Top 10 healthy tips to survive the festive season!

Top 10 healthy tips to survive the festive season!

Author -  Carol Burr, Naturopath

It's Christmas time! Nutrition-wise it can be a real challenge to eat wisely and resist those tasty Xmas temptations as well as maintaining that all-important portion control! Watching what we eat and HOW we eat can help us navigate the silly season in one piece.

Here are 10 simple tips that can help you stay healthy and survive the holiday festivities:

  1. Try to stay active. Rather than sit around watching TV with the family, get everyone outdoors in the summer weather and go for a walk, play good old-fashioned games, kick around a football or try your hand at backyard cricket! You’ll all feel better for moving and there’s the added benefit of working off the Xmas pud! 
  2. Pace yourself! Christmas parties and end of year get-togethers means that more alcohol than normal is usually consumed. Try to keep tab on how much you are drinking and intersperse alcoholic drinks with low-sugar soft drinks or water. Try to match your alcoholic drinks drink-for-drink with glasses of water. You’ll thank yourself the next morning!
  3. Drinking alcohol can deplete your B vitamins quite rapidly as many of the B vitamins are directly or indirectly involved in alcohol metabolism. Supplementing with a B vitamin complex can replenish these much-needed nutrients so take your supplement before you head out partying, and again before you retire for bed, washed down with a big glass of water! B vitamins can also help convert food into energy so taking a B complex supplement can also help support overall energy levels through the demanding holiday season.
  4. Avoid going to a party hungry. Eat a small snack beforehand, preferably one with a small amount of fat in it such as a small handful of almonds, salmon, avocado or a boiled egg. The fat content in the snacks will fill you up and mean you won’t be inclined to snack on too many high-fat, salty nibbles at the party. Try drinking a few glasses of water too, as this not only fills you up but will keep you hydrated.
  5. Once at the party, try and make wise food choices. Go for the sushi, guacamole or hummus dip and veggie sticks or that delicious salsa served with pita chips rather than deep-fried or battered foods, chips and creamy dips and fat-laden sausage rolls. 
  6. Don’t stuff yourself! Instead of gorging yourself on Xmas turkey and all the trimmings at dinner, try and eat a normal-sized meal and then take a break to see if you are REALLY still hungry. Chances are after 20 minutes rest you will realise you have eaten enough. Listen to your body – it knows best!
  7. At get-togethers try to avoid standing right beside the food table or the bar. You are more likely to be tempted to reach for the chips or peanuts without knowing. Position yourself a respectable distance from the food.
  8. Your digestive system can take a bit of a beating over the festive break. With the usual overload of alcohol, rich food and chocolate treats, your digestive system may need some extra TLC. One of the best ways to support your digestive system is to take probiotic supplements. Probiotics work by populating your digestive tract with ‘good’ bacteria that help the body digest food and absorb valuable nutrients. 
  9. Try not to stress! Xmas can make people anxious as families get together for yuletide events. Keep things in perspective and try to add a sense of humour to proceedings that may become a little tense! Is it really the end of the world that you burnt the roast potatoes? Do you really care that Aunty Dorothy disapproves of your decor choices? Christmas, after all is just one day out of 365 – so don’t let it overwhelm you!
  10. Don’t diet at Xmas-time! If there’s one time of the year when we can give ourselves permission NOT to diet, it should be the festive season. The key is maintaining your current weight. Have some treats over Christmas but don’t over-indulge. Enjoy your holiday food and know that after New Year you will be back on track with your weight management programme. You shouldn’t feel unhappy and deprived over the festive season. It can only add to stress levels and feelings of anxiety.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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