As the holiday season approaches, the excitement of festive gatherings and delicious meals may be tinged with anxiety for many fit and active women trying to manage menopause symptoms and weight loss.
While it's tempting to throw caution to the wind and adopt the "F**k it" attitude, pledging to start a new diet in the new year, this approach can be detrimental to your fitness and weight loss goals. It is essential to approach this season with a proactive mindset rather than succumb to this all-too-common mentality. In this blog post, we'll explore practical strategies to help you navigate the holiday season without compromising your health & fitness goals and gaining unwanted kilos.
Don’t Fall into the F**k It Trap
One common pitfall during the holidays is the tendency to indulge excessively with the intention of starting afresh in the new year. New year’s resolutions to get fit and lose weight are all well-meant, but when you decide to say “F**k it” and let loose over the festive period you can easily gain an extra 2-3 kilos by New Year. By the 1st of January your weight loss goals are even further away, and despite all your good intentions, you begin the new year feeling dispirited and regretful. Instead of giving in to the temptation to indulge excessively, focus on making mindful choices, savour special treats in moderation, stay active and start the new year feeling positive and motivated.
Navigate Christmas Parties with a Plan
Navigating the enticing spread of buffets and sweets tables at Christmas parties can be a true test of willpower.
1. Eat a balanced meal before attending a party to curb your appetite.
2. Assess the foods on offer and make the best choices you can. Prioritise portion control and focus on enjoying smaller quantities of indulgent dishes. Additionally, consider contributing a healthy dish to the party to ensure there's an option that aligns with your dietary preferences.
3. To maintain control and avoid unnecessary calorie intake, adopt mindful eating habits. Resist the urge to nibble; instead, grab a plate and select your choices intentionally. Putting food on a plate not only prevents mindless grazing but also provides a visual cue of portion sizes. Survey the offerings before loading your plate, prioritise nutrient-dense options, eat slowly and enjoy the flavours mindfully.
4. Don’t eat standing up. By sitting down to eat you avoid mindless grazing & snacking at treat-laden tables and curb the temptation to overindulge.
5. Practice the Three-Bite Rule for Desserts. Sweets tables can be heaven for those with a sweet tooth, but it's essential to enjoy these treats in moderation. A helpful strategy is to follow the three-bite rule for desserts. Take three small, deliberate bites to savour the flavours without overindulging. This allows you to enjoy the festive treats without feeling deprived while keeping your overall calorie intake in check.
Alcohol is a common feature of holiday celebrations, and for women in peri/menopause it is essential to approach it with caution. While enjoying a glass of bubbly or a festive cocktail is perfectly acceptable, excessive alcohol consumption can contribute to weight gain and disrupt your sleep patterns, not to mention trigger uncomfortable hot flashes mid-conversation! Opt for lower calorie options like a glass of champagne, a light beer or spirits with low-calorie mixers such as soda water & fresh lemon. Alternate alcoholic beverages with water to stay hydrated and reduce overall calorie intake. Setting a limit on the number of drinks you'll have at an event can also help you maintain control without feeling deprived.
Embrace the festive season's beautiful warm weather and summer holiday vibe by taking your workouts outdoors. Make fitness a fun part of your celebrations. Incorporate family and friends into your active routines, turning workouts into social events. Take advantage of the longer daylight hours for early morning or evening workouts. Whether it's a brisk morning walk, a swim in the sea, a family bike ride, backyard cricket or a sunset yoga session, make the most of the season's energy by keeping your body moving. Staying active enhances both your physical & mental well-being and can add to the enjoyment of the summer festivities.
Communicate with Friends and Family
Letting your friends and family know about your health and fitness goals can provide support that encourages your efforts, rather than leading you to stray from your course. Share your commitment to a healthy lifestyle and explain how their support can positively impact your journey. Making those close to you aware of your goals gives them the opportunity to show their support when planning social events, and by offering food and drink options that align with your objectives. Having a network of encouragement can make a significant difference in staying on track during the festive season.
The holiday season can be a joyous time filled with celebration that doesn't have to derail your health and fitness journey. By rejecting the "f**k it" mentality, making informed choices about alcohol and food, planning for social events and staying active, you can navigate the holidays without compromising your weight loss goals. Communicate your goals with friends and family and enlist their support to help you stay on track. Remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a year-round commitment, and the holiday season is an opportunity to showcase your resilience and dedication to your well-being.
Happy Holidays x