Food tips, myths and facts

Food tips, myths and facts

December 15, 2016

How to stay healthy over Christmas

Image credit: iStock/ballero

How often do you find yourself using the excuse ‘it’s Christmas’ throughout December? We all know that the odd little indulgence isn’t going to hurt too much, but many of us take it a bit far the moment we open that first window on the advent calendar.

Between all the chocolate, cheese boards, cakes and alcohol, Christmas is a really unhealthy time. It’s no wonder that so many people start new fitness regimes in January.

However, the new year doesn’t need to be all about losing those extra pounds you put on over the festive period – which usually takes more than a month – as there are plenty of ways to enjoy Christmas and stay fairly healthy.

This doesn’t mean that you need to miss out on all your favourite treats either, so you can still enjoy all the festive celebrations. Simply use our tips and you could find that you stay healthier than ever before over Christmas.

Choose low fat and low sugar options

You don’t need to skip out on all your favourite goodies in order to stay healthy throughout December. Instead, find low fat and low sugar alternatives that mean you enjoy the same foods but with fewer calories.

Everything from chocolates to mince pies and cheese can be healthier if you’re paying attention to the ingredients. You may find that vegan options or gluten-free varieties are a bit better for you than standard options so don’t discount these.

It might also be a good idea to make what you can from scratch, as this means you are able to change some of the ingredients for healthier alternatives, such as sugar for agave nectar.

Regular exercise

It may be tempting to curl up on the sofa in your Christmas jumper and watch festive films rather than go to the gym, but exercise is important when it comes to staying healthy and burning off calories.

You may not want to do a full workout, but staying active is a big part of reducing the impact that Christmas has on your health. Even something like going for a walk will be beneficial, especially after your big Christmas Day meal, while swimming and other low-impact exercises can help you workout in a gentle way.

If you workout regularly as it is, you want to maintain this as failing to do so can reduce your endurance and productivity.

Get enough fruit and vegetables

It is important to ensure you’re still eating balanced meals that include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. You may be tempted to pile your plate high with all the tasty foods and avoid adding any green to the mix, but your body needs the vitamins and nutrients contained in fruit and vegetables.

Switching to a nutrient-poor diet isn’t only bad for your waistline, it can also mean you’ll be more prone to illness as your immune system isn’t getting everything it needs. This can leave you feeling tired and sick, which will then have a knock-on effect when it comes to your fitness.

Avoid snacking

One of the biggest issues when it comes to health over the festive period is all the snacking you’ll do. Yes, you may think that it’s just a couple of chocolates or only a mince pie, but the calories soon add up.

Even if you’re eating reasonably healthy meals, all the snacks will have an effect on your body. This means you should try and avoid overdoing it and set yourself a limit each day when it comes to the treats you can have.

Things like chocolate and cake won’t keep you feeling full for long, so you’re more likely to get hungry and snack again in an hour or so. To avoid this, have fruit, fat-free yoghurt or other healthy and filling snacks to hand that will make it easier to avoid unhealthy goodies.


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