Not coping? Hang in there, only 24 more sleeps till Christmas!
It's end-of-the-year crunch time, energy levels are flagging and everyone is scrambling to get those final projects done before the holidays. Add to that office parties, dozens of year-end meetings, school concerts, dinner parties with friends that you simply can't postpone again, a long Christmas shopping list and preparations for the family coming over, and you are ready to self-implode. No wonder they call it the silly season!
And, we haven't even started to talk about food. Stressful times such as these cause havoc to most people's diets and any good intentions that they may have had, fly out of the window. Some people overeat during times of stress, whereas others simply don't have time to eat (or, even worse, forget to eat - hard to believe but true) and then stuff themselves with high-fat, high-sugar convenience foods later in the day to get over those angry hunger pangs.
However, we all know that healthy eating is especially important during stressful times, as it boosts our immune systems and supercharges our bodies with the extra energy that we so desperately need. Also, you don't want to fall ill the moment your body switches off for the festive season. So, make a point to fill up on some healthy fare. Try out our list of eight healthy snacks for people on the go. They're easy to prepare and really yummy!
We also have some great tips for surviving all those office and Xmas parties without sabotaging your diet completely. Remember moderation is key and try to stand as far as possible from the snack table while socialising - in that way all those tempting pastries won't "accidently" make it into your mouth.
Thinking ahead to Christmas and those extra kilos that are waiting to gather on your hips, don't despair. It is possible to enjoy your favourite festive dishes without the guilt. The secret lies in the preparation of the food. So, plan ahead by checking which of the fatty ingredients you can replace with healthier options. The end result will taste just as good and nobody will feel deprived - in fact, they won't even know!
Finally, if you need some help to stay motivated, check out the inspiring diet blogs of our Health24 users. Some of them are at the beginning of their weight loss journey whereas others have already made some impressive progress. OneThirdOff is sticking to her diet, despite her ups and downs, and posting some nice menus and meal plans. All-Rounder is a man who, having allowed himself to get unfit and overweight, has decided to lose the extra kilos, get fit and start participating again. Sanet has just commenced her weight loss journey and as she knows she's an emotional eater, she's starting with her mindset. And SeeSaw, as her blog name implies, has good intentions but temptation can curveball her every now and again.
Good luck with the end-of-year madness and staying fit and healthy; and have a wonderful and blessed Christmas!
Until next year.
(Birgit Ottermann, Health24, Nutrition Newsletter, November 2010)