We recently attended four birthday parties and two wedding anniversary celebrations. Oh, and three baby showers for friends’ new grandchildren, plus a few dinner parties. Now, it’s almost the holiday season, but we’ve already overindulged on every level and are feeling, well, stuffed. What with the cakes, the fancy desserts, the rich foods like lobster and the chocolates! Waaaay too many chocolates. Not to mention a glass of wine (or several). How do we manage this celebratory social lifestyle? It’s as if everyone is sending out invitations all at once, and we can’t not accept them!
No matter what time of year it is or what special holidays or events are being celebrated, it’s always a good idea to keep our health and fitness top of mind. It’s often all too easy to go overboard when it’s any kind of special celebration. Sound familiar?
Our personal wellness should never be brushed aside. Yes, we can indulge—just not all of the time! Balance is key.
We’ve come up with three tips to help us all stay on track in the event of overdoing it, whether it’s with the chocolates and sweets during a holiday party or the rich foods and pastries served at a birthday celebration, wedding or other special event.
It’s not that you can’t treat yourself—most festivities are an occasion to break the rules and enjoy! More so, it’s about remembering that there are things we can all do to mitigate the results of too much excess. Let’s get started!
1. Stay Active
Exercise is not only good for keeping our bodies in shape, but it also reduces stress. Holidays can be very stressful and our bodies respond by producing cortisol which is harmful to our overall well-being.
Holidays are also times where meals are more plentiful and much larger than normal, so try to keep active in between them.
Even if you’re a ‘not so active’ person, you could consider going for a couple of long walks during the week. Or perhaps do as we do and dance around the kitchen or living room to some festive music! Or maybe get out your bike (weather permitting) and go for a ride around the block or through the neighbourhood. Staying active between meals does help with digestion, too.
Those of you who are generally more active people should continue your daily routines or maybe ramp them up a notch at your discretion. Basically, staying physically active will help you feel good and aid your digestion despite the indulgences.
2. Watch Your Appetite
You may find it hard to resist all the wonderful delicacies being served at a special event or during the holidays. There’s no reason not to try them all, but in moderation. In other words, keep tabs on your appetite to avoid excess. One way is to consider all the offerings and decide which items you want to try the most. If you can’t choose because you like the looks of everything, then reduce the portion size of each. This is especially important if buffet style meals are on offer. Too much sugar, fried foods or other treats can leave you with a stomach ache—instead, enjoy everything in moderation to keep yourself feeling well and good!
Equally, pay attention to your alcohol consumption. Intersperse some non-alcoholic drinks such as a mocktail or two. Or why not try some non-alcoholic beer or wine during the celebrations? Avoid sugary drinks and opt for sparkling or flat water with a slice of lemon or lime to freshen it up or try a cup of herbal tea. Your gut will thank you.
3. Avoid Feeling Guilty
Guilt is a very destructive emotion, especially when it comes to eating. It just adds more unnecessary stress (there’s that cortisol again) to what should be fun occasions. It’s normal to want to try out all those sweets or sample the little tidbits and appetisers and such like when socialising with family and friends during special events and holiday get-togethers. So do it! Just be sure you’re eating healthy, nutritious meals at home and staying active. Again, balance is key.
Back to Good
If you happen to over-indulge, relax—it’s not the end of the world. No one is immune to wanting to savour the goodies when it’s party time and as long as there’s no guilty feelings afterwards, you’ll be fine. The key is to accept the invitations and celebrate while keeping your general health in mind and returning to your normal healthy lifestyle choices once the event is over. So have that piece of cake—but also take a long walk, drink plenty of water, eat your vegetables and take the stairs. It will all work out!