Christmas is a time to enjoy our family and friends, however all the eating and drinking associated with Christmas can be damaging for our health. It is too easy to enjoy all those Christmas parties, yummy treats and meals a little too much. Here are a few quick and simple tips to keep you happy and healthy through the Christmas period.
- Plan Ahead – planning helps to reduce the stress that can sometimes be involved in preparing for Christmas and also having an accidental blow out with food or drink. If you are off to a party have something small to eat before you go, this lines the stomach if you plan to have a drink and also reduces the temptation to demolish the cheese platter.
- Drink wisely – Try and avoid drinking your calories and getting dehydrated by drinking water alongside alcoholic drinks (or soda water with a white wine) and avoiding high sugar soft drinks and juices.
- Reduce the damage – If you are having a few drinks over Christmas then think about taking some B vitamins and antioxidants to reduce any damage to your body. Take a B vitamin complex or add some extra legumes, avocado, nuts and seeds to your diet for natural forms of Vitamin B. Combat free radical production caused by drinking by increasing your antioxidant intake and include some citrus fruits, berries, parsley, blueberries, green tea, tomatoes and other red and orange veggies into the mix. If you have overdone it (haven’t we all at some point?!) rehydrate with some coconut water which is full of natural antioxidants or try either warm of cooled ginger and lemon tea.
- Keep hydrated – as the summer heats up it can be easy to become dehydrated. Keep a water bottle with you when you are out and about and get into the habit of having a large glass of water about 30mins before your meals. When you next feel hungry, take stock of if this is hunger or thirst.
- Make good choices – Fill up on fruits, veggies and lean protein before hitting the naughty stuff!
- Have a treat and really enjoy it! – Christmas is not a time deprive yourself and to try and loose weight. There are so many delicious foods on offer at Christmas, so enjoy them. Choose your treat and then really savour it, just try not to have a complete blow out.
- Keep moving – the holidays are a great time to get out and be active. Join in with the backyard cricket, the Marco Polo games in the pool or go out for a walk with friends. Aim to do something active every day.
- Try and maintain your regular healthy habits – At Banksia our programs focus on five healthy habits which we encourage you to incorporate into your daily lives. Most of these are very simple and only take a couple a minutes, so try and keep these going through the busyness of the Christmas period. Your body will really thank you.
Most importantly, have fun. Enjoy the time with your family and friends and don’t aim for everything to be perfect. Life can be messy and unpredictable and sometimes we just need to go with the flow a little.
Wishing you a wonderful and very happy and healthy Christmas
Charmaine and the Banksia Team