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5 easy ways to beat the post-Christmas energy slump

Stuck in a post-holiday slump? You’re not alone.

“Many of us spend the festive period making memories, wrapping and unwrapping gifts, enjoying a wide array of delicious foods and clinking glasses with our loved ones,” says nutritionist Jenna Hope.

“It’s these activities that really add to our enjoyment at this time of year.

“However, it’s also not uncommon to feel a little more sluggish and fatigued after the festive season!”

While embarking on a strict diet and exercise regime may feel like the answer, the key is to start by being kind to yourself.

“Try to accept that these are feelings are a consequence of what a lovely festive period you’ve had,” says Jenna.

“Despite feeling as though you need to take drastic action, try to remember that crash diets are unsustainable and unhealthy in the long term.

“There are far more effective and sustainable ways to give you more energy and leave you feeling a little less bloated after this time.”

We asked Jenna for her top tips for re-energising yourself after the festivities. These easy health hacks should help top up your energy levels as we head into the New Year and beyond – without the need for a total life overhaul!

Holiday health hack #1: Rehydrate

Water pouring out from a tap

“Alongside the alcohol we consume throughout the festive season, the foods we eat are also typically higher in salt too. The combination of salt and alcohol can not only contribute to excess bloating, but may also leave you feeling dehydrated and craving more sugar for an energy boost as a result.

Stay hydrated by trying to incorporate around two litres of water into your daily routine. If you’re not a massive water fan you can always try a warm lemon water or a herbal tea.

“In addition to this you may want to consider reducing your salt and alcohol intake until you’re back to tip top condition.”

Holiday health hack #2: Add herbs and spices

Herbs and spices in a bowl

“Herbs and spices are well known for adding flavour to your food. However, they’re also excellent for increasing plant diversity, which is vital for supporting a healthy gut.

“A healthy gut can contribute to increasing energy, supporting sleep and nutrient absorption.

“What’s more, spices such as turmeric can contribute to reducing inflammation in the body that may have increased as a result of our festive food and drink consumption.”

Holiday health hack #3: Chew more

“Most of us are guilty of chomping down lunch while scrolling or answering emails. This may be time effective, but it’s not effective for promoting optimal digestion.

“Eating mindfully engages the brain in the eating process. We’re more likely to secrete leptin (the satiety hormone) sooner than if we’re eating while distracted. This means we often don’t need to eat as much as we think to feel full.

“Chewing your food properly also increases the availability of the nutrients, which means we’re able to absorb more nutrients from the food.

“Since the digestive process starts in the mouth we should be aiming to chew each mouthful around 20 times!”

Holiday health hack #4: Prioritise healthy snacks

“It’s easy for the festive snacks to hang around for many weeks after the decorations have been taken down. However, prioritising snacks rich in protein and healthy fats can help to increase your energy levels and prevent a blood sugar roller-coaster.

“Try to plan your snacks and ensure you’ve always got some nuts or roasted chickpeas in your bag to prevent the office chocolate luring you in!

“Boiled eggs, oat cakes and cream cheese or some roasted vegetables with hummus are all great snack options.”

Holiday health hack #5: Plan your meals

“As we head into the new year, life begins to get busy again – and we all know when we’re busy our nutrition can suffer.

“Using the time between Christmas and New Year to plan your meals and favourite healthy recipes can be a great way to ensure you start the year off well nourished.

“Planning your meals can help to reduce food waste, the cost of your weekly shop and increase your likelihood of eating nutritious foods. If you have spare time, try preparing leftover vegetables for the freezer and batch cooking some dahls, curries, soups and stews and storing them in the freezer for those time-short days!”

And remember…

Don’t beat yourself up for enjoying the festivities.

“Health isn’t just about the food you eat,” says Jenna.

“It also encompasses the memories you make, and the times you laugh and enjoy the festive spirit.”

With that in mind, explore our expert tips for increasing your body confidence.

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