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Tips For How To Stay Healthy During The Christmas Period

12:01Alice Grace

easy tips how to stay healthy during christmas diet lifestyle

Now we've hit December, Christmas is well in our sights. Whilst I'm more than excited for all the festivities, sweet treats and family time, I don't want to completely let myself go and abandon all my healthy habits. In order to indulge without undoing all the hard work I've put in to my fitness for the rest of the year, I try to balance things out. I find that if I start sitting on my bum all day, stuffing my face with tins of Quality Street, then I soon begin to feel rubbish both mentally and physically. So, to help me stay on track and feel great during December, there's a few tips I follow.

LIFESTYLE

Don't Make Life Hard - Rather than aiming to lose weight at this time of year, just try and stay stable. Focus on how you feel, instead of how you look. It's already difficult enough to brave the frosty morning run and resist the temptation of Terry's Chocolate Oranges, so don't make life harder for yourself! If you inevitably slip up one day, don't let that put you in the mindset that you may as well give up on healthy living entirely until the New Year. And don't beat yourself up with guilt if you do. Realistically, once you're back to normal daily life, then you'll soon get back in shape. It's much more important to feel happy and relaxed with your loved ones, than to be stressing about every calorie you've consumed, which will suck all of the fun out of the best time of year!

Keep active - It's easy to become a bit of a couch potato when it's cold outside and all you want to do is watch Elf on repeat, but it's important to exercise in some way (even if you don't fancy hitting the gym). Getting out and about, even for a quick walk in the freezing cold air, will make you feel amazing and refreshed. Try ice skating, dance to Christmas songs, have a snowball fight. All of these things won't even feel like exercise, but will really lift your mood.

Avoid Boredom - Don't let yourself get bored, otherwise you'll be rummaging through the cupboards for chocolate in no time! Make the most of your time off and plan fun things that you don't usually get to do. Go and see the Christmas lights and markets, explore a new place you've never been before, go for a family walk, build a snowman, catch up with old friends, go carol singing, play lots of games and visit relatives you don't get to see very often.

Sleep - Make sure you're getting enough sleep. If you're burning the candle at both ends, skipping on sleep and partying/drinking a lot, then your body's defenses will lower and you could end up ill. If you don't want to be struck down by the flu, then make sure you're getting enough kip. Christmas is no fun when you're feverish, snotty and can't taste the delicious dinner.

easy tips how to stay healthy during christmas diet lifestyle

DIET

Balance - Food is a massive part of Christmas and I love nothing more than enjoying a toffee nut hot chocolate from Starbucks, mountains of mince pies and an entire cheese board to myself in one sitting. But, I try not to indulge every day over the Christmas break. Let yourself have a few cheat days across Christmas eve, Christmas day and Boxing day, then get back into healthy eating as much as possible before another treat day on NYE.

Breakfast - Start every day with a generous, healthy breakfast that will fill you up and help you to snack less. My favourite filling options are porridge with banana, cinnamon and honey, greek yoghurt and fresh fruit, wholemeal toast with peanut butter or avocado and eggs on rye bread.

Bake - Make Christmas treats yourself, rather than buying everything, using Healthy Baking Recipes. It's so fun to bake with friends and family and everyone will be impressed when you serve food you've made from scratch. Making small changes to traditional recipes will make a big difference, such as swapping white flour for wholemeal, using dark chocolate instead of milk, and switching traditional sugars for healthier alternatives.

Prepare - Prepare yourself for Christmas parties, especially if you have a lot to attend. Eat a small meal or snack prior to heading out, so you're not so ravenous that you binge on everything in sight. Make sure you drink lots of water beforehand, as the mind often mistakes thirst for hunger. Whatever you do, don't starve yourself with the idea that you can avoid eating all day and then indulge to your heart's content later on. That's such a dangerous pattern to follow and will only train your body to go into starvation mode and store any food you do eat as fat, rather than using it for energy.

easy tips how to stay healthy during christmas diet lifestyle

Buffets - Watch out for buffets full of battered, fried foods - does that soggy, greasy pastry really taste that great? Fill your plate with chicken/fish dishes, salad, vegetables and wholemeal carbs. Things like meat skewers, carrots and hummus, garlic prawns, vegetable curry and brown bread rolls. Limit yourself to a couple of treats only and stop eating once you're full. You'll only feel sick if you stuff yourself silly, which will ruin your evening and prevent you from dancing the night away!

Alcohol - Don't drink yourself to oblivion at every party. Try and stick to drinking less calorific drinks such as a gin and tonic or vodka and soda. Alcoholic drinks are empty calories which soon build up if you go crazy every night. Plus, the more drunk you are, the lower your inhibitions drop and you start to reach for the sausage rolls, crisps and mince pies without even thinking.

Fruit & Veg - Continue eating lots of fruit and veg, rather than just fried treats and chocolate. Clementines are a favourite of mine during December and I love making hearty, vegetable soups and stews which are so comforting when it's cold. On the big day, make sure to load up on all the Christmas dinner veggies, as well as the roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings. Try not to eat too close to bedtime and finish the evening with a cup of herbal tea/peppermint to aid digestion.


How do you stay healthy during Christmas?

AGB X

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6 comments

  1. I try to be sensible with eating and drinking all year round but at this time of year it's a bit harder as all this delicious food and parties are too tempting :) But I agree, sticking to at least one healthy meal a day and avoiding stuffing yourself with crap food just for the sake of it is important.
    Hope you'll have fantastic holidays! x

    Mummy's Beauty Corner

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    1. Yeah, it's so tempting to just give in and go all out with eating rubbish every day over the holidays, but I always end up feeling so sluggish and run down if I do! You too, I hope you have an amazing Christmas and New Year! x

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  2. I agree we should take care of our selfs and try to eat and drink in balance!!

    http://www.brooklynglam.com

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    1. Exactly, t's all about balance! :) x

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  3. Having a small snack before you go to a party is a brilliant idea!! Healthy eating at this time of the year is so hard but I'm trying to swap inchoate snacks for fruit or a cereal bar!
    Charlotte // www.charlottespicks.com

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    1. Great idea! It's always a struggle to resist the chocolate at this time of year as it seems to be everywhereeee, but I love eating the Christmassy snacks, like clementines and fruit and nut mixes (even if they aren't quite as tasty as a Terry's Chocolate Orange!) haha x

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