Christmas is just around the corner and, whilst it should be enjoyed, it can come with some, err…extra baggage come the New Year. Keeping your weight in check is important, but it shouldn’t be a chore or take over your plans. Therefore, we’ve rounded up the best things you can do that will neither take too much effort nor suck any of the fun out of the festivities. Read on for our Top 5 Healthy Christmas Holiday Tips!
1. Stay hydrated
Confusing hunger with dehydration is one reason why you end up snacking unnecessarily between meals. Not only is keeping topped up on fluids vital in preventing this, it also aids digestion and helps you stay feeling fuller for longer. During the day, carry a refillable water bottle with you and set a timer on your phone to remind you to drink up, (sure there’s an App for this).
2. Be mindful of your alcohol intake
We all know booze contains empty calories and can induce questionable 3am burger van decisions. However, cutting it out is easier said than done, especially over the Christmas season. Therefore, if going tee-total isn’t an option for you, really try to savour the flavour and make each drink last and space a glass of water in between rounds to help you stay hydrated (as per the above).
3. Eat protein-rich meals at regular intervals
Try to stick to eating three meals a day, as skipping meals or having irregular eating patterns can make you feel so ravenous that you overdo things next time you do eat. It can also mess with your metabolism and blood sugar levels, leading you to feel groggy and possibly end up storing more body fat. By making each meal rich in protein, you’re also more likely to feel fuller quicker and remain so for longer. Still feeling hungry? Try whipping up these super simple high protein festive energy balls to enjoy between meals!
4. Try to get some sleep
You should know that sleep is beneficial for helping you look and feel your best. However, did you also know that when you don’t get enough shut-eye, your levels of the hunger hormone, ghrelin, shoot up sky high? This means when you’re sleep-deprived you’ll tend to have a bigger appetite and crave those sugary party foods even more than usual (and then probably feel disappointed about the binge afterwards)!
5. Keep moving
Doing some form of exercise over the festive season is important; whether it be going for a post-Christmas-lunch walk, or doing a spot of Boxing Day yoga in the living room (mind the Christmas tree). Staying active keeps your metabolism high, releases those feel-good endorphins which in turn feeds your confidence making it more likely that you’ll make healthier food choices.
Weight gain needn’t be a worry over the holidays. After all, Christmas is a time to eat, drink, share, be grateful and be merry. However, picking your eats, drinks and merriments with the above 5 principles in mind will put you in good stead for a healthy start to the New Year as well. What are your views on eating healthily at Christmas? Let us know below, on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!