8 Tips for Getting Back to Nutritional Health After the Festive Period
Christmas is a time to relax, unwind and enjoy the festive period with friends, family and good food! You may have taken a step back from your usual health and fitness goals and that’s A-okay. However, come January, you may be looking to refocus and begin working towards your goals once again. If so, we’re here to help you get ahead of the curve!
We’ve rounded up our top tips for getting back to nutritional health after the festive period:
1. Set realistic goals
Often, people are unrealistic with their goals and can end up being disheartened when things don’t go as planned. Going too hard too soon can mean that by the end of January you’ve given up.
Firstly, aim to define your values, then consider the goals you would like to achieve – split these into work, personal and learning. Read more about this process here.
When it comes to dietary goals, don’t feel the need to forbid yourself from your favourite foods, as chances are you won’t stick to it…plus it’s pretty unnecessary. Instead, take a step back and set yourself a smaller number of manageable goals, which are both measurable and achievable. Instead of thinking about what you can give up/remove from your diet, try to think about ways you can enrich it and what you can add in instead. Flipping your mindset in this way can be really helpful for goal setting!
2. Give yourself specific targets
Targets are great to keep you focused on the end goal. They don’t have to be solely related to fat loss – they could be things like running 5km without stopping or walking to work at least 3 days per week. Signing up for a race can also help to stay motivated.
Being able to work towards and reach said targets will keep your spirits up and give you the motivation you need to keep going!
3. Plan ahead
It’s easy to make excuses to avoid eating healthily or going to the gym, especially when your day is influenced by so many factors outside of your control (e.g. family and work commitments).
Often people do not adhere to the same plan consistently enough to reap the benefits and others are too strict all week and then blow out at the weekend. Consistency is key when it comes to getting results. A constant schedule enables you to get into a better routine and turn the actions from chores into habits.
Take matters into your own hands and try to plan your week before it has begun. Being organised will also put your mind at ease and all the challenges you’ve set for yourself will feel far less daunting.
Fresh Fitness Food not only helps you be consistent but will also give you plenty of time back to not only plan your week but also fit in everything you would like to in place of shopping, prepping and cooking all of your meals – winner!
4. Get in your 5 a day
Filling your plate with vibrant veggies will ensure your meal is not only appealing to the eye, but also to your health.
It’s great to think of your diet in terms of macros, i.e. the amounts of protein, carbohydrate and fat you eat, but a great deal of importance should also be placed on making sure each meal is made up of various brightly coloured foods as they will add a huge amount of nutritional value to your meals. A rainbow plate will help you towards reaching your 5-a-day.
Make sure you’re having plenty of vegetables at each meal time – either added to curries, sauces or stews or on the side. Chopped up veggies paired with hummus or homemade guacamole, also make for a tasty snack!
With an increase in festive get-togethers over the holidays, often comes more indulgent (yet often highly processed) food and increased alcohol consumption – all fine in moderation!
Many processed foods tend to be higher in salt, which can not only lead to bloating (through water retention), but it can also lead to dehydration if you don’t consume additional fluid. Further, alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it increases the output of urine, which if not managed, can also contribute towards dehydration.
To counteract the above, aim to drink around 2-3 litres of water each day (more if you’re exercising), avoid sugary drinks and limit caffeine and alcohol consumption where possible. Read more about hydration here.
If water isn’t your thing, make it tasty by adding in mint, cucumber or citrus fruits perhaps. When it comes to cooking, use herbs and spices instead of reaching for the salt shaker for seasoning.
6. Watch our for hidden calories
Coffee when you need a mid-morning pick-me-up and a handful of nuts late afternoon hardly seems like a big deal, but some of your favourite go-to’s can quickly and unknowingly increase your daily calorie intake significantly. For instance, if you had a Starbucks latte, which is approximately 150kcals, followed by some nuts mid-afternoon, you’ve quickly increased your total daily calorie intake by at least 300kcal.
If fat loss is your goal, you must consistently be in a calorie deficit. Snacking in this way will slow your progress if you are consuming more than your estimated calories.
Now we’re not saying you need to remove these things from your diet, but you should consider being more mindful with your choices and alter your main meals to factor in the extra snacks.
7. Stick at it
We all want to see quick changes, especially when we’re putting in stacks of effort and we can often become impatient if noticeable results are not happening in the desired timeframe.
It is important to note there may be weeks where your progress is outstanding and others where it appears to be rather stagnant. Don’t let this get you down and don’t beat yourself up over it. Assess where you’ve gone wrong and work towards finding a solution to avoid it happening again.
Everything will not slip into place overnight. It takes time to turn these changes into habits and so you must be patient.
8. Believe in yourself
Be convinced that you are capable of achieving your goal. In psychology, the belief in one’s own ability is called the ‘self-efficacy expectancy’. If you don’t believe that it will work out from the start, it will be very difficult to realise your resolutions.
If you need an added boost, tell your friends/family some of your goals – this may help you be a little more accountable. You may even align on some of them, so supporting and checking in on each other can be a great way to ensure you are both tracking towards your goals.
To summarise, have a realistic plan in place, set yourself some attainable targets, be patient and don’t be too hard on yourself if you slip up from time to time – we’re all human after all!
If you would like to discuss a bespoke plan, book a call with one of our all-knowing nutritionists to discuss this further. Have all the information you need but just don’t want to cook? Give one of our plans a go with £50 off your first 5-days with code BLOG50 – Start your trial here.