Silly Season is well and truly upon us!
Remember back to when you were a kid? Holidays were a magical, stress free and indulgent time of year. You didn’t think about calories or what you looked like. Enjoying a fun day of food, family and memories. THAT’S what we want Christmas to feel like again. No pressures, just time to enjoy the present (or presents…see what I did there!)
As an adult, I’ve personally experienced Christmases and holiday events where all I did was think about food. Granted, it’s hard not to get excited about holiday food but there remains a difference between looking forward to enjoying some of Grandmother’s special holiday biscuits, and obsessing about how many you’re going to have, or even how many you’re going to ‘allow’ yourself to have.
Around the world, the period between late November and the month of December is filled with parties, socialising, drinking more than usual, eating out more than usual and just generally enjoying oneself more than usual.
Silly Season can become particularly chaotic and even distressing to some. Almost everything you’re involved in during the year now seems to have a Christmas party: Work, Gym, your Partner’s work, your friend group, your Partner’s friend group, Mothers Groups, your kids’ schools, your hairdresser, your running club and the list goes on....
How on earth do you successfully navigate all this socialising and still maintain a reasonably healthy diet while sticking to your fitness regime without pissing off anyone in the process – including yourself!
Probably the simplest, but it has to be said: Just Say “No”
You do NOT have to attend a million and one events. It’s okay to say no. And it is better to decline the offer in the first instance than agree and bail out at the last minute. If you really don’t want to go, just say no. Your invitees will understand. And if they don’t, maybe it’s one less invite you’ll have to worry about the next year…
IF, however, you feel like you need to say no to protect your fitness then try some of the other tips below before denying yourself a chance to catch up with friends!
Worried about your fitness? Don’t be. You have enough worries in this world. Simply find a solution and stick with it:
Struggling to fit in your workouts?
- Find ways to stay as committed to your fitness regime as possible and plan in advance. Know you have several parties in the evening next week? Wake up that little bit earlier and fit something in during the AM. Or try a lunchtime workout. A sucker for sleeping in? Ring in a buddy or fellow colleague. I’m sure they’re feeling just the same as you. You could even start a pre-work or lunch hour running or fitness club during December/January to help keep everyone on track.
- Catch up with friends over a walk and finish it off with a coffee. No reason you need to sit down to gossip! Plus, it’s a fantastic way to work on one’s tan and get some fresh air
Can’t find time to get to the gym or not a member of one?
- Do a bodyweight workout! Search the CrossFit Main Site for 'gymnastics' WODs
Struggling to stay motivated and life getting in the way?
- Put some money aside and invest in yourself by hiring a coach as a personal trainer. Since Silly Season is generally a costly time of year, rope in your partner or some friends to bring the cost down.
- Get active with the kids. Limit time indoors for the kids and make sure you stick with it too. The extra daylight provides the perfect backdrop for park adventures, family bike rides, picnics and BBQs at the local river or beach. Not only do such activities mean you’re up and about, but you increase your quality time with the family and it’s a great way to save money too. Did I mention you can do this on a school night? No reason you should keep such adventures to the weekend, especially once the kids’ sport wraps up for the year!
Pre Party Feasting
Whether you’re hosting or attending events during Silly Season, the additional food we tend to consume at such events does add up over time. If you’ve been committed to your diet throughout the year, the last thing you want to do is abandon your progress completely at the end of the year. It’s a balancing act between maintaining the progress you’ve made and not letting it dictate your enjoyment of this time of year. Below are some tips that can help you….
Attending an Event?
- Know where you’re going? Like the food that’s going to be served? Great! Enjoy it. No reason you need to abstain from enjoying food you would normally go out and enjoy as a treat. On the other hand, if you know you won’t enjoy the food and will be eating just for hungers sake, try to consume a meal or decent snack beforehand. There are no rules stating you have to eat at a function – especially if it’s nibbles
- If you’re attending a sit down dinner and don’t want to splurge too much with your diet, then follow the three general principles below to eating out:
- Choose protein dense meals
- Limit your sauces. Creamy sauces, satays, pestos and butters are the most calorie dense.
- Order an entrée size and a vegetable side. Not only will you get an extra serve of veggies in for the day, but getting TWO dishes feels a lot more indulgent. Plus, you can be a lot less restrictive ordering an entrée as the portion will automatically reduce your calorie consumption.
- If you’re attending a friend’s house for dinner, why not volunteer to bring a dish? You can make sure it’s something you feel comfortable eating (and no, green salads don’t count!) and you’d be doing your friend a favour! Bonus points!
- Feel like dessert? If you have a sweet tooth like me, and something on the menu is calling your name, order it. A couple of ways you can avoid overdoing it include:
- Sharing your dessert (look…not my favourite option to be honest, but an option nonetheless)
- Ordering an entrée rather than a main, so you have more room for dessert (although, let’s be frank, there’s always room for dessert)
- Do as Kanye does and YOLO. Eat the dessert. Savour it. Just don’t have it every night for the next 4 weeks. I promise you'll be fine!
Hosting an Event?
- While we know picky eaters can be a pain, it does pay to provide a variety of vegetable dishes. Not only does this cater to vegetarians but reduces your likelihood of going overboard and besides, people never get enough veggies. Be THAT person.
- Follow the 1-to-2 rule: For every protein based dish you serve, aim to provide two sides of vegetables.
- Ask people to bring their own sides. Not only does this make less work for you, but it means that your invitees have more autonomy over what they eat.
- Lastly, don’t take offence if someone chooses to restrict their portions or food choices. At the end of the day, this is their decision and you shouldn’t let it put a dampener on your own enjoyment of the season. If the thought of someone watching their diet (reasonably, not obsessively) during silly season does annoy you, it is most likely because you want to do the same but aren’t. Rather than getting annoyed, ask them if they can help you stay on track too.
As with any of these tips, you need to put them into place and find out by trial and error what works best for YOU.