Top Tips to a Healthy Christmas

Merry Christmas! ‘Tis the season for eating, drinking and being merry.

The festive season is well associated with over-indulgence. Lots of social events that are often centred around food and drink, culminating in the big feast on Christmas day. This can pose a challenge when it comes to sticking to healthy eating habits.

How often do you reach for a slice of pav or some pudding and custard when you are already full? And since it only happens once a year you figure – why not!? But then you feel bloated and uncomfortable.

Christmas doesn’t have to be the end of your healthy eating habits for the year, only to be caught up in the New Year guilt-fest that resolutions of diets and exercise bring.

Here are my top 5 tips to help you to ding-dong merrily along though the festive season:

1. Get savvy about portion control – you don’t have to put a bit of everything on your plate. Look at what is on offer, choose a selection of what really tempts you; and be sure to leave room for the pav, pud or trifle. Also remember, there is a chance similar things might get served up more than once over the days and days of leftovers, so you can always have something you missed out on today, tomorrow (along with another serving of pav).

2. Dish up your own plate – that way you get to choose just how much of things, or what things, you want. It also means you can plan a ‘healthy plate’ – ¼ of the plate with a protein choice, ¼ with a carbohydrate and ½ of a selection of vegetables.

3. Continue to eat your usual number of meals a day – it can be tempting to miss a meal to leave plenty of room for the feast you are heading to. However, this can make it difficult to moderate how much you eat, because you are so hungry you rip into the pre-meal nibbles and fill up before you even reach the table.

4. Mix up your drink choices – alternate alcohol with non- or low-alcoholic drinks. There is no requirement to drink alcohol at social events. If you do choose to drink alcohol, remember to keep it within the recommended amounts – 2 standard drinks a day for women, no more than 10 per week; 3 per day for men, no more than 15 per week.

5. Keep active – it is summer, and most of us take some time off so try to make some time to get outside every day and move your body. It might be a walk along the beach, or a swim in the tide, a round of backyard cricket or chasing the dog at the park.

When we are busy and stressed, which can come with all the planning and celebrating, we don’t always make the healthiest choices. Hopefully these 5 tips help you to stay healthy during the festive season to keep enjoying the celebrations with family and friends.

Merry Christmas ?