Christmas is upon us and often around this time of year we can get so wrapped up in shopping and festivities that we forget to look after ourselves. Whilst you can absolutely enjoy the festive period you don’t have to go over board. To ensure that you don’t end up on a crash diet by the time January rolls around let’s chat about the more sustainable and realistic approach to staying healthy over the festive period.
Hit your five a day. Ok during the festive season you’re likely to be eating a few more mince pies but this isn’t to say you have to give up on the fruits and veggies. Clementines, pears, sprouts, celeriac and squash are all seasonal and festive produce so it’s a perfect way to involve them in your celebrations. You could try roasting celeriac wedges instead of white potatoes, perfect with any meat of fish. Or maybe, add some pomegranate and sliced pear into your porridge in the morning.
Eating well on a hangover – so you went out last night and you might be feeling sorry for yourself. But, eating a balanced diet and getting in those micronutrients is even more important when you’re feeling a little fragile. Focus on upping your green vegetable intake, especially those with a high-water content to help beat the dehydration. Starting to the day with a protein rich breakfast such as scrambled eggs or tofu, along with some healthy fats like avocado or nuts and seeds will help stabilise your energy levels throughout the morning and avoid those blood glucose spikes. Eating small and regular meals help to stabilise blood sugar levels and leave you feeling energised throughout the day.
Hit your 2L of water a day. It can be difficult to remember to drink ample water during the winter months as you might not feel as thirsty in the winter. Although it’s important to make a conscious effort to track your water intake to prevent dehydration. This is particularly important when eating foods with a high salt and sugar content as well as drinking more alcohol.
Prioritise your sleep. It’s social season which means that sleep may drop down your priority list. However, research has shown that a lack of sleep can significantly increase our chances of snacking on high sugar foods and caffeine rich drinks the following day. If you’re feeling particularly tired make sure you’re eating balanced meals with plenty of vegetables and slow releasing carbohydrates to help prevent those energy spikes and crashes!
Invite friends over for dinner instead of dinning out. This can be a great way to socialise without the alcohol and over indulgent food. Try inviting friends over for a homemade curry!
Be aware of snacking in the office – it’s that time of the year where the box of celebrations returns to the office and the temptation is real. These little snacks throughout the day can mean that you are mindlessly increasing your calorie intake without realising. Ensure you have healthy alternatives such as fruit, homemade trial mixes or protein balls on hand to help you make healthy choices.
Start your day the right. As always, it’s really important to start your day with a healthy, balanced breakfast, ideally with a source of protein to help sustain you throughout the morning. Try a quick three egg omelette with baby spinach and cherry tomatoes – the perfect protein packed brekkie.
Finally, enjoy it! Christmas is always about sharing the love, so although it’s important that we try and keep up healthy habits, it’s also a time for being with friends and family, so do take some time to treat yourself and enjoy a slice of cake!