6 tips for getting back to a healthy life after the holidays -

6 tips for getting back to a healthy life after the holidays

The long holiday bounce is over and it’s time to get back down to earth, even if you don’t really feel like it. We tell you how to do it gently and healthily.

1. Start by normalising your diet

Eating healthily is about eating your favourite foods in Harvard-inspired proportions without getting too psychologically fixated on food and overeating. Healthy eating proportions were developed at Harvard Medical School and are broadcast by nutritionists and nutritionists as the basis of good nutrition. In short, half of your diet should consist of fruits and vegetables, a quarter should consist of a variety of protein sources, and another quarter should consist of complex carbohydrates (pasta, buckwheat, oatmeal, bulgur and other grains).

But if it is important to lose weight in a guaranteed and controlled way, maintain a small calorie deficit (up to 10-20% of your norm, which you can calculate on a calculator). But by no means starve yourself or punish yourself for holiday excesses – it’s a dangerous way to end up overeating even more and developing an unhealthy relationship with food.

Don’t completely rule out important food groups, like those same carbohydrates – they’re important to you not only for energy, but also for immune support. Keep an eye out for sources of vitamin D in your diet (cod liver, oily fish, eggs), which is particularly important during the colder seasons of the year in most parts of Russia. A varied diet, rich in vegetables and various protein sources, will not leave you without vitamins.

Give up alcohol, or at least cut it down to 1 drink a day, which is the equivalent of a conventionally safe daily dose corresponding to 1 glass of wine, or 1 serving of spirits, or 1 bottle of beer.

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2. Add light activity

Don’t rush into the gym with 3-4 intense workouts a week. Start slowly and easily. If you are taking a long break from your workout, it is best to leave the first few workouts in between and stop when you reach a fatigue level of about 5 out of 10 on your personal best estimate, where 0 is ‘did not notice anything’ and 10 is ‘can barely crawl out of the gym’.

Making a plan to return to exercise is a great idea. Alternatively, add daily walking into your life. More fresh air, more sunshine, which is already scarce in winter.

3. use healthy stimulants: tea, coffee

In the morning, healthy stimulants like coffee or tea can help boost your performance and mood. Don’t be afraid of coffee: the official safe allowance for adults is about 400 mg of caffeine a day (that’s about 4 to 5 cups of coffee). Contrary to common myths about its harm, science has found it to be quite healthy. For example, coffee contains potassium, calcium, sodium, iron, sulphur, phosphorus, nitrogen, magnesium, chlorine, B vitamins, as well as organic acids – malic, citric and caffeic. The list is similar for tea.

For example, when consumed regularly, coffee (just like tea) does not cause dehydration and can have many positive effects on our health, including a boosting of mood, concentration and memory. It can normalize both high and low blood pressure. It is important to understand that coffee and tea can be addictive – which is fine as long as the daily dosage is not exceeded.

A lot of people say that you should drink a lot of water. Yes, water is as healthy a drink as any other, but the main thing is not to force it into you, because this might strain your kidneys and the body as a whole. Experts recommend that you look at your thirst and the colour of your urine – if it’s light, you’re not dehydrated.

4. Normalise your daily routine: get enough sleep, but don’t sleep too much

Sleep is the number one method of recovery. If you don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis, nothing beats getting a good night’s sleep.

Top tips for getting enough sleep include going for a walk before bedtime, not going to bed hungry or stuffed, not looking at your smartphone, TV or computer screen a couple of hours before bedtime, not drinking caffeinated drinks or other stimulants, ventilating the room and sleeping in the dark. Denis Fedoryaka, psychotherapist and researcher at the Brain Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, recommends adjusting sleep through ritualistic activities, such as making herbal tea an hour before bedtime, meditating, doing muscle relaxation exercises, and playing soft music.

Experts don’t recommend too many hours of sleep either. If you find it difficult to keep your head off the pillow, even after 9-10 hours of sleep, you should talk to your doctor about the cause.

5. Start slowly and take care of yourself in general

Labour experts have calculated that in the first days after a long holiday, an employee’s productivity can be as much as 30% of normal. The important thing here is not to try to develop maximum speed and activity in the first working days by pushing yourself with guilt. The psychotherapist Denis Fedoryaka recommends starting the work week with a workload not exceeding the usual one; you should not overload your employees and yourself with mega-tasks during the first days.

The effect is achieved by loads with a gradual increase. If you overload yourself at the beginning, you risk breaking the healthy natural progression.

Don’t start doing all your New Year’s Eve stuff at once and at full capacity, break it down into smaller subtasks, “you have to eat the elephant in pieces” – so it’ll be easier to complete all your plans and you won’t be disappointed with the lack of results.

6. “Eat the elephant in pieces.

Break up large tasks into smaller ones. Even one small task accomplished can energise you and give you the energy for the next.

The first ‘small task’ can be cleaning the fridge! Throw out all the expired and forgotten products, opened canned goods and long started mayonnaise packs. This will make things easier and give you more room for fresh produce.

It’s a great idea to tidy up your fridge as well as your flat. Remove the Christmas decorations and put the tree away before March. This will put an end to the New Year’s celebrations and get the New Year off to a good start.


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