Christmas can be a stressful time for all of us, but it can also be an amazing time. Here are some of my tips to stay healthy and happy this Christmas, some of which I need to take note of myself!!
Get organised and avoid the last minute stress
Are you the person that says you’re going to buy all your presents early but end up leaving most of it till the 24th every year? Avoid this stress!! Set a time one weekend, maybe at the end of November when all the Christmas gifts are out, write a list of who you need to buy for and what you need to buy. The beauty of online shopping nowadays allows us to shop from the comfort of our own sofas, less stressful than hitting the high street- trust me!
This might also be a great time to set up your online supermarket shop for a few days before Christmas, something you might leave till the last minute. You can add things you remember at any time up until the day before scheduled delivery, brilliant!
Drink 8 glasses of water a day
With all the Christmas drinking comes dehydration, along with the perishing weather, you need to keep up your water intake to keep your body and skin healthy! Aim to drink 6-8 glasses a day to keep your body well hydrated, especially after a night of drinking!
Get a good healthy breakfast
Never ever ever skip breakfast! People who skip breakfast to try and lose weight are quite frankly stupid. Nothing is in your system after a nights sleep and therefore there is nothing to get your metabolism kick started! I recommend poached eggs on toast. Since you should have more time off at Christmas, you may have more time to make a more complicated breakfast rather than a quick fix! Eggs are an amazing source of protein and I believe they are amazing at curing hangovers! Add spinach for iron, which helps with fatigue and swap out butter for low fat cheese, reducing your saturated fat intake!
If eggs are not your cup of tea, porridge is my second favourite, slow release carbs to keep up your energy levels throughout the day, perfect for a hectic time such as Christmas!
Clever buffet choices
Have you been invited to a party and are worried about hindering your diet due to the amazing nibbles that may be on offer? Try asking the host what food will be available and maybe plan ahead! By using a smaller plate it helps to make food look bigger so you’ll eat less and to be honest, you’ll be able to get less on your plate! Only visit the buffet once, drink water to stay hydrated and to stop yourself from getting hungry whilst drinking! Drinking water won’t stop you from being hungover the next morning if you drink the same amount of alcohol though!
Eat before a party
The best advice! Unless it’s a meal that you are invited to, try eating a meal before you go to a party to stop those buffet cravings! If you have filled up on foods that’ll keep you full such as, eggs on wholemeal toast or hummus and apple slices you honestly won’t even be able to think about eating any more food – even if it is a homemade chocolate cake or M&S buttery mince pies!
If it’s a meal you’re going to, have a light snack before you go to allow your head to pick from the menu, rather than your stomach! If it’s a dinner party with a set menu maybe just politely say you’re too full for pudding or ask for extra vegetables to fill up on! But really how likely is it that you’re going to do that?
Calorie counting can be detrimental rather than helpful – as I have found, but it’s finding the right balance. I have recently got back into using a FitBit and the calorie app is absolutely amazing, it has the calories and nutritional content of almost every food from every brand, so you can keep track of calories in vs out. It also keeps track of your water intake! Genius!
Basically as long as you’re burning as many calories as you’re eating, you aren’t going to put on weight! My only advice is to be careful with calorie counting as it can become addictive and unhealthy, aim to get your recommended 2000 calories a day for women and 2500 for men, especially when exercising!
Which brings me onto exercise. Don’t let the cold weather and busy days stop you from exercising! This time of year is mainly when people give up on their exercise routines because they think, ‘Oh I’ll just pick it back up in January‘, what’s the point? Go for walks in the lovely, crisp air to lift your mood around this cold and dark time of year! Even at home exercises are going to keep you fit and healthy from the comfort of your own living room, no excuse for not having time for a 20 minute insanity workout!!
Keep things in perspective and don’t stress
Trying to stay healthy around this time of year is great if it suits you! You need to remember that in moderation you can have that Christmas cake and those couple of glasses of wine, it is Christmas after all! A couple of treats aren’t going to cause you any trouble, you have to treat yourself!
Christmas can be stressful and stress and weight gain go hand in hand! It can also lead to low moods. Try and do things that you enjoy and say no to events that you’re going to just because you feel obliged too. Take time out to spend with your close family and even just with yourself. Family is what Christmas is all about! Exercise to keep the stress levels down and be positive wherever you can. Life’s too short to worry about the little things!
Enjoy your Christmas everyone!