The holiday season is synonymous with a change in routine. Holidays can involve time off work, being away from home and socialising around-the-clock. Our eating patterns can change drastically during holiday periods too. Holidays are usually great times with fabulous people and huge amounts of ‘treat’ foods, not to mention alcohol.
Inevitably, all holidays come to an end and we go back to our normal routine. The end of the holiday season can bring about all sorts of emotions – from a distinct flat mood after all the excitement to joy at being back at home to exhaustion. Getting back into our normal routines can take time and can be quite a challenge!
Getting back into healthy eating habits is one of the most difficult transitions to make after the holidays. After all, treat foods taste great and are associated with the feel-good factor of being on holiday.
When we eat treat foods, the reward centres of our brain are wired to tell us to eat more of those foods. However, eating tonnes of pavlova, chips, chocolate or similar is a recipe for poor health.
These holidays, we asked our nearest and dearest for their top tips for getting back on track with healthy eating after the silly season. We compiled the top 5 tips that our friends and family swear by!
1. Get Prepared!! This was the number one tip from our friends and family about getting back on track with healthy eating.
Create a menu for your week including what you’ll have for breakfast, lunch and dinner each day, plus snacks (if you’re snack-inclined). Then prepare for your week ahead by spending half a day cooking and baking before you go back to work.
You can make awesome salads ahead of time – such as a brown rice/quinoa salad with loads of nuts and seeds, plus protein such as boiled eggs or tofu. Then all you need to do is add some freshly chopped vege on the day.
We love preparing our work snacks ahead of time by portioning out a small handful of nuts for each day of the working week, or you could prepare a batch of Clean Mixes Bliss Balls and take one to work with you each day.
It’s always good to have some protein prepared in your fridge ahead of time, so why not bake chicken breasts or tofu with lemon/olive oil/thyme and take what you need each day? You can also very easily mix this with salad.
2. Do a huge fruit and veg shop. Fill your home with a wide selection of summer fruit and vege. They say “Tis’ The Season To Be Merry”. We say “Tis’ The Season For The Very Best Fruit and Vege”.
Think green beans, courgette, asparagus, avocado, beetroot……apricots, peaches, berries….the list goes on!!
When you have easy access to fresh fruit and vegetables, you’ll be more likely to choose nourishing, healthy food to satisfy your hunger.
3. Talk to your family or flatmates about your eating goals.
Research has proven that when we share our goals with others, we are more likely to achieve those goals than when we go it alone.
Ideally everyone in your household would be on board with how you want to eat – whether it’s keto, Mediterranean style, vegetarian or simply cutting out the crapola – you need your family and friends to respect your goals and ideally to be on board with them.
4. Check in with yourself to set your intentions
It’s useful to reflect on where you’re at with your dietary habits. Maybe you’re happy with where you are, or maybe you’re wanting to make a change for the better.
Grab a pen and some paper and set yourself some time to think about where you’re at. Some prompts to get your started are:
When I think about my dietary habits:
- These are the things I’m happy with…….
- These are the things I’d like to change……..
- These are the things I’m happy with……
- These are the things I’d like to change…………
What are my goals for the year ahead?
It helps to be VERY specific when goal setting, for example, I’d like to be able to run 5km without stopping by the 1st March.
Once you set a specific goal, you can work backwards to plan milestones along the way. This is one of the tools for living with intention – one of the keys to living the life you want!
What am I most proud of from last year (and should I focus on doing more of this?)
You might be surprised what this exercise throws up and we think it’s a worthwhile exercise to do every couple of months.
5. Ditch the leftovers
Received too many boxes or Scorched Almonds for Christmas? If you still have unopened packets of treat foods, get rid of them! Simply take them down to your local food bank. If there are part bags of treat foods like chips, or anything that you would prefer not to eat, just throw them out.
While it may seem wasteful or ungrateful, we recommend buying less next year to avoid this situation in the future!