Trying not to overindulge at this time of year can be a challenge. It was once just Christmas Day when you’d be faced with a table of glazed and buttery food, before far too many sugary treats. But now with mid-week events, work parties, lunches with friends and multiple family Christmas parties – it can quickly become too much for our bodies and leave us staring in horror at the scales, naming crazy things like “no more chocolate” in our New Year’s resolutions.
The key is not losing too much routine and staying in control of how much you consume. Alcohol and sugar are big ones, along with fitness - even if it just means committing to a short walk every day.
We asked a few of our experts here at Style to share their tips on surviving the party season. Here our resident good-advice-guru and clinical psychologist, Dr John Barletta, gets the ball rolling with how to minimise alcohol consumption and keeping a handle on stress:
The research about how much alcohol harms or promotes good health continues, and it depends on age, gender, weight, metabolism and wellbeing.
However, it’s probably best to consume no more than a couple of standard drinks at an event, and have a number of alcohol free days each week too.
- Plan your alcohol use; less use means less harm to your health, work and relationships.
- Drinking moderately at functions gives your body and brain a chance to recover.
- Decide how much you are going to drink and stick to your plan. Reliance on drugs and alcohol will leave you drained, tired, dehydrated and feeling down.
- Share your plan with a friend, family member, or colleague who will be at your function.
- Choose carefully with whom you drink; this is the most important aspect of safety and health.
- It’s important you trust the people you are with and where you will be.
- Eat before and while you drink... and stay hydrated... because extra demands are put on your body when you use alcohol.
- Rest between events or functions.
- Set aside time for soothing activities (mindfulness, yoga, a long bath!)
- Take 10 slow, deep breaths when you're feeling overwhelmed, and enjoy an effective way to slow down.
- Reduce negative influences in your life such as toxic people, or bad habits that have developed (e.g. TV, computers, social media, junk food).
- If spending time with certain people leaves you drained, eliminate or limit time with them.
- Take personal days off work to decompress. Rest well on weekends. Wellness weekends at a retreat help to unwind, exercise and eat well.
- Eat fresh natural foods such as vegetables, fruit, lean meat or fish.
- Family meals allow you to connect, communicate, make plans and achieve interaction vital for wellbeing.
- Exercise is excellent for increasing fitness and releasing the feel-good endorphins.
- Practise saying ‘no’ in a firm but pleasant manner, and the 24-hour rule reduces spur of the moment decisions that lead to increased workloads. 24 hours gives you time to consider commitments and whether you can take on any more.
Stay tuned for part two and three of Surviving the Silly Season, with fitness advice from Miss Nutrition aka Rhiannon Harris, and tips to avoid tempting treats from a champion of the sugar-free lifestyle, Lauren Glucina.