Christmas may well be the, ‘most wonderful time of the year ding dong, ding dong,’ with big family gatherings, office parties and nights out with friends. Everyone is relaxed and will quite happily eat their way through a whole raft of naughty treats washed down with a steady flow of intoxicating (and toxic) substances! What a great excuse indeed!
But then comes January, you wake up on New Year’s Day with a stonking hangover feeling fat, bloated and depressed. All that bonhomie has disappeared, even the Christmas decorations look sad and you wish you could hibernate along with the hedgehogs!
I know I’ve felt like this before, but it really doesn’t need to be this way. The secret is to keep some perspective and balance and to help you do this I’d like to share Top 10 tips for a healthier Christmas
- Plan your food
Make sure you have healthy food choices in the house as well as less healthy choices and balance the two. I find that applying an 80:20 rule works well.
- Keep up the exercise regime
Exercise is a great leveller! If your usual classes aren’t running, choose other options instead such as brisk walks, or you could choose from many of the exercise routines on YouTube.
- Don’t skip meals
Its very tempting to skip breakfast and/or lunch in the anticipation of a big party later in the day. This is a recipe for disaster, you’ll be running on empty all day, go to your party hungry and there will be nothing to absorb the alcohol making you feel so much worse the next day. Much better to have a moderate blood sugar balancing breakfast and lunch to keep you on a level and also stop the gluttony later in the day. Something like porridge or smoked salmon and eggs would be great for breakfast, with maybe a nourishing seasonal vegetable based soup for lunch. If you have been drinking the night before then it’s even more important to have breakfast the next day.
- Control what you can control and don’t worry about what you can’t control
Even when staying with friends or relatives you’ll probably have an element of control over breakfast or whether you have a pudding or cheese and biscuits after a meal. And remember that it’s very definitely your own decision if you stuff your face with chocolates all day. One thing you can always control wherever you are is portion sizes and whether you have seconds or not.
- Don’t try to diet over the festive period
Set a maintenance goal instead. This is more realistic and much more achievable. This will give you the freedom to enjoy yourself without the feelings of deprivation or the pressure to rebel!
- Make good alcohol choices
Avoid creamy or sweet drinks. Beer and cider aren’t great either (sorry!). Try to drink with food as this will reduce the impact of the sugars on your blood stream. Dry white wine, gin, dry champagne, dry cava are all low sugar options.
- Have some alcohol-free nights
I don’t want you to be a party pooper but if you do get a chance to have a few nights off over the festive season you’ll definitely feel better for this come January. I normally manage to have some nights off between Christmas and New Year which means I enjoy New Year’s Eve more and feel better afterwards.
- Drink plenty of water
This will encourage you not to over eat and will also improve how you feel the next day.
- Watch your portion sizes
Particularly in relation to fast release carbohydrates and fats.
- Be kind to yourself
If you do happen to overindulge don’t beat yourself up, just enjoy it and get back on track afterwards.
Should things go a tad pear shaped over the festive period help is at hand with my Zing Nutrition 21 day New Year Kickstarter Programme which starts on 20th January.
Sign up before 31st December to receive my FREE e-book 10 guilt free chocolate treats.
For more on my programme read on ……