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6 Science-Backed Steps to Resetting Your Gut and Energy Levels Over the Silly Season

The countdown to the holidays is well and truly on—we're just twelve days out from arguably the biggest day of the year for many of us. If you haven't already put the tree up, this weekend is the perfect time to throw some Mariah on and get yourself into the holiday spirit. If you're like us, you're looking forward to treating yourself to delicious handmade treats and the spending time enjoying the endless summer barbecues during this time. While it's the most wonderful time of the year, it can be easy to overindulge and wind up with an upset gut and abysmal energy levels that hardly set your new year up for success. This year, follow these science-backed steps to maintaining your health while enjoying everything that the silly season has to offer.

1. Maintain your routine

We're not saying you don't deserve a sleep in once you finally get a few days off to enjoy, however, if you want to come out the other side feeling refreshed and renewed, you'll want to maintain your schedule when it comes to sleep. When your routine is disrupted, your body notices it and plays up accordingly. The quality and quantity of your sleep play a huge part in keeping you healthy and happy, so this holiday season say no to late nights and yes to a boost in energy.

2. Portion size

Just because there is every type of food imaginable on the table at your holiday get together it doesn't mean you have to include them all on your plate. Shovelling in food until you feel like you're going to burst is common during the holidays when we loosen our rules and diets are soon forgotten. When you're choosing what to eat at Christmas lunch, start small with your plate. If you're still hungry you can always go back, but starting with a portion size as big as your head will only lead to bloating and lethargy.

3. Remember fibre

Including fibre in your diet over the silly season will help to keep you regular and make sure your stomach isn't in knots from all the goodies you're downing. Keep some of your plate reserved for fruits, veggies and beans that will fill your stomach with valuable fibre and will also mean you're less likely to overeat.

4. Stay hydrated

In the midst of a holiday celebration, it can be easy to overlook basic needs like drinking enough water. You're most likely partaking in a couple of alcoholic beverages during this social season but it's really important that you maintain your fluids to keep your energy levels high and your digestion running smoothly. Keep your drink bottle or water glass nearby and top up regularly, especially in our country's notoriously warm summers.

5. Keep moving

Any time throughout December you find yourself feeling sluggish, try getting up and get moving, even if it's just for a quick walk around the block. Your digestive tract is actually a muscle and when you exercise, blood is directed to the working muscles in your body which can help you feel better after a big meal.

6. Stress less

Excessive stress is known to exacerbate digestive issues including heartburn from a build-up of acid in the stomach and diarrhea due to changes in the speed of digestion. This time of year can become busy and difficult for some, so taking time out to evaluate your mental health is important. Whether it's choosing to spend time alone or outsourcing party suppliers, remaining as calm as possible throughout the holidays will help you to feel healthier and happier.

Continue reading? Here's how to tell if you're tired or burnt out, according to a psychologist.

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