Well the weather is finally warming up, days are getting longer and it’s well past time that we ditch the winter layers and shed those extra coats we accumulated while hibernating over the cooler months.
Unfortunately one of the not-so-nice side effects of those cosy winter days, rugged up by the fire, munching on ALL THE COMFORT FOODS is often an extra spare tire or two that settles around your waist.
Even if you don’t go near the scales, the uncomfortable tightness in your clothing and lack of energy in your daily tasks can be a dead giveaway that change is needed.
So now that summer holidays, the festive season and beach days are once again coming into focus, what can you do to ensure you head into December feeling noticeably lighter and healthier?
Here’s a few tactics you can start now that can make a huge difference to how you feel in your Christmas 'wrappings' on 25 December.
My number one, before you do anything else, is to DRINK MORE WATER. Often our water consumption drops considerably over the colder months. Water is replaced with coffee, hot chocolates and red wine which leads to dull and sallow complexions, dehydrated skin cells, extra strain on our kidneys and a negative impact on our overall well-being. Now is the time to re-establish your relationship with H2O and reverse the damage done. A rule of thumb for water consumption is ½ a litre for every 10kgs of body weight. So if you weigh 65kg you will need to drink around 3.5ltrs. YES! That much! Water is the foundation of a healthy, happy, hydrated body. Trust me when I say that if you do ONE thing right now to improve your health, drinking more water is it!
While I understand that the short days and cool weather lend themselves to indoor activity (and not much of it), now that it’s getting lighter and warmer in the mornings, make the most of it and get moving! Here’s tip #2: Lay out some gym gear and your runners before you go to bed, set your alarm 45 minutes earlier than you normally would, roll out of bed, get dressed and before your brain has a chance to catch up, get outside for a walk! The simple act of doing a 30 minute, moderate pace walk first thing every morning before you eat anything will have a HUGE impact on how light you are feeling in 5 weeks’ time. Every morning too much? Fine, do as many as you can each week. Can’t do early morning? Ok, get out after dinner and enjoy the sunset. Or take a walk on your lunch break. Ideally set yourself the challenge between now and 25 December to do a 30 minute walk EVERY DAY, at whatever time you can fit it in. You’ll thank me for it I promise!
As tempting as it might be to jump onto one of the hundreds of lose weight quickly diets that start to surface this time each year….DON’T! We are smarter than that now right? We know that crash dieting, fad diets and quick weight loss creates more damage on your body and your metabolism in the long run. Science has told us again and again, that the safest and most sustainable way to lose the kilos is through employing a consistent, gradual, SMART and sensibly balanced eating plan. One that doesn’t involve restriction or extreme measures but rather incorporates the foods we love and encourages everything in moderation.
So here’s the basics:
Eat a MINIMUM 2 serves of fresh fruit and 5 serves of fresh vegetable per day. Warmer months provide us with a feast of beautiful, seasonal produce that lends itself to light, tasty and healthy meals and snacks. Use Summer produce to fill up on fresh, tasty salads for main meals, fruit packed smoothies and shakes, and quick, convenient snack foods on the go.
Eat enough protein and essential fatty acids every day. Consume quality protein and good fatty acids that will not only keep you satisfied, but they’ll also help repair and maintain muscle mass, improve skin elasticity and texture, promote healthy nails and hair and help keep those sugary cravings at bay.
Practice a little self-control in the lead up to the holiday/festive season. If you know that you’ll be busy socialising over summer and less likely to be mindful of your nutrition, cut back on alcohol, sugar, processed foods and caffeine NOW! It takes a Saint to remain disciplined over the hotter months when parties, socialising, food and drinks are generally a weekly event. So do yourself a BIG favour and cut back while you still can….by the time January rolls around you might even have established some cleaner living habits that you are more determined to stick to in 2019!
My final tip is to make time for you. From now on life seems to start moving faster and faster until you are sprinting towards the end of the year with no time, no energy, no self-control and no balance at all. Over the next month get into the habit of scheduling quality YOU time
that will help you create balance in your crazy, busy life. If you can establish some balance now it will make it far easier to maintain this habit as life starts to speed up. Sign up for 8 weeks of regular yoga. Start a book that you’ve been meaning to read for ages. Book a course of relaxation massages.
Download a meditation App to follow daily. Ask a friend to meet you the same time and place for a long walk to debrief your week. Write your non- negotiable YOU time into your diary or calendar every Sunday for the week ahead and NEVER cancel on yourself.
So there are my top tips for getting the MOST out of the time you have from now until 25 December for your health, fitness and mind. Choose one or two small action items to try over the next 2 weeks and commit to following through. Don’t take on too much at once, an all or nothing mentality will often lead directly to a feeling of failure if you ‘slip up’. Small, bite-sized pieces that are applied consistently and easily into your lifestyle will see you swinging into summer feeling sensational.
Here's to being irresistible!