Be Social and Healthy during the Festive Season

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Can you be Social & Healthy at Christmas?

At this time of the year it seems an uphill battle to a healthy diet when there is so much temptation around. Christmas is a time of pure self-indulgence and most of us justify our actions by celebrating it to the max. After all Christmas comes but once a year, however, healthy eating shouldn’t, it should be a lifestyle change with occasional treats along the way when a special occasion arises.

Many women around the UK put in an extra effort to watch what they eat leading up to Christmas to get into that little black party dress so it seems a great shame to let it all go after the event just because you feel guilty about the binge eating and drinking over the festive season. After all, what are new year’s resolutions for anyway?

Accept that you may slide a little over Christmas and New Year but come 1st January you have the chance to get back on track and start a fresh for the New Year ahead. Don’t beat yourself up about the past and draw a line under it and move on.

During the festive season there will be many occasions from family gatherings to office parties which will divert your attention from “being good” to enjoying yourself. Eating out usually means that we have little control over how the food is prepared or how large the portion is. Also, foods eaten out tend to be higher in fat and research has shown that those who eat out regularly generally have higher intakes of fat, salt and calories.

Unfortunately, eating with friends can tempt us to overeat and drink. Meals with multiple courses eaten over longer periods and with alcohol are all associated with overindulgence. Endless canapé trays at the office party are also laden with foods containing high saturated fat.

As you have no point of nutritional reference with foods bought from cafes and restaurants there is no way of knowing exactly what is contained in that food and  opting for the healthiest option might not always be obvious, or easy. However, with some knowledge and thought, eating out can be enjoyable and healthy!

The Eight Steps to eating out healthily

  1. If you are going out to a drinks or cocktail party, eat something substantial and healthy before you go, this will reduce the chance of gorging on canapés or finger food at the party.
  2. Always ask the waitress if you do not know what is in the food being served. If they don’t know the chef certainly will.
  3. Don’t be polite when it comes to pudding. Opt for a hot mint tea to be sociable but not calorific. Or if on the menu a small fruit sorbet or fruit dish. Avoid dairy based desserts that contain fat.
  4. Think about sharing a course with a companion if the portions look large.
  5. Don’t be afraid to be high maintenance. Losing weight is high maintenance and by asking your waitress to hold the mayonnaise or put the dressing on the side is perfectly acceptable and an easy way to remove these fat laden additions from your healthy salad.
  6. Opt for dishes which are grilled, baked, steamed, poached or cooked in own juice rather than fried.
  7. Order sides of vegetables or green salad to fill up on rather than chips.
  8. If you are drinking alcohol, try opting for spritzers instead or alternating between sparkling water and wine. It will reduce your calorie intake, as let’s face it alcohol is “liquid sugar”. It will also reduce the effects of the hangover the next morning.

So there you have it, a quick eight step guide to surviving a healthy social season. In the meantime, have a wonderful festive season from all of us at the Life Practice and Life Practice Nutrition

If you think you would benefit from a Life Coaching or Nutritional Medicine consultation contact us on 01462 431112 for your free 20 minute consultation.

Sunday Night Syndrome

It is Sunday night and you should be relaxing, but instead of enjoying a warm cosy Sunday evening with the family your mind is somewhere else. Somewhere it shouldn’t be, you are thinking and worrying about work tomorrow.

 Even though you understand how important balance is in your life, do you find yourself worrying about that Monday morning client as you tuck into Sunday lunch with your family.  If so, you may be joining the millions who find themselves suffering with The Secret Sunday Night Syndrome.

For as long as I can remember Sunday evenings have always seemed dull and an evening of preparation for the looming Monday mornings. As a child, a bath and an early night is something we can all recall. “It’s Sunday night you have school in the morning, you need an early night”. Does that sound familiar? So, from as long ago as our school days we have been programming ourselves that Sunday is the day before tomorrow, the day before school, or in adult life the day before going back to work.

What is Sunday Night Syndrome?

A neurological pathway is created through habit and repetition. If we do or think something enough times, direct associations are made and a connection is formed. Therefore many of us will have formed firm views about Sundays from early childhood and still connect them in the same way to Monday mornings; the first day of school or the first day of work.

With things getting tougher in the workplace a leading psychiatrist was recently quoted as saying he was seeing three times as many workers with work related stress and depression than he was a year before.

Sunday Night Syndrome is a name I have given to a common set of feelings normally associated with the outset of stress or worry before returning to work on a Monday morning. Similar to the famous Monday morning blues but more unique as it seems quite natural to feel a little low on a Monday morning.

Symptoms

Symptoms are very common, and include agitation, insomnia, anxiety, and a feeling of unexplained nervousness or worry.

Some people can begin to feel low, and can lack motivation and energy on a Sunday, with thoughts constantly focused on work, or work related worries and problems.

Top NLP Solutions to help you beat Sunday Night Syndrome

  • It is common to believe the job has changed when in fact the people directly around you such as your boss, clients or a member of staff are the ones that may have changed. Once you realise this the problem immediately appears to reduce in size, as a relationship is far easier to put right than the whole business.
  • Measure your success by what you learn at work rather than what you achieve. Unconsciously this puts you as the benefactor of being at work rather than the company.
  • Stress affects our levels of confidence and self-esteem. A way of combating this is to ensure you have appropriate goals and strategies in place to further your own personal development and knowledge
  • Mentally start your weekends early. Think of Thursday night as the beginning of the weekend and ensure you go out or do something different.
  • Don’t lose sight of the fact that Sunday Night Syndrome is simply a slow build up of stress, so ensure you implement a stress program with regular exercise and a balanced diet.
  • Stress is a feeling of being out of control or overwhelmed. Once you have a strategy to overcome your feelings of stress you are halfway there. Having a strategy and plan gives you back control and puts you in charge.
  • Try a great strategy that I have used in the past which is known as “The Red Book Plan”. As part of your strategy write down what your ideas are and who you need to contact and what you need to do to bring your business alive. Make progress entries everyday. Record conversations and plans. Remember you can’t achieve everything all at once, as long as you are making progress this will give you momentum and ultimately help you succeed.
  • Do not be afraid to employ your own coach or mentor to help you with your own stress and challenges.

Summary

Never lose sight of the fact that Sunday Night Syndrome is simply a slow build up of stress and worry. Recognise the symptoms and implement the plan.

Remember symptoms of stress and anxiety are directly linked to feeling overwhelmed and out of control. Once you have a plan and strategy you are automatically taking back control and working within parameters appropriate for you.

Never forget at the end of the day, you can only do your best, focus on the important things in life and ensure you have some fun along the way.