5 top tips for staying consistent through the festive season

Two Champagne glasses raising a toast in front of the Christmas tree

December is here, and along with it… silly season. A fun time, filled with loved ones, laughter, good food and celebrations. However, it can also be incredibly busy, stressful and leave you feeling depleted or unmotivated to continue with your healthy habits. We caught up with nutritionist, and Free Soul ambassador, Harriet Lidgard to discover her ultimate tips to ensure you’re looking after yourself, enjoying the festivities and feeling good throughout the season.

1. Make yourself a priority
Take time to do something each day for you. Go for something that makes you feel good and re-energises you in this busy time. Not sure where to start? Make a list of all the little things that make you feel good - it could be as simple as 15 minutes of Pilates, grabbing a coffee, a walk with friends or reading a book. Each day simply choose to consciously include these in your days. It’s so easy to get caught up in the busy fun time and neglect the simple little things that we can do to feel good. It’s actually the little things that fill up our cup and give us the energy to keep on top of everything else we’ve got going on!

2. Practice mindful eating
Allow yourself to celebrate the season with good food, including all of the tasty treats this time of year brings. Always remember to eat mindfully and let yourself tune into your hunger and fullness cues. A great way to plate your food more mindfully when eating from a help yourself spread is to think of the healthy plate model. Choose to fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables (e.g. leafy greens, salads, eggplant, beans, broccoli, etc) a quarter with protein (e.g. meat, fish, eggs, tofu, beans, etc.) and the last quarter with complex carbohydrates (e.g. rice, quinoa, potatoes, kumara, whole grain pasta and breads, etc). Finish your plate with a small portion of healthy fats (e.g. avocado, hummus, tahini, nuts, seeds, etc) This way you will ensure you are still eating a well balanced nourishing meal without going over board in one area. Helping to leave you feeling satisfied and reducing cravings and tendencies to over eat. We totally get that during the festivities, it isn’t always possible, so remember…

3. One less healthy choice isn’t going to ruin everything
Arguably the most important tip of all. Having one less healthy meal, treat or even day of eating is NOT going to ruin your progress and overall health. It doesn’t need to affect your next meal, make you feel guilty or lead to you punishing yourself. Enjoy it and move on. It’s the choices you make consistently that will count, not the occasional treats.

4. Any movement is good!
You don’t have to try and fit in a workout everyday in order to be healthy this silly season - so avoid getting into the mindset of burning off the extra celebrations. Instead focus on getting in movement when you can. This can be anything from catching up with friends for a walk, playing games, walking to dinner or coffee, taking the stairs, or trying something new. If you feel motivated to workout then fantastic, go for it, But don’t be hard on yourself if it's not a top priority in this season. Any movement is better than nothing!

5. Try not to use the impending New Year as an excuse to ditch all the good
And finally, with the New Year approaching it’s easy to start thinking about new year's resolutions that you’re planning on starting come January. Avoid getting into a mindset where you ditch all the healthy habits you already have in place, and say you’ll start again in the new year. Why not start the year off already in a great place?

Found these tips useful and would love to know more? Don’t miss Harriet’s upcoming masterclass - Healthy Holidays.

A masterclass for the women ready to feel at ease and empowered around food and eating behaviours this silly season. During the 60 minute masterclass you will learn actionable tips and tools to help take the stress and worry about eating and food choices during the busy holiday period, so you can truly enjoy the celebrations and time off.

Register now! – (Recording will also be made available after live event)

Discover Harriet on Instagram, or drop her an email to discover more…

**At Free Soul, your wellbeing is our priority, and although we pride ourselves on our expertise in women's health and wellbeing, it is important to acknowledge the individuality of each person. Features published by Free Soul are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease, or replace the advice of your GP. We always recommend consulting with a healthcare provider if you encounter any health concerns, and we’ll always be here to support you so you’re never alone on your journey.