Ahhh December. The month that binge drinking and 2am kebabs move beyond being socially acceptable and into the realms of ‘heavily encouraged’. The sad fact is though (and I promise this isn’t just the jealous pregnancy hormones talking) that such behaviour reallllllly isn’t good for you over a prolonged period of time. So… how to ensure you can have a good time AND stay healthy this party season? Well, I’m glad you asked…
Drink more water. Then, drink more water
Your alcohol intake is probably going up, right? And the temperature is going up at the same time. Keep a water bottle with you at all times (I’m a big fan of these ones from Lululemon), and make sure you’re alternating one alcoholic beverage for a glass of water when you’re Christmas party-ing up a storm.
Stock your house with healthy, simple foods
If you don’t have a fridge full of easy-to-prepare healthy foods, you’ll probably find yourself reaching for the Uber Eats app far more than is ideal. Think veggies and fruit of all colours, simple snacks like yoghurt and nuts, and pantry staples like tinned tuna, canned beans and those 90-second packets of rice (sidenote: I don’t think I’ve cooked rice in a saucepan for about three years). If you’re afraid of wastage, check out some of the meal-delivery services in your area… Marley Spoon is a fave of mine.
Consciously modify your training routing
If you know that you’re not going to make it to your usual two Pilates classes, two 10km runs and two 60-minute gym sessions then ditch the guilt and get them out of your diary! Instead, plan out an achievable program that you’re excited to stick to. It might be the perfect time of year to ditch those long gym sessions and try out some 20-minute HIIT sessions instead!
Eat (well) BEFORE you party
Hands up if you get socially excited at Christmas parties and find yourself either a) entirely bypassing food for alcohol or b) shovelling party pies into your mouth like you’ll never have the opportunity to eat another in your entire life… oh, don’t be embarrassed, we’ve all been there. Whip yourself up a quick meal before you leave the house and give yourself the nutrients you need, while lining your stomach against all the alcohol you’re about to consume. It’s what we in the business call a win-win.
If you reallllly want to stay healthy this party season, it’s time to take things up a notch. Combat those extra cocktail-related calories with as much incidental exercise as possible. Walk to work, walk to the beach, walk to your Christmas party (bonus points and killer calves if you do it in heels), walk with friends… it’s such a beautiful time of year, why not get out, do yourself some good and burn some energy while you’re at it (just don’t forget the sunscreen).
Prepare an anti-hangover kit for future-you
It’s 2am. You’ve been dancing the night away with your best pals, skipping dinner, throwing back negronis (oh how I miss negronis) and just generally living your best life. But it’s time to go home. You COULD get a kebab and a bottle of coke on your way (eew) ORRRRR you could give yourself a pat on the back as you head home to that Hydralite on your bedside table, and that delicious (but healthy) bowl of complex carbs, protein and veggies that you prepared earlier (have I lost you there? What about a toasted sandwich on grainy bread then?). Have a shower, jump into bed and treat yourself to a sleep in… you deserve it.
What’s your fave way to stay healthy when everyone and everything is just B E G G I N G you to head out and party hard? Hit me up in the comments below.