A guide to getting back on track after the festive season!
If you’re thinking we’re a little late to the party given we’re posting this sometime between mid-January and the humble beginnings of February, let us confirm it was semi-deliberate. You see, we wanted you to get on the whole “New Year, New Me” flex all by yourself. We didn’t want to be like that nagging girlfriend you’re about three weeks away from breaking up with because, well, she’s a nag. We wanted you to take control of your destiny, do a Tim Henman-style fist-clench, and want to undo all the damage you did to your body over the festive period. But we’ll admit it: that was a foolish move by us.
You might have finally stopped swimming in Christmas-themed cocktails and gravy but, let’s be honest, you’re still kinda treating your life as one big celebration. Which is good in some ways and bad in others - like your health.
So to help you press the reset button in the wake of what was one deliciously gluttonous few weeks, we did the “next step” thing of chatting to a nutritionist and all-round-health-nut about how to undo all the damage you did to your “temple” in December (and probably the start of January). That’s the good news. The bad news is, we probably can’t help you undo the damage caused by that wine-fuelled argument you had with your uncle (unless it’s to help you get that red stain out of the rug, in which case use vinegar and washing detergent).
Create A Schedule (And Then Stick To It)
To a degree, everyone suffers from FOMO, which is why your festive antics shunned all chances of enjoying a routine. Instead, you stayed up late, slept in, dismissed the concept of exercise, added a daily kebab to your diet, and swore by coffee. So, with that in mind, the first thing you need to do is get back into a schedule. It’s what your body is craving. It loves a bit of consistency, and that all starts with waking up at the same time, going to bed at the same time, eating your meals at the same times every day, and sticking to a workout routine. That’s the first step to levelling yourself out after a month of doing what you want, when you want, and how you want.
Small Goals Are Waaay Better Than Big Goals
If you woke up on Jan One and groaned the words, “This year I’m just gonna eat healthy foods and work out a bunch of times,” you’re probs not going to do it. Why not? Because how the heck do you even measure those goals? You’re setting yourself up for failure, dude. The trick is to cut out all the mega-vagueness and grandiose promises, and swap them out for specific goals, sort of like “I’m going to have a salad for lunch three times a week” or “I’m not going to drink any more Coco Cola” or “I’m going to run around Brockwell Park for half an hour, twice a week”. That’s what you need -- you need goals that are so specific you can check them off with a tick, track how you’re getting on and be the kind of awesome you were hoping for.
Drink Loads More
Just to confirm, we’re not suggesting you fight fire with fire by trying to drink 589 lager tops before Valentine’s Day. What we’re suggesting is water. A nice tall glass of iced water. Don’t worry, it’s not forever. But bidding adieu to booze totally for a few days and letting your body rehydrate with a refreshing dollop of the clear stuff is a great way to recover. And that’s not all. It’s also good for your weight and confidence. How? Because you probably gained a little bit more than you bargained for over December and that’s because you were hoovering up empty calories like there was a sale on, most of which were consumed in booze form. So, instead, take a few days off from ye olde boozing and try to drink about 8 or 9 glasses of water, and then revel in the fact you look good and your skin is glowing, which is uber-confidence boosting.
Become A Part-Time Veggie
Kind of like the whole neglecting booze thing, it doesn’t need to be forever. But if you genuinely want to recover from that bloated feeling brought on by a hardcore Christmas, you should start eating way more fruits and vegetables for the next two or three weeks. This is because F&Vs are proper wealthy on the fibre front, and that’s what will help your digestive system start firing on all systems and work more, ummm, efficiently. Oh forget it - you'll poop more, and that’s gonna help with your bloat. The reason for this is kind of simple: your body is an A-Grade student when it comes to breaking down plant-based foods thanks to them being much lower in fat. And, don’t worry, just because you’re abstaining from your favourite cuts of beef doesn’t mean you’re going to be malnourished. There’s plenty of protein in fruit and veg.
Meal Planning Is Mega Groovy
Okay, we’re gonna jump straight into this one -- planning your meals ahead of time is a golden ticket for the New Year, New Me train, and the reasons are, like, three-fold. 1) By preparing your meals better you have more control over what you're eating. 2) The chances of you flipping the bird at your health goals are drastically reduced because you won’t be tempted to eat anything greasy on the fly. And 3) you’ll have way less food waste in your life, which makes you a better human and that’s got to be good for your health. Sure, preparing meals sounds a bit long, but all it really means is making a few extra portions of your dinner and then taking them to work with you for a bit of yummy lunchiness. Easy-peasy.
And with all that said and done, you’re ready to try again with your December recovery hopes and finally start undoing all that nasty stuff you did to your body at the tail end of last year. We know it’s not as fun as drinking cocktails and eating greasy foods from eateries who hide their hygiene certificates, but it will be worth it in the long run.
Thanks for reading. For more ideas on how to embrace the endless summer, be the ultimate man and be a way more awesome human all year round, follow us on Instagram and Facebook, and sign-up for our naughty-little newsletter below! (you’ll get a cheeky 10% off if you do).