By Jeanann Doyle
Welcome back to our top tips for keeping healthy during the festive period.
The ongoing pandemic and second lockdown have probably sent most of us on a rollercoaster with our eating habits and exercise routines. Well done on making it through this year and for persevering your efforts at trying to stay healthy during this uncertain time. Many of us might have made poorer food choices leading to comfort eating and weight gain with spending more time at home. We all know the festive season can also lead to over-indulging so let’s get ahead and be prepared. Why not begin 2021 with a fresh start in taking ownership of our health.
Read ahead for our top tips on keeping healthy while still being able to join in on festive fun.
The Christmas Dinner
Don’t give yourself a Christmas stuffing. Try to eat more slowly as the average Christmas dinner can easily be 3,000 calories! Have a rest after you feel full for 15minutes, chances are you are full and won’t need to have seconds and thirds. Many foods prepared for the ultimate dinner of the year are in fact healthy if we bear in mind healthy cooking methods. Turkey is a lean protein source and so is a nut roast. Brussel sprouts (high in folate) can be dressed up nicely with chestnuts and nutmeg or pistachios and pomegranate seeds. There is no Christmas without the roasties. Potatoes offer potassium, carbohydrates and Vitamin C. Leave the skins on for fibre and roast using an unsaturated fat.
It can be tempting to reach out for snacks high in fat, salt and sugar. Don’t replace your good efforts by swapping your fruit and healthy snacks with chocolate just because it’s Christmas. Remember to eat fruit, healthy snacks and vegetables and aim for your 5 a day to make sure you get your vitamins and minerals. This is important in supporting our immune system and to fight diseases as well as supplying the body with the essential nutrients it needs for energy and to stay active. You will also notice there will be less dipping into the gigantic tin of chocolates.
How many units in your Christmas Tipple
There are so many different drinks and glass sizes these days so is it any wonder that we forget what a unit of alcohol looks like? A unit is a half a pint or two-thirds of a small glass of wine or a single shot of any spirit. Alcohol can harm our immune system and lower our ability to fight off illness. If you do drink, remember to stay within recommended units per week which is 14 for men and women with drink-free days in between. Mocktails can be healthier alternatives and a fun activity to do at home or why not go for low-calorie mixers or low alcohol wine.
This is a time of the year to unwind. Do whatever it is that makes you feel relaxed, creative, calm or happy. Call up some friends, take some nice photos, get on the apron for some festive baking or maybe it’s just about getting cosy with a blanket and a new book. Remember also that this is something you can build into your lifestyle more often if you make the time for it rather than waiting all year to have some “downtime” or “me time”. This will not only benefit your well-being but will help you feel calmer and less stressed