Why Does This Matter?
In this modern culture of making it from one Christmas holiday to the next, crazy career demands, and feeling we deserve a break, it is easy to see why most of us overindulge in many things over the festive season. But our habits during this time are kind of critical! They have a large impact on how much recovery is necessary or possible during the rest of the year, and can be a real reason that we get sick with horrible diseases, like skin cancer! With this in mind I’ve put together a few tips of how to enjoy yourself along with family and friends this festive season that avoids taking things too far. I’d like to be clear that very few of the below tips should be seen as good advice, but I’m constantly asked for a judgement call between the lesser of two evils by clients. So here are some of my key highlights:
Beware The Eggnog!
Now by Eggnog, I mean alcohol. The reason I make such a big fuss regarding the over indulgence in alcohol is because alcohol has a lot of effects on people that drive behaviour outside of drinking more. Some examples are that alcohol is an appetite stimulant driving us towards eating more food. Alcohol also messes with your fat and sugar metabolism particularly making you crave fatty and sugary food. For those of us that smoke, alcohol tends to increase the number of cigarettes that people smoke in a day and finally if you overindulge in alcohol let’s say on a Saturday, there is very little chance that you’ll be exercising that day or the next. So let’s be clear: It’s the one area that you should strive to be careful with over the festive season and make good choices more often than not.
Eat Your Bodyweight In Gammon!
Now obviously I don’t mean this literally, my point here is that when choosing a food group to over indulge in, the wisest ‘lesser of two evils’ is to choose protein, particularly meat. There are many reasons for this: firstly, meat is very filling so despite your best efforts, you probably won’t get very far into this challenge… second, most of us generally under eat protein in our diet. This has far-reaching ramifications in your health so the occasional overdose of protein is welcomed by most people’s physiology. Thirdly, gram for gram, meat doesn’t have a lot of calories in it! This often surprises people but the truth is that meat is mostly made of water.
Kill Two Birds!…Figuratively Of Coarse
I know that we all enjoy and deserve a good sleep in here and there, but consider how rarely it is that you actually have time to achieve catching up with old friends, exercise, reading that book you’ve wanted to start for ages or learning a new musical instrument… in other words what I’m saying is try to kill two birds with one stone as regularly as you can, and try to make one of those birds exercise! An example of the top of my head would be don’t just meet old friends for a few drinks and catch up, instead do something silly like play paintball with them first then have a few drinks afterwards. By ensuring that you’re exercising regularly whilst socialising and having a relaxing holiday, you will get to the end of the festive season in far better shape than was otherwise likely. That is to say fit!
Put Sunscreen On At Home
Most people reading this are South African. That means unlike most of the world who Christmas time as a time to wear warm winter coats, gloves and a beanie… we generally head to the beach! Now accepting that alcohol intake, even in moderation, is a parts of the festive season and for most, and that alcohol makes people forgetful…you will regularly see strangers walking around who are roughly the colour of a boiled lobster! This might be socially funny, but skin cancer for those of us who have had it, is no joke and potentially fatal! So get into a morning routine of brushing your teeth, getting dressed into your board shorts and costume, and putting sunscreen on at home before you leave the house.
I wish you a wonderful festive season and a happy 2019!