We all think of Christmas as a happy, fun time – and it should be – but Christmas also comes with extra pressures. There are parties and social events, work events, and family to deal with; and the social pressure of having to “keep up” can add to stress. Traditionally Christmas is a time of over-indulgence – and perhaps that’s partly in reaction to all the pressures.
Today JustAnswer gives you ten top tips for keeping yourself healthy during the festive season.
1) Eat a really good, healthy breakfast that keeps you going without hunger pangs until lunchtime. Porridge is a great choice at this time of year as it’s hot, filling and gives you slow-release energy in the form of oats. You’ll be less tempted to snack on office and shop treats during the day if you’re not feeling hungry all the time.
2) Keep hydrated. You’ll feel fuller if you’re not thirsty.
3) If you’re going to an event with a buffet, follow a few simple rules. Eat what’s best for you first – so fill up your plate with vegetable-based food and healthy proteins like salmon or chicken. Don’t stand next to the buffet table – move away, so you’re not tempted to pick constantly.
4) Control your drinking. Alcohol gives empty calories and can bust a calorie-counting diet quickly. Keep an eye on what you are drinking so you can make an informed choice.
5) Don’t do the big Christmas shop on an empty stomach – shopping when hungry means you can inadvertently buy more than you need, leaving you with extra mince pies to finish up.
6) Keep an honest food diary. This will allow you to see exactly what you’re eating, which means you can make a sensible decision about when to be strict and when you can get away with a bit of indulgence.
7) Eat a healthy snack such as a banana before going out. You’ll be less tempted to fill up on calorie-laden canapés.
8) Keep a stash of healthy snacks such as fruit and nuts at work. That way if you are tempted, you can make a healthy choice instead of snacking on office treats such as mince pies or chocolate.
9) Try to make time for regular exercise. Christmas is busy with events and family and you may find it hard to keep up your usual routine – but try to build time for some exercise into each day. You’ll feel better, and you won’t be so out of habit by the time New Year rolls around.
10) Give yourself permission to indulge! Everyone needs a treat, and if you build in some indulgence before you start you’ll be less likely to binge or over-indulge. So, don’t beat yourself up over the occasional mince pie with brandy butter – you have JustAnswer’s blessing to enjoy!
JustAnswer is here for you for all your health and diet needs during the festive season. Have a question about your individual health and diet? Experts on JustAnswer can provide help, 24/7.