My 5 top tips to reducing stress at Christmas.
We’re full swing into the Christmas and New Year holiday season. Christmas and New Year are ahead and it’s very likely you’re going to be surrounded by lots of tempting food and drink: indulgent appetisers, festive cocktails, sweet treats and chocolates galore, and there’s more to come! The abundance of family gatherings and holiday parties, coupled with the stress of the season makes it so easy to derail all the hard work you’ve previously invested in staying healthy. The pounds and inches may be piling on, energy levels depleted, menopause symptoms more frequent and/or severe.
I know it can be hard to fight the culinary pleasures and temptations of the season, but I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to completely deprive yourself to stay on track in the weight department. Below are my top five personal food choices and tips that help me stay on course at this time of year.
1. Plan Ahead
If you know you’re heading off to a party in the evening, eat lots of clean foods and PLENTY of water throughout the day. Eat sensibly by choosing nutrient dense, plant-based proteins, vegetables and essential fats from olive oil, avocados and salmon. Don’t starve yourself throughout the day to fit into that Little Black Dress! 30 minutes before you go out have a healthy snack to avoid getting to the party ravenous and then over-compensate with far more calories than you would have eaten had you kept your body well-nourished throughout the day.
2. Anything and Everything in Moderation
There is no need to deprive yourself! I have some really simple advice when it comes to food choices: take a little of everything, and not too much of anything. Allow yourself have a taste of the all the delicious foods being served and you’ll satisfy your cravings without compromising your waist line. As a general rule of thumb, be mindful of how many “bites” you take when adding to a smaller plate, then walk away.
Great tip: put as much distance as possible between you and the food table!
3. Monitor intake
Following on from the above tip, it’s important to watch how much you’re eating (and drinking!). It can be so easy to overeat and drink when offered passing hors d’ouvres and wine. Then you head to bed stuffed and bloated saying those famous words ‘never again’! Avoid this as much as possible by choosing fruit and vegetable-based appetisers and limit yourself to 2 to 3 pieces if a full dinner is expected to follow. Keep your hand over the top of your wine glass to avoid that unnoticed refill.
4. Establish a routine
Even though your days are busier, it’s really important to keep to your established sleep and fitness routines. Exercise helps to blow off some steam, burn excess calories and aids more restful sleep. Open your diary and schedule in your exercise to fit around your other engagements and stick to the timings. Move your workouts to the morning if your nights are busy. When you have the opportunity for a night in, go to bed when you’re tired and enjoy the sleep!
5. Be kind to yourself
Finally, remember that this time of year is one of celebration with family and friends. A time to spend surrounded by good company and food to match. While being mindful of what you’re eating and drinking is important, it shouldn’t be the only focus of the holiday period. On the (rare) occasion of overindulgence, remember that one or two parties are not going to totally derail your entire year’s worth of good intentions and effort. If you do happen to reach for one too many cocktails or appetisers, wake up the next day and jump right back into your normal routine of exercise and clean eating.
You’ll be back to feeling yourself in no time.
Stress is the greatest contributor to the severity and frequency of menopause hormones. Not being kind to ourselves the greatest destroyer of all our good intentions. Addressing both these is vitally important, and are form part of the nutrition, lifestyle and mindset changes explored in the Natural Menopause Road Map. 7 steps that collectively need to be embraced to achieve maximum results.
This guided video workshop programme would be perfect to start your new year when good intentions are running high! To discover your own personal route to balancing your menopause hormones and creating optimum health through menopause and beyond, click HERE to access your Natural Menopause Road Map.
A full hysterectomy in her 30s led nutritional therapist and health coach Clare on an amazing adventure exploring the many opportunities available to manage her enforced menopause and create long-term health.
Clare prefers the natural approach, and qualifying in nutritional therapy gave her the confidence to come off HRT, take back control of her life and health, and look forward to living the best third of her life free of prescription drugs. Understanding the importance of creating harmony of health of both body and mind through menopause and beyond, she’s now on a mission to inspire, educate and empower other women, too.
Click HERE to find out more about how Clare shares her years of exploring, experience and knowledge through 1:1 consultations and online programmes, and where you can request a FREE 30 minute consultation with Clare to discuss any personal menopause/health concerns you may have.