Wondering how you’re going to survive the holiday party season? Christmas is a time for indulgence, relaxing, and celebrating – we all need a bit of time off over the holidays. Here are our 6 top tips to help deal with the Festive Season temptations…
1 Eat beforehand
When we are hungry it’s difficult to avoid the temptation of a buffet or finger food, they can keep us going back time and time again. To pre-empt this, always eat something before you go to a party, so you are not tempted to tuck into the buffet. Have a protein rich salad beforehand or a light meal or snack like a bowl of muesli with milk, a mug of chunky vegetable soup or a small pot of plain yoghurt with a sliced banana. If you have to eat something when you arrive, fill half your plate with salad and vegetables, and the other half with protein-based canapés like salmon and chicken. Then move away from the table as soon as your plate is full so you avoid non-stop grazing. Never go back for seconds, no matter how tasty the buffet is.
2 Eat mindfully
If your goal is to stay fit and healthy through the festive season then small changes go a long way. Eat slowly and enjoy every mouthful. It’s easier not to over eat when you’re mindful. If you are able to choose your food, don’t deny yourself anything but allow the proportions of healthy food to be bigger than the unhealthy options.
3 Don’t sit down all day – be active
We know every Christmas movie under the sun will be showing on TV, but you don’t need to sit on the sofa all day! Encourage the whole family to get out for a walk at some point – ideally, straight after Christmas lunch or dinner. After meals is an ideal time to go for a walk, as it can aid digestion and helps with weight loss. The more activity over the holidays the better, so take along any new outdoor presents, like footballs, Frisbees, bikes or scooters.
4 Don’t skip breakfast
Make sure you eat a healthy, balanced breakfast; rich in protein and healthy fats, even if you know you are eating out and indulging later. Eating a nutritious breakfast will help to balance blood sugar levels and keep you feeling fuller for longer, making it easier to avoid over-eating later. Start the day with a generous bowl of porridge, topped with a handful of cranberries and a sprinkle of cinnamon. And for the morning after the alcohol-fueled party? Eggs are an excellent choice, providing liver supporting choline. Enjoy an omelette packed with vegetables i.e. mushrooms, tomatoes, onions and spinach. If you can’t face a cooked breakfast then have a smoothie made with fruits like bananas, oranges or kiwifruit.
5 Stay hydrated
On the day of a big night out, and the day after, make an effort to drink 6-8 glasses of water or plenty of herbal teas or diluted juice. Even mild dehydration can lead to a headache that, combined with the diuretic effects of alcohol makes maintaining your fluid intake so important over the festive season. Regular teas and coffee count towards your fluid intake, but caffeinated versions shouldn’t make up your entire daily total. With the central heating now on, we can also wake up feeling dehydrated. To counteract this, it’s a good idea to keep a glass of water by your bed and drink a glass of water when you wake up.
6 Go easy on the alcohol – alternate drinks
It can be hard to avoid all of the drinks and dinners during the Christmas period, especially as work and office events begin to take over our calendars. So to lessen the effects of all this extra alcohol on our bodies, have a tall glass of water between each and every alcoholic drink – this will slow down the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream, and flush the alcohol and toxins from our body. Aim to have no more than one alcoholic drink an hour, alternated with juice, water or soft drinks – perfect if you don’t like holding an empty glass…
And most importantly, have a happy, healthy festive season!