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How to beat the Festive Indulgence

Chloe Bowler shares her tips on avoiding the seasonal bloat

As we enter the festive period, we find ourselves inundated with social gatherings, party invitations, meals out and too many drinks. Navigating the social season without the seasonal bloat might seem impossible, but it doesn’t have to be.

First of all, it is crucial to remember to enjoy yourself. Humans are social creatures, so enjoy going out more, indulging more in delicious foods and maybe a little more alcohol than you usually might. It is all about balance, so without it becoming a task, try to make balanced choices throughout the week. If you know you are out on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, try to eat healthily and get some exercise done before then. Choose meals you know you won’t eat at the weekend, so if you are going to be eating pizza and curry at the weekend, try to get some nutritious omegas from salmon or eggs with plenty of leafy green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli. This way, indulging in less healthy meals for the other three days you are out is absolutely fine. When you get to Sunday, try to blow the cobwebs away with a walk outside in the fresh air. This way, you are banking more exercise and benefiting from the outdoors, which significantly helps your mental wellbeing.

People often have an ‘all or nothing’ approach to diet and fitness, which can often lead to a feeling of failure and a yo-yo approach which can greatly harm your diet in the long run. Having a few unhealthier evenings out doesn’t have to be the end of the world. It just means that if you can pack your plate full of brightly coloured foods such as red peppers and courgettes, you will gain plenty of healthy antioxidants. Eat plenty of good protein such as chicken, turkey, salmon and tuna (or chickpeas, beans and cheese if you prefer vegetables) and healthy fats such as eggs and nuts. If this is your diet the majority of the time, there is nothing wrong with having some foods that aren’t packed full of good nutrition.

Rest is extremely important when it comes to physical and mental health, and it can also be a huge influence on what decisions you make. If you are very tired, it is too easy to reach for sugary snacks that will only make you feel more tired in the long run. So when you can, try to rest and get good quality sleep. Keep well hydrated by drinking plenty of water so your body can function efficiently. These are simple but effective ways to feel energised and well.

Try not to set yourself up to fail by setting goals you won’t achieve, such as going to the gym four times a week. Instead, set a goal of doing a home workout and walking to work twice a week, and you are far more likely to achieve those goals and feel positive about living a healthy, balanced life. Laughing, dancing and having fun are also great for the abdominal muscles and for your mental wellbeing!


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