10 Ways to get back on track after the holidays
Overindulge these holidays? I share my 10 simple strategies to help you get back on track with your SIBO after the holidays.
I don't know about you, but I love the holidays. All that festive cheer, time off work, yummy food, catching up with friends, and sleep-ins are simply wonderful. And here in Australia, it's the start of our summer holidays, so that means beach time, pool time and sunshine.
But the holidays can be fraught with anxiety and danger. All that delicious food can seriously derail your good SIBO intentions, and fast.
If you've found yourself wondering where all your good work has gone over the holidays, never fear! My tried and tested steps for getting back on track after the holidays will have you feeling on top of things in no time.
1. Leave The Holiday Vibe With The Holidays
You had a great time, got to relax, ate food you wouldn't normally eat, but now it's time to get back on track. Just because you let things slide a little during the holidays doesn't mean it needs to become your new normal. So thank the holidays for the fun they brought you and leave those holiday ways there... with the holidays.
2. Clear Out The Crap
Is your fridge bursting at the seams with leftover holiday food? Now is the time to pass it on to friends or throw it out. Those little treats will call your name loudly if you leave them where you see them (I know this all too well. Anyone else have chocolate call their name?!). Plus, depending on when the food was made, it could put you at risk of food poisoning which is the last thing a SIBOer wants. So say goodbye to the food and fill your fridge with healthy SIBO staples.
3. Plan Your Meals
The quickest way for me to get back on track is to plan my meals. When I know what I'll be eating for the week ahead, I am waaaaay more likely to stick to it and get back in control of my SIBO diet after a break. Download my free meal planner so you can plot our your meals for the week. If you want someone to do all the planning for you, why not check out my Monthly SIBO Meal Plans? I've got each week mapped out for you including all the recipes, weekly shopping lists, and handy hints and tips so all you need to do is get the food and start cooking.
4. Get Accountable
The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) did a study on accountability and found that people were 65% more likely to achieve their goals if they committed to someone that they would do it. We regularly see SIBO patients achieving their goals after committing to them with a fellow member of the SIBO Coaching Program. Find an accountability buddy and let them know what you want to achieve next year. Need help finding one? The SIBO Coaching Program could provide the extra support you need.
5. Remember Your WHY
It can be hard finding motivation to get back on track after the holidays. By focussing on why you want to feel better, you will re-direct your mind to the end goal. Perhaps you want to wake up feeling energised, healthy and happy. Ask yourself - is this meal, activity or lifestyle leading me towards or away from that goal?
6. Set Goals for next year
Get clear on what it is you want to achieve in the new year. Write it down. Make it SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. Choose goals that aren't just about SIBO. What else will bring you satisfaction if you can achieve it this year? Your goals don't have to be huge goals to make them worthwhile. By achieving lots of little goals, your sense of achievement will grow with each one and your mindset will strengthen in the knowledge that you can achieve things you set your mind to.
7. Move Your Body
For many of us, the holidays can equal a more sedentary lifestyle. Coupled with extra food and possibly alcohol, our bodies can be crying out for some gentle movement. Things like yoga, walking, swimming and stretching can be really beneficial. Pick a movement that you love doing and start with that one. Even 5 minutes will be beneficial to your body. I love the YouTube yoga videos by Yoga with Adriene. I can do them from the comfort of my own lounge room and she has so many different class types that I can always find something that suits me for that day.
8. Intermittent Fasting
If you have overindulged, taking a mini break from food can provide your gut with the reset it needs. I like to do 24 hour fasts where I eat dinner one night and don't eat food again until the following dinner. I feel fantastic and it gives my gut a chance to decompress. If a 24-hour fast is too daunting, you could try eating an early dinner and then not eating again until mid-morning or lunch. This will give the food in your system a chance to pass through the digestive tract, creating space for your next meal.
I regularly speak with SIBO patients who are not drinking enough water every day. When you are out of your routine, it is easy to forget to drink enough water. And when the weather is freezing or boiling hot, our body needs us to keep up the H2O more than ever. Getting your water intake back to what it should be is one of the easiest ways to support your return to health. Did you know that how much you need to drink each day depends on your gender, age and movement? Calculate your daily water requirements here.
10. Don't Sweat The Small Stuff
So you let your hair down over the holidays. Did you have fun? Was it worth it? Yes? Then that's great! Focus on the fun you had, the lovely social interactions you got to enjoy and even the vacation from your regular SIBO food. What is done, is done and you can't change the past. Instead, look to the future and get organised for how the new year will be a great year for you. The only thing worrying about what you did will do is tie your gut up in knots. And no one wants that.
BONUS TIP: Check Your Sleep
How did you sleep over the holidays? Did you use it as a time to enjoy relaxing sleep-ins? Or are you like me and found yourself going to bed later than normal and missing out on some much needed sleep? If you're the latter, now is the time to re-set your sleep rhythm. I aim to get to bed 15 minutes earlier each day. It can take me a week to get back into my normal routine, but I find it easier to slowly return to my regular bedtime schedule than to lie awake in bed for hours waiting for sleep to befall me. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to start getting ready for bed. Turn off all electronic devices a few hours before bedtime, enjoy a warm shower or a soothing cup of herbal (non-caffeinated) tea. Whatever your bedtime routine, ensuring you are getting plenty of uninterrupted sleep each night will support you to achieve your health goals in the new year.
What Will Your New Year Be Like?
I would love to hear what your goals are for next year. Head to the comments below and let me know. And if I can be of assistance, don't hesitate to let me know.