Top Tips for Keeping Healthy This Christmas
Gaining weight over Christmas seems to be almost inevitable, doesn’t it? All that extra food and alcohol can add up to a few unwanted extra pounds by the time the new year rolls around, so it’s no surprise the internet is awash with diet tips come January.
But, weight gain isn’t the only thing to consider – there’s also the health of your liver and your blood pressure to think about too. If you want to keep healthy over Christmas without obsessing or damaging your mental health, here are some things to consider:
Keep healthy food close to hand
Let’s be honest – it’s Christmas, and there’s no joy in denying yourself festive treats or dividing certain foods into ‘good’ and ‘bad’. But, it’s a wise idea to make sure you give yourself some healthier options to fall back on throughout the festive period. Fill your fridge with healthy snacks, as well as those that are a little more indulgent (and if you think you’ll be short on room, consider upgrading to a larger Fisher & Paykel fridge before Christmas rolls around). Make sure you have soup stashed in the freezer for when you’re feeling a little fatigued by all the Christmas food and just want a lighter meal.
The best thing about having a little bit of time off at Christmas is that you should have some more time to get outdoors than you usually do. So, make a point of going out for walks. Wander round your local town to admire the decorations and soak up the festive atmosphere, embark on long country walks to build up an appetite for all that feasting, and be the first on the dance floor at the Christmas party…it’s good to get moving, but it’s especially good to do so if you’re eating and drinking a lot more than you usually would be. And if you can’t resist the festive goodies in the office at this time of year? Treat yourself, but make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and not just snacking because you’re thirsty.
Keep an eye on your alcohol intake
Christmas is a period that’s renowned for excess, and alcohol is one way we tend to overdo it. Whether it’s sipping a glass of bucks fizz on Christmas day or heading to the pub for an annual get-together with school friends, it’s likely you’re going to exceed your recommended weekly limit if you’re not careful. Keep hydrated with plenty of water, and try to alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks – perfect if you don’t like standing around without a glass in your hand. If you like wine and don’t mind it watered down a little, drink a spritzer – the half wine, half soda combination will really help to reduce the number of units you’re guzzling.
Finally, festive parties can be great fun, but arriving with an empty stomach is a recipe for disaster. Consider a healthy snack before you attend a party – something such as a small pot of plain yoghurt with a banana. Yoghurt is a good idea as the protein slows stomach emptying, and the banana contains potassium – something that will help to balance an increase in salt intake (likely if you’re nibbling on canapés, nuts and crisps).