THE CHRISTMAS SURVIVAL GUIDE – MY TOP TIP SECRETS REVEALED
It has been a big year for so many people and everyone deserves to relax and enjoy the holiday season. However, Christmas can be an interesting time of the year for many. For some it represents family, love and the giving of gifts to & from loved ones however for others it can represent loss and a sense of loneliness. No matter where you sit on this scale there is some universal advice to lock yourself into so that not only can you survive the Christmas period you can thrive! Here are my top 5 tips and then some great LTLA Health Hacks that will help you stay on track.
TIP #1 – FIND OUT YOUR ‘WHY’
This is probably the most powerful tip I can give! You’ll need to think about it for a good 10 minutes though however the time spent will be invaluable. Finding your ‘Why’ is one of the greatest things you can do for your health. It will help you make your health a priority over the holiday period. Now this seems the obvious one, however I get it is hard for some. Not everyone can or wants to be like me in that If I don’t think it is healthy for my body, I won’t put it in my mouth! If you struggle to stay on track or lack the will power to put you and your health first, you may want to do our ‘WHY’ exercise.
Understanding your ‘why’ will drive you to make the right decisions for you and your body. Your ‘why’ is the reason, the purpose & the belief that drives you. Knowing your ‘Why’ gives you a filter to make choices. In fact, once you know your ‘Why’, all your choices are made for you. You will feel the load come off your shoulders and from that moment on, the only choices that exist are: Does this serve my ‘Why’ or not?
Everyone’s ‘Why’ is different. For me I choose to eat the foods that nourish my body as I don’t want to end up like my beautiful Mother who died of cancer when I was young. This is powerful for me and helps me make the right decisions daily. For others they want to be able to play with their children or grandchildren down the beach without aching, or not waste a day by feeling ‘hung over’ after a big night out or they don’t want the overpowering hot flushes to come back while they are on holidays after Christmas.
Whatever your ‘Why’, it is different for everyone, however if you have decided to reach a goal weight, certain body composition or heal a health condition, every time you are presented with an opportunity, your ‘Why’ has already made the choices for you. Will eating this extra serve of Christmas cake serve my ‘Why’ or will you be closer or further away from your ‘Why’ once you finish the cake?
TIP #2 – KEEP A ROUTINE
Keep a regular ROUTINE throughout Christmas and the holiday period. It may be that you walk before breakfast or every day you have coffee around the same time. If you are or have been on one of our programs continue taking your Morning Drink at the same time every day. Regular routine will give you some certainly and will keep you feeling in control of the festive season.
TIP #3 KEEP MOVING
Walk and move more. If you are on holidays in the lead up to Christmas start moving more. Set aside half hour a day to either walk around the block, a beach walk with the dog or a quick swim or cycle for half hour. Studies now show that by just doing 2 mins – yes 2 mins! of low to moderate walking every 20 mins see a 24-30% reduction in blood glucose levels after eating. What this means for you is lowered blood glucose means lowered insulin. Insulin is a fat storage hormone so you will manage your weight better, have more energy, and start to reduce any cardiovascular risks…
TIP #4 – ENJOY YOUR FOOD
Its OK to indulge in the things you love during the Christmas period in fact this can be healthy for the soul. A little bit of pudding or some rich sauce lets you feel part of the celebrations by not being too strict on yourself.
The key is to choose your ‘poisons’! If you have been on the LTLA Weight Loss Program or the Gut Repair Program, you will probably know your trigger foods. If you eat too much cheese your weight will spike not to mention your bloating. Gluten may cause your skin to flare up and the MSG preservative that was in the Christmas gravy may interrupt your sleep for a couple of nights.
If you do have to eat trigger foods, then just make sure you pace yourself as you still want good health to go out boxing day or feel energised for a new year’s party.
TIP #5 – PROTEIN WITH EVERY MEAL
Protein with every meal will help you feel full for longer. When you replace some of the carbohydrates (potato’s, pasta, rice, vegetables) on your plate with protein you will start to feel more energised and have better body composition. When you eat protein during a meal, it stops your post-meal blood sugar from spiking which means more energy, focus, mental clarity, and less hunger!
BONUS TIPS – QUICK HEALTH HACKS
If like many you are working long days during the lead up to Christmas make sure you are prepared.
Preparation is key during the festive season when combining work and festivities. Now prep doesn’t have to be extravagant or complicated. If you don’t have time to set aside a few hours on the weekend to plan, grocery shop and prep some meals for the week just do it the night before. Cook extra protein and veggies at dinner time so you can take them to work for lunch the following day.
This will make a world of difference. While you are at your desk trying to finalise everything, you will have healthy foods to snack on. Our Energy drink GO can be very useful to have during the day also. Helps with appetite but also gives you a high natural energy and focus to last you through the day.
Eat Slowly & Mindfully…
With each meal try to become conscious of what it is on your plate. Take the time to smell the aromas, try and taste the different ingredients with each bite and put your cutlery down between each bite to listen to your stomach if it is full or not. .
Chew your food till it turns to liquid. Digestion begins with chewing your food to mechanically break it into smaller pieces that are easier to digest. As you chew, glands in your mouth secrete saliva, coating the food, making it easier to swallow. Saliva also has digestive enzymes (amylase and lipase) which begin the breakdown of food right in your mouth. Chewing also signals the stomach to begin making stomach acid and for the pancreas to begin producing digestive enzymes.
Don’t Drink & Eat…
Don’t drink with meals or drink and eat at the same time. Drinking fluids at meals dilutes your stomach acid which, right there, throws a wrench in your digestion. Focus your water intake between meals, leaving at least a 20-minute window before and after meals
Kill Those Carbs…
7 days before Christmas start taking 2 Carb Reducers before each starchy carbohydrate meal – rice, potatoes, pasta, pudding. You can have 2 before breakfast Lunch and dinner.
If going out to different places for breakfast, lunch and dinner try and pace yourself. Take your Carb Reducers before each meal and pop some Digestive Enzymes in your bag so you can take to help digest the rich food. Make sure you eat your protein first – yes, the opposite to what Mum and Dad used to tell you! This will help fill you up quicker as well as you will have less cravings for sweet tasting foods.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate…
Make sure you continue to drink between 2-3 litres per day. Make sure you have a big drink bottle filled when you walk out the door.
If drinking alcohol the drink of choice is always vodka, mineral water or soda water and lemon or lime. Try and stick to this clean spirit as much as you can.
If drinking wine, have one glass of water in between each wine you drink. You may want to consider purchasing from Dan Murphys or another liquor outlet a product called ‘Purewine Drops. Purewine reduces the harmful preservatives found in most white and red wines. The preservatives most commonly used are generally referred to as sulphites (sulfites) and are usually listed as preservative 220 or 224. When you add Purewine it converts the sulphites into harmless by-products called sulphates, essentially removing most of them from the wine. Less preservatives means better health!
If you are on one of our programs make sure you continue taking the products even if you are not following the food list. This will not only keep your energy levels high it will continue to do the repair work & your metabolism strong while you have a short rest period from your program.