Over-indulging on an excess of fattening foods, lack of activity, and grazing on snacks; it is little wonder that so many women come out the other side of the festive season feeling bloated and in need of some TLE - some tender loving exercise! However, different eating patterns and a less healthy lifestyle over the holidays do not just affect weight-gain and can have a greater impact on women than just a few extra pounds.
If you do put on weight over the holidays then theories abound that it takes a few months at least to lose the festive fat. However, just as weight is not the only indicator of being healthy, weight gain over the holiday season is not the only negativity from unhealthy eating and lack of exercise, which can include:
- Triggering bad habits.
- Feeling uninspired, low and lacking in energy.
- Feeling guilty and stressed out as a result.
- A sense of powerlessness or lack of control for perceived weakness.
- Lacking in motivation and self-belief.
- Disappointment in lack of will power.
All in all, stepping away from a good eating and exercise plan can leave you feeling less than fantastic once the festivities have died down. This can last well into New Year and start you off on the back foot so that you are not firing on all cylinders for the start of 2015.
To keep up with your exercise over the holidays you need to be disciplined, determined, committed, and most importantly organized. Women who have busy lives with the added demands of family over the holidays, can easily let their own interests fall by the wayside to make room for others. However, what is important is to remember that if you are feeling healthy, happy and full of energy, this is going to really have a beneficial impact on everyone around you.
How to avoid festive overindulgence
While weight gain is not the be all and end all, excessive eating and meals packed with saturated fats and sugar, are hardly good for your health in general. But with tempting treats galore, you do need to make some conscious effort not to go overboard with unhealthy foods. Here are a few pointers:
- Don't go to parties ravenous - When you are really hungry a plate full of appetizing food is going to be difficult to resist, not to mention snacks. Are there social occasions where you can go to have fun but miss out on the food side of things? Or, if eating is part of the whole event, then make sure you have an appetite that is not out of control.
- Don't forget that snacks and canapes count - Many women pick at foods, such as when they are cooking or when kids leave leftovers. This might be a generalization but there is a lot of truth in it. Women who are trying to stick to too strict a diet often find that they nibble away and graze, instead of eating properly. This can actually lead to them consuming more calories and often eating unhealthy, snack-style foods.
- Think before you drink - It isn't just alcohol that can add up the calories but also sodas. Just as there is often a table of food at get-togethers over the holidays, there is often a whole table of drinks waiting to be guzzled down too.
- Try out some healthy festive recipes - Inspire yourself and others by actively looking for healthy snacks and main meals that are delicious and different. You need to find a good balance here between nutritious and appealing. Nobody is going to find you full of festive fun if you serve up a bland salad!
- Focus on portions and buffet visits - With an abundance of food, it is easy to lose perspective and this turns into bigger portions and more trips to top up your plate from the buffet. Be mindful of how much you are eating, not just what you are eating.
Don't worry about the effect the festivities are going to have on your waistline, but instead feel positive that you are thinking about your wellbeing. We can help add a healthy glow for the holidays and beyond, so drop us a line and find out how.