The time has arrived, the holidays are upon us and the Christmas parties have started. I am all for a good time, good food and some indulgence - but with balance. So this Christmas season, indulge a little, but move and exercise a little (or a lot) too, Use these five tips to navigate the festivities and come out still feeling tip top in January!
5. Show up to Christmas parties with some food in your belly - don’t be ravenously hungry when you arrive, which might lead you to stuff your face. If you’re feeling hungry, make a protein smoothie before heading out. to help you feel at least temporarily satisfied.
4. Hydrate while you dehydrate, eg. drink water between drinks! At the end of the night, add electrolytes to your water - Ultima Replenisher from MEC is a good one. You’ll thank me in the morning.
3. If attending a buffet or finger food-style party, where possible, make a meal on a plate, rather than just picking here and there. When you pick at a buffet, or finger foods, you don’t always know how much you have eaten. Follow the Ideal Dinner Plate rule: your plate should contain 1/4 protein, 1/4 smart carbohydrates, 1/2 vegetables. If there are no plates available, eat slowly until you are 80% full.
2. Keep moving! Walk after dinner, get a 15 minute high intensity interval workout in from home before your next party. All movement counts. If you have to choose between diet and exercise, choose exercise! Exercise is a keystone habit, which has positive ripple effects in other areas of our lives. Chances are, if you exercise, you might be likely to make smarter food choices. And if you don’t, at least getting back to your exercise routine in January will feel less challenging.
1. Last, but certainly not least, please ditch the ALL OR NOTHING attitude - it made lead to a severe case of the “Fuck-its”. For example, if you ate waffles with whip cream and nutella for breakfast, then binged on caramel popcorn and sugar cookies in the afternoon, and you are tempted by the Doritos chip appetizers at your Aunt’s Christmas Eve party, you might think “Fuck it, I already ate like shit today, I might as well keep going. Go big or go home,” you think to yourself. Instead of saying “fuck it”, let go of food choices that make you feel guilty and move forward with smarter food choices. It all counts - aim for balance and moderation, and lose the all or nothing attitude.
Nikki Johnston Beaudoin is an outdoorsy Mountain Mermaid, and the Owner and Operator of Sea to Sky Paddle Fit, based on Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver.