At this time of year, despite our intentions not to go crazy and let go of our health foundations, Christmas is a time of excess which we often pay for as we return to our desks in January sluggish and having let out a belt size – what can we do to mitigate the excesses at Christmas time? How can we have that well deserved break and return to work after the holidays bright eyed and bushy tailed and eager for the New Year and the opportunities that that might bring? Why not have a healthy Christmas?
- Relax – The holidays and especially the Christmas meal doesn’t have to be perfect. In order to get the most out of our food we need to be in a state of rest and digest not flight and fight. Keep your sense of humour – so what if the lunch is a little late in arriving? It’s about eating together as a family. Try Mark William’s book on Mindfulness or there are many good apps just to give yourself a bit of space..talking of mindfulness…
- Eat Mindfully – It’s so easy just to keep popping those chocolates and nuts in your mouth. Don’t leave food hanging around. Enjoy eating but eat at the table. Eating mindfully ie paying attention to what you are eating will help you not over-eat.
- Move – Try and get some fresh air – even it’s walking the dog round the block! Even better if you can try and get out in nature during the break. It’s so easy to get into watching junk TV so choose what you are going to watch rather than letting it choose you.
- Go Easy on the booze – yes, yes we all know this one. At least hydrate as the alcohol is a diuretic – a chemical that kicks your urinary system into over-drive. Coffee also is a diuretic – so why not try some water, fresh mint (if you can get it) fresh ginger and lemon which should keep you hydrated.
- Don’t give yourself a Christmas Stuffing – Recent research suggests that we consume around 3000 calories in our Christmas dinner – more than an adult man is meant to consume in a day. My best tip is actually to eat breakfast on Christmas day and then see the Christmas meal as just a normal Sunday roast rather than some huge great eating competition. Taking a break after the first course (20 mins) should be long enough for your body to realise it’s getting full. Eat Laods of Veg, go easy on the spuds!
Lastly make a date in the diary for the New Years resolutions! But don’t make them in the first week of January you are much more likely to fail. I make mine at Chinese New Year (February time) by this time the light is returning, we can see spring round the corner and it’s much easier to keep your promises to yourself!