Christmas is a time for family & celebration and I think we’ve all earned a place on the nice list for surviving the antics of this year.
If you’re focusing on your health and eating habits though, Christmas can sometimes be quite stressful with excess and temptation lying at every corner. And the average Brit consuming c. 6000 calories on Christmas Day alone! So here are my top tips for enjoying the Christmas holidays:
- spend the day focusing on what matters…the people you’re with, the activities that you’re doing and the memories that you’re both creating and reminiscing over. And if you are on your own this Christmas, try and find positive connections and activities that nourish your body and mind. Guilt serves no useful purpose and not only will it leave you feeling bad, it will also trigger your body to produce more stress hormones (something Christmas typically has enough of already!) which will have a negative impact on your digestion and fat storage.
- buy your favourite / traditional foods and treats to enjoy and savour, but plan when to have them, eat them mindfully to savour them, eat slowly (so you’ll be better able to judge when you’re full) and be sensible on portion size. Grazing tends to be disastrous from a calorie perspective. And many of the Xmas nibbles have way more calories in them than you think, so have a little nose if you’re not sure and weigh up whether you think that snack is really needed or worth it.
- Have easy, healthier food choices on hand so you don’t keep resorting to nibbles. Christmas is the perfect time for delicious and nutritious soups.
- instead of denying yourself things, think about adding one extra thing to make each meal more balanced / healthier. Christmas is a really great time for getting extra veg in! And use your smaller plates. You can always get more food if you’re still genuinely hungry afterwards, so try to avoid piling everything onto your plate.
- don’t skip breakfast to “save” calories for later as you’re much more likely to overeat when hungry. Start your day instead with something that balances your blood sugar (think protein, healthy fats and fibre or a super shake) and potentially a workout.
- schedule your workouts in throughout the holidays – not as a punishment for what you’re eating, but so your body feels good and you don’t miss out when your routine is thrown off. And enjoy having the time to take long walks or to stretch and move your body in whatever way feels good.
- stay hydrated – alcohol, roaring fires and rushing around all day make it easy to get dehydrated. And alcohol can be highly calorific, so again make conscious decisions about what you want to consume. And consider mixing it up with low cal non-alcoholic alternatives or mixers.
Whatever you’re doing this year, have an amazing Christmas and if you feel like your nutrition habits need rebalancing, my Nutrition Jumpstart kicks off again on Monday 3 January 2022, so please do join us. You can sign up here now.