It is Christmas time. Our senses are being assaulted. Christmas music, Christmas food, Christmas parties and the start of our long, hot summer vacations. It is a very special time of the year. We are all looking forward to spending time with our friends and families, and the familiar comforts of the festive season – trips to the beach, BBQs, decorations, fairy lights and candles.
Unfortunately, the holiday season is also a time where we can overindulge. Too much of a good time, like everything else, is not recommended. You can get burnout from your downtime and start the New Year feeling flat and unwell.
“It’s OK, it’s Christmas!”
We have all been told this. In fact, we have all probably told this to each other. Just one more drink, just one more chocolate, just one more invitation to accept. It is easy to be eased into over consumption and all the good work we have done throughout the year can be compromised in a few short weeks.
Good habits are hard to maintain. And whilst it is good to indulge occasionally it is important to keep track of your health habits.
Know your units
If you are driving. Do not drink. Being over the limit is not about units consumed but is a measure of alcohol in the blood. Even if you are just over the limit and only had one drink, you are a drunk-driver and will be charged.
Knowing your units also helps keep you on track. Alcoholic drinks are high in empty calories. When you convert these calories into other food groups it paints a disturbing picture.
🍻 1 pint of beer = Just over ½ a cheeseburger = 18 minutes of running
🍷1 glass of wine (175mls) = 0.5 cheeseburgers =16 minutes of running
🥂1 glass of champagne = 0.3 cheeseburgers = 9 minutes of running
🍸1 glass of vodka = 0.2 cheeseburgers = 6 minutes of running
So consuming 6 pints of beer in an evening would require you to run for the best part of two hours the next day! That sounds like half a marathon.
And drinking too much can have very negative effects on our health; our livers, our hearts, and our mental wellbeing all suffer.
Not all food is created equally. And during the holidays it is easy to have an extra slice of cake, dive into the chocolates, or tuck into a plate of sausage rolls. It is wise to steer clear of deep fried, battered and pastry options, instead choose lean proteins and vegetables. Just as tasty but much better for you.
And if you are taking a plate to a party, a plate of healthy food will go down just as well as the pavlova. A thought along the lines of “…but it is Christmas”, or “ok, just one more, I’ll force it down”, is probably a sign that you are eating too much of the bad stuff.
When you go shopping, take a list. It will help you stop buying too many unnecessary treats – and do not make the mistake of going shopping hungry as any list will then go out of the window!
This all makes Christmas sound like it’s no fun. The message seems to be do not drink, do not eat. There is no reason Christmas should be associated with guilt, or cheating. You should have fun and enjoy the festivities; it is just about keeping it in balance.
1. Be balanced in what you eat and drink
2. Stay active
3. Get some rest and relaxation – it has been a busy and stressful year
4. Reconnect with your family and friends
5. Be kind and genuine – not everyone is having a great time
6. Do something just for fun
7. Keep up all your healthy habits
8. Stay hydrated
9. Use sunblock – this summer is slated to be a high UV summer
10. Do something new
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone.