this month, then it should be hydration: make sure that you are drinking enough still water every single day. Most people do not drink enough water - drinking liquid is not the same as drinking water - then mistake dehydration for tiredness and hunger. You add to this coffee, tea, alcohol, sodas and juices - all diuretic - and you are more dehydrated than ever before. So just have a 1.5l bottle of water next to you, and experience the difference. And if you want a hot drink, go for herbal teas.
Never be hungry. This may sound a weird one, but who hasn't thought of skipping meals because they know they'll have a big one later in the day? I like the logic of balancing out food intake, but studies show that you are more likely to 'eat too much' if you go on an empty stomach, as opposed to make better food choices if you are not 'starving'.
Enjoy your food. I am French and an epicurean. Food is very important, and all the more since I discovered it can be at the source of your health or ill-health. The beauty of this festive season is that you will be offered foods that you don't usually eat. Some are healthy (e.g. seafood or game) and offer vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients you may not usually have other not so healthy (e.g. deserts) but it is ok, really. My take on this is to have normal portions, eat mindfully and enjoy your food. Your body will then produce all the necessary enzymes to digest well, and within 3 days, all should be back to normal.
Recover well. When you do something your body is not used to, it is important to allow it to recover as best as possible. The best way to do it is to listen to your body. Try it, and you will see how much of a difference it makes. The best way to recover swiftly may be to not eat when you're not hungry, do some light exercise such as walking, or sleep! All or any, listen to your body honestly and it will tell you.
Finally, what I keep reminding my clients is that what they choose to eat and drink between Christmas and the New Year is not nearly as important as what they do between the New Year and Christmas. One week of excess is what it is, but 51 weeks will never help you reach your health goals!
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