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The holiday season is notorious for derailing our health habits. From festive gatherings to travel plans, it can be challenging to prioritise our own health amidst the celebrations. The abundance of festive food and social engagements, where alcohol flows freely combined with a break from our regular routine and increased stress levels contribute to the perfect storm that can lead us astray from our healthy intentions.  Partying is fun, but can become a problem when it goes on for too long, particularly when we are older. In this, my first article for 2024 I ask the question;- Are you ready for a post holiday reboot?

Each year I tout the familiar line of “it’s not what happens between Christmas and New Year that’s important, it’s what happens between New Year and Christmas. It’s true but when one week extends to two, three, four and longer it can become a lifestyle pattern that becomes hard to break and threatens our long-term good health.
If you’re still in holiday mode, drinking alcohol every night, not sleeping well, and eating more calories to compensate for fatigue, then I am here to rain on your festive parade.

You don’t need to be perfect and strive to give up everything for optimum health. Life will always throw curveballs at you to make a stringent regime hard to adhere to. Instead, work on what you absolutely know is not serving you well and lead from there.

I call these the non-negotiables, and yours may include: –

  • Drink alcohol every night > Cut out alcohol 4 nights a week.
  • Never exercise > Exercise 3 x a week
  • Snack on high carb foods > swap for a small handful of nuts
  • Not enough vegetables > eat 5 serves a day.
  • Not enough sleep > aim for 8 hours a night
  • Eat too much > cut down portions.

It’s as simple and as hard as you choose to make it.

Make time to exercise.

If not having enough time to exercise is your excuse, try to incorporate small bursts of physical activity into your day. Try 20 squats while brushing your teeth, take short walks during breaks, use stairs instead of the lift, or jump onto a quick You Tube exercise class when you have some spare time at home. Every bit adds up.

Gather your crew.

Share your health goals with friends or family who can offer encouragement. Having a support system can help you stay accountable and motivated. Consider joining a local fitness class or gym or ask a friend or partner to encourage you.

Embrace Mindfulness:

Stress is a significant obstacle to good health. Incorporate mindfulness practices, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises, to manage stress levels. This will not only benefit your mental well-being but also positively impact your physical health.

Fast 2 days a week

Lighten Up summer 2024 will launch Friday the 26th January and starts Monday 29th January . Sign up by 26th and make some positive healthy changes to your lifestyle. Beyond weight loss the benefits of restricted energy fasting on 2 non-consecutive days when combined with a healthy diet include :

Improved metabolic health: Intermittent fasting may have positive effects on insulin sensitivity, blood sugar levels, and other markers of metabolic health. This can be beneficial for individuals at risk of type 2 diabetes or those looking to manage their blood glucose levels.

Cardiovascular health: Some studies suggest that intermittent fasting can have positive effects on cardiovascular health by improving lipid profiles, reducing inflammation, and supporting heart health.

Cellular repair and autophagy: Fasting triggers a process called autophagy, where the body breaks down and removes damaged cells and cellular components. This process may contribute to cellular repair and longevity.

Brain health: Emerging research suggests that intermittent fasting may have neuroprotective effects and could potentially reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. It may also enhance cognitive function and improve brain health.

Longevity: Some animal studies have suggested that intermittent fasting could increase lifespan.

Simplicity and flexibility: The 5:2 diet is relatively simple to follow and provides flexibility on non-fasting days, making it more sustainable for some individuals.


Our lives are full of challenges which can veer us off the path to maintaining good health, but – and this is more important particularly as we get older – there is no greater challenge than being in poor health. Remember, every positive step you take toward better health is a triumph, no matter how small. If you need to make some lifestyle changes, start tomorrow.

Click here for more information on Lighten Up Summer 

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