1. Indulge, yes, but don’t overindulge!
Celebrating over the festive season pretty much always means food. And when you go from one dinner to another, be it an office Christmas meal, a party with friends or a family dinner, chances are you might start feeling a bit sick if you keep overindulging in rich foods and drinks. Instead, try to be mindful of what you eat, and take your time during your meal. Did you know that it generally takes around 20 minutes to feel full after you’ve started eating? This is because your body needs time to process the food you’ve just had and produce satiety hormones. So try to eat slowly, drink water during your meal to aid digestion, and take the time to fully enjoy your food! This way, you can stop eating once you are comfortably full, and feel satisfied after your meal.
2. Be mindful of your alcohol intake.
With festivities comes alcohol, and sometimes hangover too. It’s OK to enjoy a drink every once in a while, but make sure to moderate your alcohol intake if you want to stay healthy. It can be a good idea to start by drinking a glass of water to quench your thirst, and to keep drinking water all throughout the evening. This will ensure that you are staying hydrated and will limit the risks of waking up feeling hangover the next day.
3. Stay physically active over the holidays.
There is a Scandinavian saying that states: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes”. Winter is not an excuse to skip all of your exercise routine! While you may be busier over the holiday season, there are still easy ways you can get active and moving during the day:
- Rather than taking the lift, walk up the stairs when you can. If you are taking public transports, you can also get off the bus or tram a few stops early and walk to your destination.
- A walk is a really underrated workout! Why not take your family with you on a scenic walk through a park, a forest or just into town to see the Christmas decorations? A brisk 30 minutes walk can burn up to 150 calories, and can also improve digestion.
- Go for some family outdoor activities! A snowball fight, a nice walk, a trip to the park, going ice skating or simply playing football in your backyard are good ways to stay active while having fun with your family.
4. Don’t skip meals in preparation for a big dinner.
You may think that skipping lunch before a heavy dinner is a good idea, but it isn’t. Doing so may actually cause you to overeat during the next meal instead of just eating until you are satisfied. Moreover, skipping meals can make you feel irritable, tired, low, and unable to think clearly. Instead, have a well-balanced breakfast and lunch, and a midday light snack if you feel like it. That way, when dinner comes, you will be able to enjoy your food without feeling like you are starving.
5. Eat what you like and don’t deprive yourself.
Christmas dinners are usually big and heavy, with lots of food to choose from. However, this does not mean that you have to try all of the dishes, especially if you don’t really like some of them! Just choose the food that you like in the portion sizes that suit your needs, and enjoy your meal. And remember, you don’t have to limit yourself like crazy – it’s Christmas after all, you are allowed to indulge! It doesn’t have to be “all-or-nothing”, and, as you know it by now, the key to a healthy diet is balance: you should feel free to enjoy the foods that you really like, in the right proportions.
To sum it up…
The holiday season is a time for reconnecting with your loved ones, spending quality time with your family and friends, and enjoying fancy dinners. While it may seem difficult at first to stay healthy over Christmas when you have a lot of big dinners planned, you can do so by adopting some simple habits to ensure you feel your best all throughout the season. But you should also make sure that you take the time to enjoy yourself: the focus should be on reconnecting with your friends and family and having fun. And most importantly, have a great holiday season!
This blog is written by our Sports Nutrition partner NXT Level.