How to stay healthy over the festive season (without being a bore)
The Christmas season has well and truly arrived with more and more event invites popping up on Facebook everyday - drinks, dinners, BBQ's (in Australia) and everything else in between!
It is a season full to the brim with delicious food and alcohol and often one in which people gain one or two (or maybe ten) pounds... it's a notoriously difficult time of year for those trying to be healthy or on a weight-loss journey.
However, there are ways in which you can stay on track without having to stay locked in your room whilst all your friends and family are out partying and having fun - there has to be a balance between enjoying yourself whilst still looking after your body and health. So here are my top tips to do just that...
Tip No. 1: Avoid going out on an empty stomach
A pretty obvious one but also one people tend to forget. This doesn't just apply to when you are going out for drinks - we all know it's important to eat something before we drink because it slows down the absorption of alcohol into the body. But it's also important to eat something before you go out for food at this time of year because if you go out for dinner absolutely starving then you are much more likely to overindulge at dinner. Eating before you go out will stabilise your blood sugar levels which will help you make better food choices at dinner.
Tip No. 2: Drink water regularly
This is an important point particularly for people in the Southern hemisphere where the festive season falls bang in the middle of summer and the weather is hot hot hot! But it is also important for everyone else too.. drinking water regularly will prevent dehydration (especially when you are drinking) which can lead to nasty hangovers and feeling sluggish/tired.
Tip No. 3: Watch your portion sizes
By all means have some of those tasty christmas treats such as mince pies or malteaser reindeers (possibly the best chocolate bars ever?) but just try not to go overboard. If you are at a party where there are lots of nibbles, try putting the food onto your plate rather than picking at it with your hands (you are much more likely to eat more if you do that). Also, try to remember that just because it's Christmas doesn't mean you have to eat until you are so full you are ready to burst!
Tip. No 4: Make healthy canapé choices
Mince pies, sausage rolls, brie & cranberry tartlets... I know how tasty all the Christmas canapé's are! But it's important to try to make healthier choices where possible... opt for the high protein nibbles such as smoked salmon, cold meats and cheese or choose some veggie sticks with fresh hummus/guacamole. These will make you feel a lot less bloated than all the pastry-based snacks!
Tip No. 5: Indulge a little - it is Christmas after all!
Saving the most important until last... have fun!! It's Christmas! It only happens once a year. So don't overthink things too much - spend time with loved ones, friends and family, eat some delicious food and drink some good quality wine... life's too short to deprive yourself :)
So the main point to take from all this is that life is to be enjoyed so it's important to not let a healthy lifestyle take control over your life - it's all about making little changes to look after your health whilst still having fun.