5 easy ways that you can be healthier during the holiday season.
Summer is a wonderful season for fresh produce, tasty salads, and amazing berries and tropical fruits. Since holiday festivities seem to fall in the middle of summer, we sometimes can get carried away with indulgent foods and drinks and forget that we also need to be looking after ourselves during this season.
Photo credit: Nadine Primeau
Here are Allied Wellness’s top 5 tips on how to stay healthier this summer.
Always carry a big bottle of water on you wherever you go.
Ensuring you stay hydrated in these warmer months will go a long way to making sure that all of the cells and tissues in your body are functioning optimally. Dehydration can lead to headaches, low energy, moodiness, cramping, and more. Severe dehydration can cause excessive fatigue, vomiting, limited urinary output, and blood pressure problems. If you suspect you have dehydration, please seek medical attention immediately. (1)
Load up on the salads
If you are at a function for a family-do, or work Christmas break-up party, fill your plate up with more salad than simple carbs like pastas, rice, breads, etc. Simple carbs can lead to a quick drop in blood glucose which can have negative impacts on blood glucose regulation, your energy levels, and may even affect the quality of your sleep. (2) Eating plenty of fresh vegetables will provide your body with more complex carbohydrates, which have a lower glycaemic load and subsequently have a much slower release of glucose into the body. (2) Eating foods with a higher glycaemic load (foods that lead to fast spikes in blood sugar) increases risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity or overweight. (2–4)
Enjoy dessert – just less of it!
If you enjoy having something sweet to eat after dinner, then have a smaller portion size of your dessert than you would normally have and eat it alongside a fresh fruit salad. Completely restricting yourself from not enjoying delicious desserts over the holidays can be really difficult for a lot of people. (5) Restriction of food can actually cause people to binge eat instead of moderating what they eat. (5) Eat the cake, just be wise about how much you eat and how often you are eating it.
Photo credit: Brooke Lark
Have a few alcohol-free days.
If you are finding that you are drinking more often than normal because of work functions, or being on holidays, then alternate between the days that you are drinking. Have two days off to every one day you are drinking. Also, be mindful of how much alcohol you are consuming on your ‘on’ days. Drinking to excess can cause lethargy, headaches, dehydration, poor sleep quality, and also makes it difficult for your body to excrete the toxins the following days. Make sure you have a glass of water between each standard drink so that you can stay adequately hydrated too. Don’t forget that we recently wrote a blog on how to make your own electrolyte drink at home. You can read it here.
Photo credit: Tonny Tran
Take it slow…
Making sure we get enough rest each day is incredibly important, yet so many of us don’t seem to prioritise it enough in our lives. People are often praised for overworking, overtraining, juggling a million things at once, and not sleeping enough. Sometimes we just need a break. To do this and make sure you do it, schedule it into your diary. Turn on the ‘Do Not Disturb’ function on your phone so that you stop receiving text messages, emails, and phone calls between certain hours of the day. (6) Don’t worry, people on your favourites list will still be able to contact you in an emergency and if they’re not on your favourites list, then the messages will still be there tomorrow. Seriously though, how many things do you think you can solve at midnight that can’t be solved at 7 or 8 am the next day? The world will still be here, waiting for you. Being well rested will mean that you are more able to tackle those problems the next day and give them your full attention.
Photo credit: Robert Bye
- Health Direct. Dehydration [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2019 Dec 10]. Available from: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/dehydration
- Harvard School of Public Health. Carbohydrates and blood sugar [Internet]. Carbohydrates. 2019 [cited 2019 Dec 10]. Available from: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/carbohydrates-and-blood-sugar/
- Greenwood DC, Threapleton DE, Evans CEL, Cleghorn CL, Nykjaer C, Woodhead C, et al. Glycemic index, glycemic load, carbohydrates, and type 2 diabetes: Systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. Diabetes Care [Internet]. 2013;36(12):4166–71. Available from: https://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/diacare/36/12/4166.full.pdf
- Mathews MJ, Liebenberg L, Mathews EH. How do high glycemic load diets influence coronary heart disease? Nutr Metab (Lond) [Internet]. 2015;12(1):6. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12986-015-0001-x
- Foulds Mathes W, Brownley KA, Mo X, Bulik CM. The Biology of Binge Eating Wendy. Appetite [Internet]. 2009;52(3):545–53. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3624763/pdf/nihms412728.pdf
- Apple. Use Do Not Disturb on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch [Internet]. Support. 2019 [cited 2019 Dec 10]. Available from: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204321
Allied Wellness Pty Ltd
PO Box 962, Berwick Vic 3806
IMPORTANT: The information on this website does not replace a face-to-face relationship with your medical professional or healthcare practitioner. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment as a result of any information provided in this website.