Christmas is almost here! Bring on the warmer weather, family gatherings and fun with friends over the festive season. But Christmas can be a difficult time of year to make great food choices and get in those workouts. There are days of eating, buffet tables, multiple desserts, not to mention all the alcohol.
We love celebrating, relaxing and having fun here at Go Good, and we understand staying on track can be tough. We don’t expect anyone to eat clean 365 days a year, so here are some tips to help you reduce and recover from a Christmas blowout.
1. START THE DAY OFF WELL WITH EXERCISE
Get a workout in early on, or if your gym is closed try going for a 30-minute walk on the beach in the morning. That way you get your workout done, and you start your day off with a hit of endorphins and some vitamin D (provided the sun is out!). Exercising in the morning also kick-starts your metabolism, so you burn more calories throughout the day. Anyone else seeing images of The Biggest Loser’s manic last chance workout before their weigh in? Just don’t pull a hammy before you eat a ham.
2. HAVE A HEALTHY BREAKFAST BEFORE GATHERING WITH FAMILY
We might not have many healthy options later on, so take some time to prepare a balanced, filling breakfast. Why not try this smoothie recipe. Smoothies can be great meal replacements, especially if they contain protein. Adding your favourite protein powder will regulate your blood sugar levels, and leave you feeling fuller for longer. Fueling up on a healthy breakfast reduces snacking a few hours later and makes us feel a little more virtuous, especially if we got our workout in.
3. KEEP MOVING. DON'T SIT ALL DAY
It's easy to sit at the dining table all day, or lounge on the couch as we catch up and celebrate with family. Try to keep moving instead. Help prepare the food in the kitchen, or keep an eye on the kiddos outside. Nominate yourself as the drinks person, so you can get some extra steps in making and serving the beverages, all the while keeping the family hydrated. Or better yet, take the Christmas leftovers to the beach (hands up if you love a hot Christmas 🙋🏽♀️🙋🏼♂️), along with the sporting equipment you just got from Santa, and give it a go.
4. EAT MINDFULLY AND SAVOUR EVERY MOUTHFUL
Choose your favourites and enjoy them! After all, it is Christmas and abstaining from your favourite festive dish isn't fun for anyone. But take your time to smell, taste and chew your food. Be aware of what you are eating, how much, and take your time as our stomach needs time to realise it's full. Maybe try sitting next to that relative that eats super slowly and pace yourself with them. Or try putting a smaller amount on your plate to start; you can always go back for seconds. Also, eat the healthier options first so you fill up on them and "crowd out" the not so healthy foods. Find someone who also wants to stay on the healthy living wagon, and sit with them. There's strength in numbers!
5. IF YOU TAKE A PLATE, MAKE IT A HEALTHY ONE
Try veggie sticks with hummus or a variety of unsalted nuts. Or prepare and take a delicious salad with all your favourite ingredients. Take lots so you can fill up on your yummy dish and reduce the amount of other not-so-healthy food consumed. Did you know turkey and other poultry meats are full of protein? So don’t feel bad about going back for seconds. Just try to pass on the stuffing, as it’s rich in carbs.
6. DON'T DRINK YOUR CALORIES
Alcoholic drinks can contain a lot of sugar, as do sodas and juices. Be mindful of how much you are drinking and what's in it. Most beers are full of carbs. We are not encouraging you to drink, and especially not to overdo it, but slowly sipping on a Vodka Tonic on ice is lower in calories than beer and cocktails. Remember that drinking alcohol regularly affects the body's absorption of B vitamins, which can cause fatigue, muscle weakness, and low blood sugar. Drink a few large glasses of water throughout the day. It will keep you hydrated, fill you up, and help flush out toxins. Or you could be alcohol-free for the day and offer to be the sober driver, ensuring everyone gets home safe.
7. PICK A FRUITY DESSERT
One of the best things about a hot Christmas is the summer fruit selection! Watermelon, rockmelon, cherries, apricots, nectarines, and peaches; you just can't beat a summer fruit salad. Christmas desserts are traditionally stoggy and high in calories. A simple fruit salad can be so refreshing after a heavy lunch or dinner and has fewer calories than pavlova or Christmas pudding. If you don't think that there will be a healthy dessert option, or you are likely to be too tempted by the pav, take a healthy dessert of your choice that you love.
8. SET A CUT OFF DATE, AND STICK TO IT
Often we celebrate Christmas and the new year with different groups, over quite a few days as we see all our family and friends. There's the work do, Christmas with close family, then extended family, then with your other half's family. Don't forget New Years with friends. Result: 10 days of eating too much, feeling bloated and possibly hung over. To stop it turning in to weeks, set a date to end the feasting and stick to it. Once that date rolls around, get back on track by eating the way you did pre-Christmas and getting in those workouts that make you feel so great.
9. GET BACK ON TRACK WITH A DETOX
It's ok to indulge from time to time, after all, we are only human. But if it means we don't feel our best, then it might be time to try a detox. Foods that help flush out toxins from our bodies will give us more energy and stop us feeling sluggish.
Try a crash diet on leafy greens and spirulina to help cleanse and rid your body of toxins. Spirulina is an algae rich in protein, B vitamins, iron, copper and magnesium. It contains chlorophyll and phycocyanine which help to detoxify our body of heavy metals such as lead and mercury which we can absorb from the water we drink and the fish we eat. Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, collard greens, and alfalfa are packed with nutrients, which help the detoxification process. They are full of fibre, which makes them slow to digest and good for detoxifying our bowels.
Beetroot is high in antioxidants and many nutrients including folate, pectin fibre, iron, betaine, betalains, betacyanin, and betanin. It also contains pectin, a natural blood cleanser which assists your body in eliminating toxins. Try adding some Go Good Smoothie Booster to your Diet.
Water makes up over half of our bodies and is essential to stay healthy. Our bodies require about two litres a day of water for organ function and to flush out toxins. When we are well hydrated we feel more energised. Try squeezing some lemon juice in the water, this will help alkalinise the gut which promotes better digestion. To ensure you are getting enough water, make up a large 2L jug and slowly drink it throughout the day.
Superberries Smoothie Booster
- Helps remove toxins and fight inflammation
- Rich in dietary fibre to improve digestion and gut health
- Boost immunity and promotes healthy skin and hair