The Christmas season is almost synonymous with over indulgence. With so many parties, end of year break-ups, Christmas gatherings and festivities going on, many of us forget our health plans, diets and routines and just enjoy indulgence. Apparently people gain 2-3kgs on average over the Christmas season, taking the rest of Summer and most of Autumn to work off again. And a lot of those calories enter our bodies at Christmas dinner –  2500 and 3500 calories is the average consumed in one sitting. That’s a lot of good, hard work of healthy eating and exercise to blow on one meal. But no one wants to be a Scrooge at Christmas! So here are some ways to enjoy the Christmas season, and the celebration of food in particular, without ruining your healthy living mojo.

Stick To Your Routine

No matter what celebratory activities are going down, stick to your routine as much as possible. If you get up every morning for a walk and a healthy breakfast – continue all the way through to new years. Good habits are easy to break but hard to pick up again. You have worked so hard throughout the year to get into good habits, so keep it up! It’s ok to skip a few workout sessions or enjoy a few extra drinks, but keep up the good choices. Get back out there the next day and continue good eating habits. Eating well and staying active throughout the party season will actually help you feel so much better after the parties and rich foods. Be lenient and try to think of other ways to be active.

Know How To Party Healthy

You don’t have to stay home just because there are lots of food temptations about. The people are what we are celebrating anyway, so arm yourself with knowing how to make a healthy choice. Choose the vegetables, salads and lean meats for dinner. Snack on the grilled protein, raw vegetables, nuts and stay away from rich sauces and dressings. Keep a count on how much you’ve eaten to not overdo portion sizes. A great tip is to have a protein snack before a party so you don’t eat everything when you get there. Learn how to politely say “no” to high calorie foods and save up for one rich dessert, instead of all of them. Savour it and enjoy it. Before you go out for drinks, eat a meal high in good fats (salmon, avocado etc) so you can soak up the alcohol in a kinder way to your digestive tract and keep well hydrated. Particularly in the heat of summer, it is tempting to quench your thirst with a few sugary drinks, empty calories you could have saved up for that delicious icecream pudding Auntie Chrissy made.

Be Proactive

Chocolate balls and buttery bikkies are often a-plenty this time of year. Easy to just grab and pop in your mouth! Be proactive and have some healthy options on hand. Get in the kitchen and make some of your own special healthy treats. Protein balls, date balls, cacao slices, low-sugar content treats are great ways to enjoy the snacks without blowing the calorie bank. Christmas dinner can also be transformed by your healthy proactivity. Make your own mince pies, roasts and salads will mean that they are often healthier for you. Bring along a healthy plate or salad along to the party and people will love you! And you will also have a healthy option for dinner. Win, Win!

Give Your Body a Bit of Help

Alcohol, chocolate, rich food, and the abundance of it all can be hard for your digestive system to keep up with. And all this happens in such a short period of time. End of year break-up parties, then there’s Christmas, Boxing Day Test and we end off with a bang on New Years. Only to wake up with the worst start to the new year. And a new years resolution to lose weight and get healthy. You can help out your digestive tract by taking probiotic supplements and increase the good bacteria to digest all that food. These bacteria are great for reducing bloating and constipation that usually are a side effect of over indulgence.

If you find it hard to party without alcohol, then you will be depleting your vitamin B levels quickly. Having low vitamin B is what contributes to you feeling washed out, and sluggish. Drink lots of water while you party and makes sure you don’t drink on an empty stomach. But also intentionally increase your vitamin B dosages. Foods rich in vitamin B are brown rice, oats and green vegetables. Supplements are also available, but if you’re eating these foods daily, you’ll also be getting other benefits like fibre and other minerals helpful for your digestive tract.

 

Enjoy yourself this season without waking up in 2018 with unhealthy regrets. Keep committed to your local gym and surrounded by your healthy living support crew. Keep up the good work all the way to the end of 2017! Merry Christmas from all of us here at AJ’s!