It’s all over and it was great fun. After all the excess sweets, alcohol and food, getting back on track can be tricky. Help is at hand, though, with our five tips to a healthier you in 2015.
1. Be the tortoise….and nourish yourself
In the dead of winter, when it’s cold and dark, heading into a period of food denial is not a helpful strategy. It’s the hare, in the story of the tortoise and hare; speedy but ultimately ineffective. So, be the tortoise and ignore all the calls for juice detoxes and micro portions of salad. Instead, provide your body with the nourishment is needs to recover after the excess of Christmas. Think warming, spicy herbal teas, porridge with ground seeds, bean and lentil-filled soups, and hearty stews. It’s not a time to go hungry, but a time to focus on eating moderate amounts every three hours and choosing only food that will provide protection and nourishment for your body, such as whole grains, fruit and vegetables, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, beans and lentils.
2. Say bye bye
The most useful step you can take after Christmas is to get rid of any leftover temptation from the house. Mince pies, boxes of chocolate, wine, biscuits - donate them to charity or to a community hall, or gift them to friends or family. Sugar and stimulants, such as tea, coffee and alcohol, do not help to nourish your body. In fact, they can contribute to blood sugar highs and lows that ultimately lead to cravings and over-eating. Removing the temptation will save you hours of agonising about whether to have just a little bit (or not) and help you get back on track.
3. Get moving
We all know that exercise is good for us. It keeps our heart healthy; helps to keep our bowels working, making us feel lighter; helps our immune and detoxification systems, and releases ‘feel-good’ endorphins. Wrap up nice and warm, and simply head out your front door for a brisk 30-minute walk. Breathe in the fresh air and get moving. You’ll feel great afterwards and more motivated to stick to your new eating plan.
4. Water, water everywhere
Water is absolutely essential for every function in the body. It’s needed for digestion, nutrient absorption, circulation, detoxification and excretion. To really provide support for your body, aim to drink at least six glasses per day. Try hot water with a slice of lemon, or a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, before breakfast. It’s very refreshing and excellent for your digestive process. Pukka and Yogi brands of tea have some nice spicy, warming varieties of herbal teas, just perfect for winter, which contribute to your water quota per day.
5. Treat yourself
Reward yourself for a job well done at the end of the first week and first month. How about a nice detoxifying back massage or body scrub? Or a luxurious afternoon nap in bed with your book? Or just some quiet time down by the sea? Or treat yourself to Marilyn Glenville’s book; Fat Around the Middle, which provides lots more hints and tips to losing that hard to shift belly fat. Whatever your pleasure, think of something non-food-related to help you stay motivated.