It is the season to overindulge – mince pies for breakfast, wine before lunch, trifle for dessert, tables bursting at the seams with juicy turkey, gammon and an array of vegetables, gravies and festive treats.
You’re bound to overdo it (all of us are!), but fear not with these easy steps to help you bounce back from high-caloric meals, a few too many drinks and smelly nibbles.
1. Don’t cry over spilt milk
Repeat after me, “New dawn, new day”. There is no point beating yourself up over how many Quality Streets you mowed down or lamenting downing the holiday’s entire champagne allowance in one brunch. That was then! Start the New Year fresh, with a new vision of a more balanced daily routine.
2. Start your morning with movement
According to Albers, exercise helps activate that lovely feel-good chemical serotonin, which not only regulates your mood but also makes you feel happier – and as a result, helps you to make healthier choices. Why not go for an early evening walk? Get some fresh air, get those lovely legs moving and let your body know that it needs to burn, burn, burn those extra calories!
3. Keep your regular routine
Now nobody is suggesting you have to rise at the crack of dawn for no reason. However, experts agree that routines can be both calming and important when trying to get back on track after overindulgence. Dr Joe Ojile, Medical Director and CEO of the Clayton Sleep Institute, emphasises “structure is key.” If you snap back into your regular structure and routine, your body will take care of itself. If your normal routine involved a morning workout, then wake up and hit the gym again, baby!
4. Bring on a healthy breakfast
Kick-start your day with a light, healthy breakfast – throw in some greens, freshly squeezed juice and protein to equip your body with solid goodness to carry you through the day.
5. Let there be light!
By getting bright light early in the morning, your body realises that it is the end of a sleeping pattern and that it’s time for the body to wake up. Open those curtains, sit outside and have your morning tea and soak up the good stuff. Bright light re-centres the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) – the part of your brain that controls your internal body clock. Ojile suggests sitting outside to read the paper, going for a walk or light run, or even waking up with a bright reading light if it’s cloudy outside.
6. Banish the B.O. (body odour)
Not only does overindulgence bloat our bellies, plump our thighs and drain our energy, but many of the most delicious food and drinks we’ve wolfed down over the holidays are also laden with pungent ingredients like garlic. Of course you enjoy bottomless wine and beer, garlic bread fresh out of the oven or warm cheesy, garlic and onion pizza, but bear in mind that these indulgences can leave you smelling a little past the sell-by date.
7. Sip up
The best way to recover from overindulgence is to hydrate. Long days of sun, sangrias and turkey sandwiches can leave you feeling bloated, depleted and lethargic. Try to keep a big water bottle with you during the day – if it’s in sight, trust me, you’ll be sipping! Additionally, Ojile recommends avoiding salty foods. Instead of snacking on pretzels or chips, rather reach for fruit, yoghurt or nuts. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!
8. Get plenty of sleep on Sundays
Don’t cringe – you need to start getting a good, solid night’s rest again so that you don’t feel like a sloth during the week! Avoid alcohol after dinner, as it is known to disturb your REM sleep – and no PVR marathons or Netflix just before bed. According to Ojile, the blue light emitted by these devices “suppresses melatonin, causing you to stay awake longer.” To ensure a good night’s sleep, make sure you start “winding down” before you touch down on your pillow; switch off all electronics, have a nice warm drink and chill, baby!
Here’s to a New Year and a new you!
Source: Neutrapharm. Image: Pixabay