Health and Wellbeingknowledge bankNutritionSue says...

My Top Ten Tips to Enjoy the Festive Period and still Feel Fabulous!

My top ten tips to help you enjoy the festive season and head into 2021 feeling fabulous!

So often we allow the festive season to run away with us and, as a result, we start the new year feeling frustrated by the weight we’ve gained and how sluggish and bloated we feel. I know because I’ve been there (and on more than one occasion!)

Let’s make this year different (regardless of lockdown, we can choose to start 2021 feeling our best).

I’ve picked out my top ten tips for you, so that you can enjoy the festive period but still start the new year feeling amazing!

Tip 1 Visualise how you want to feel on 1st January

How do you want to feel on 1st January? Tired, bloated, sluggish and pretty fed up? Or would you rather feel energised, in control and ready to hit the ground running? 

Visualisations are powerful tools (and something I use with my 1:1 clients all the time) that really help us to stay focused on our future self. Take a few minutes to visualise how you want to look and feel on 1st January and then keep that in mind throughout the festive period.

Tip 2 Focus on your health rather than your weight

When we focus purely on our weight it can often feel pretty demoralising when we see the scales showing a higher number than the day or week before. And when we feel demoralised we can end up throwing our toys out of the pram and giving up…and then feeling frustrated that we’re not seeing the results we are hoping for.

So, how about focusing on the health aspects of the food choices you are making rather than purely the calories? How about focusing on feeling good rather than just focusing on weight loss? 

When we shift the focus, our motivation changes and we want to eat well…and when we eat well we feel better, and our motivation to keep going is so much stronger than when we just look at the scales.

Tip 3 Focus on family and friends as the main part of the celebration, rather than food and drink

Another mindset shift for you to think about here. Celebrations don’t have to revolve around food and drink. The social side of the celebrations is surely more important than whether you are scoffing all the food and throwing back the prosecco?

If you’ve visualised what you want to look and feel like on 1st January (see point 1) and if you’re focusing on health over weight (see point 2) then this shift should come easily.

Tip 4 Learn to say “no”

No-one is going to be offended if you choose to say “no” to the nibbles, the drinks, the chocolates. They may encourage you to get stuck in but you don’t have to say “yes”.

Again, go back to visualisation of the person you want to be on 1st January, go back to focusing on your health…and then choose whether those nibbles, those drinks, and those chocolates are helping you hit those.

It’s always a choice – and you CAN choose to say “no” (although you don’t have to – see the next point).

Tip 5 Don’t feel guilty if you choose to say “yes”

When you consciously choose to say “yes” enjoy the moment, enjoy the food, enjoy the drink, enjoy the company.

Don’t allow this seemingly “off-track” moment to derail you for days to come. And definitely don’t feel guilty for those moments of pleasure – life is for living and these moments of pleasure (and maybe a little over-indulgence) are vital for our soul and our general wellbeing. 

If your goal is weight loss then you need to learn to enjoy these moments, but not let them impact on the coming days and weeks, as can often be the case. One overindulgent event will not impact on your long-term weight loss goals, but allowing that one event to impact on the future days and weeks will.

Tip 6 Prioritise sleep

Sleep is absolutely vital for good health. It’s also a crucial element in weight loss due to hormone changes with lack of sleep…and of course the inevitable nibbling that happens when we are tired.

So get your 7-9 hours of zzzzz.

Tip 7 Drink plenty of water

Like sleep, water is vital to good health, for our internal organs to do what they need to do and for us to feel energised (yes, drinking water will energise you!). And it helps with weight loss too. It also helps to keep hunger at bay and reduces the temptation to reach for those festive nibbles.

The guidelines tell us to aim for around 2 litres of fluids per day (not just water) but this does depend on whether you have exercised, what the weather is like, what clothing you are wearing and so on. The best way to tell whether you are drinking enough is to look in the toilet after you’ve been for a wee. If the water is clear with a light yellow tinge you are good to go…if it’s darker in colour, you need to drink more!

Tip 8 Go for low/no alcohol drink options

Alcohol is high in calories, calories that are of no nutritional value to our body. So, if you are trying to lose weight, alcohol is not your friend I’m afraid. Not only that, but when we drink we tend to over-consume on snacks too…a double whammy!

Now, I’m not suggesting you go tee-total and completely abstain over the festive period but what I am suggesting is that you are mindful of how much you are drinking and that think about choosing non-alcoholic drinks for some social occasions during the season. There are some incredible non-alcoholic adult drinks on the market these days so you can feel like you are joining in with the party without the extra calories (or the hangover!)

Tip 9 Make time to move your body every day

Exercise boosts your energy levels, lifts your mood and helps you to cope with what can be an overwhelming few weeks of the year.

You don’t have to spend hours and hours in the gym (not that they are open as I write this!) – just a few minutes of brisk walking each day will be enough to change your day around.

I also find (and my clients report this too) that when I exercise my nutrition is better too – win win!

My final Tip – It’s only 3 days! (or maybe 5 or so!)

My final point is to remember that Christmas is only a few days…not the whole of December!

Enjoy yourself on those days, but think about being more “on track” for the other 25ish days of December…and, if you need to, go back to point 1 above when you find this hard.

p.s. have you grabbed my free guide yet? In it I share 5 tips to help you lose weight whilst still enjoying the foods you love (these could come in handy for the festive period too!). You can grab you copy by clicking the button below

p.p.s. are you in my FREE Facebook group yet? If you’re not then I’d love for you to join us. I host live workouts, share allll the knowledge bombs, set monthly challenges to help you embed some new healthy habits and help you work towards hitting your own health and wellness goals. Join us here