Let’s just come right out and say it. Christmas can be a tricky time of year to try and stay healthy. There is temptation at every turn – wine, beer, chocolates, pavlova, Christmas pudding, hot ham… The list goes on and on. But I promise you, it is possible to maintain your healthy lifestyle this festive season. To help you do just that, I have put together my top tips to stay healthy over the Christmas holidays.
5 Tips To Stay Healthy This Christmas
1: Everything In Moderation
The first thing I am going to say is, don’t deprive yourself of a treat. If you do, you are likely to binge on a whole box of chocolates while hiding in the cupboard from your kids. Then you will have to blame the disappearing choccies on the Elf on the Shelf!
Instead, have treats in moderation. If you would like a glass of wine, have one. If you would like a chocolate dipped strawberry, then have one. Just show a bit of moderation and keep the treats small. Balance them with your general healthy eating. Christmas only comes once a year, so it would be shame to miss out on the fun of good festive food. (Photo by Edgar Castrejon on Unsplash).
2: Portion Size
I think Christmas Day is probably the only day of the year where you can be expected to eat 3 lunches. And that is quite possible if you have lots of family members to visit. If you are going to be eating multiple lunches, then watch your portion size. It is better to have a small plate at each meal, than trying to squeeze more food in after a full sized lunch.
It can also be tempting to scoff the delicious leftovers on Boxing Day. Just remember to keep your portion sizes normal throughout the whole holiday period. Don’t be tempted to over indulge every day.
3: Ditch The Stress
While it should be the season to be jolly, it can quite often be the season to be stressed as well. All those gifts to buy, decorations to put up, food to make, guests to entertain, and annoying family members to deal with. Stress is really not good for your health. It can affect your sleep, your eating habits, your motivation and your mood.
Instead of trying to take on all the jobs yourself, recruit the family and delegate. Be very conscious of how you are feeling. If you can feel things starting to overwhelm you, then take a break, get out in the fresh air for a walk – the endorphins released during exercise are really good at combating stress.
If the stress threatens to take hold, just think of this – no one will remember how perfect the wrapping was, or even what you served for Christmas dinner. But what they will remember are the happy memories. So make sure they are happy ones, not stressful ones! (Photo by Victoria Palacios on Unsplash).
4: Keep Active
No one is saying you need to run a marathon these Christmas holidays (unless you want to of course!), but gentle exercise will keep you feeling healthy. After a big Christmas lunch you might want to laze on the couch, but a family walk could help with digestion and make you feel so much better.
Think of all those cool outdoor toys that the kids got for Christmas. Don’t let them languish in the garage, use them! Have water fights in the backyard, ride those bikes and scooters to the park, take that boogie board to the beach and catch some waves. There are plenty of fun ways to keep active and to keep your health up.
5: Make Time For Downtime
The Christmas holidays can be pretty hectic. There are so many things to do. But I would be remiss if I didn’t include looking after yourself in a list of tips to stay healthy! Make sure you give yourself time to get a good night’s sleep, and some time to relax. This will help you to recharge your batteries and take on the rest of the holidays.
Don’t neglect your brain either. It can tend to turn to mush if you don’t use it. So instead of binge watching Christmas specials on the TV, get the family around the table for a board game or a game of cards. Another way to feed your brain (and your soul) is to practice gratitude. Even if it doesn’t always feel like it, you will have lots of things to be grateful for, big or small. (Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash).
Lots of small actions can mean the difference between a great, healthy Christmas holiday and one you feel guilty for. Don’t leave yourself feeling like you have to make up for your Christmas indiscretions in the new year. Take these tips to stay healthy over Christmas and use them well!
On that note, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year with your friends and family. Here’s to a healthy Christmas and a healthy New Year to come! And to get you started, have a look through all my healthy recipes and select a couple to serve over the festive season.