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12 tips to stay healthy over the holiday season

Christmas is traditionally a time for making merry, drinking too much and eating way in excess of your own body weight! But it doesn’t have to be that way. The main risks to overindulgence can be avoided. You can keep a little healthier than you normally would at this time of year. Simply follow the 12 tips below.

 1. Party wisely

You may have lots of party invitations but do you really have to attend them all? Choose the most important events to attend and only go to these. Your energy levels will remain higher and you won’t be so jaded.

 2. Sign-up for fitness

Maintain your fitness (and health) throughout December by registering for a fitness event in early 2019. This will motivate you to stay active during the party season. Maybe a local boot camp…

3. Exchange drinks for kilometres

Make a deal with yourself before you enjoy a drink with friends. Maybe for every alcoholic drink you consume, you must walk or run one kilometre the following day. A great way to drink less!

 4. Start eating last

 

Research shows eating out with seven or more people will see you eat 50% more than if you had eaten on your own. Solve this problem by being the slowest eater – be the last to start eating and the first to stop.

5.  Reflect and re-evaluate

The end of the year should be a time to reflect on your achievements and to conduct a re-evaluation of your goals. This will give you a sense of self-fulfilment, self-worth and purpose, which are both important for a happy and healthy mind. It will help you stay more on track when tempted to indulge.

6.  Dance the night away

Put on those dancing shoes! Dancing for one hour burns approximately 1200kJ. Parties can be more than enjoying food and alcohol – make it a fun workout with your friends.

7. Be sensible with your weight

December is not the month to focus on weight loss. Focus instead on weight maintenance and trying to eat some healthy foods and you’ll enjoy the festive season without the guilt.

 

8.  Try the slow food revolution

The slow food revolution is about knowing your food – where it has come from and how it is grown. This festive season, head to your local farmers’ markets and stock up on fresh whole foods.

9.  Active catch-up

Nobody said Christmas functions have to revolve around a buffet or a bar. Change your Christmas party to a day of round-robin tennis or even a game of lawn bowls. Get everyone to bring a healthy dish to share.

10.  Downsize the plates

Be like Goldilocks and eat off the smallest plate you can find. Research shows the larger the plate, the more food dished up and the more food eaten. If you’re at a buffet, be sure to keep an eye on the serving utensils, too – a larger serving spoon can see you dish up 15% more food that if you had used a smaller spoon.

11.  Wear tight clothes

Skinny jeans or snug fitting clothes are great in avoiding overeating. It’s extremely uncomfortable sitting and moving in tight clothes when your stomach is almost bursting out. Your waist circumference is also a great indicator of your risk of developing ill health or disease.

12. Get enough sleep

With all the partying and fun pursuits, don’t forget the importance of sleep. Sleep is time for your body to rest and repair, and inadequate sleep can play havoc with your internal body clock. Growing research shows a link between a lack of sleep and weight-gain, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and an increased risk of accidents. Aim for between 7–8 hours sleep each night.

Enjoy the holiday season but don’t overindulge. If you would like to speak to a GP about any concerns you have then get in touch!

 

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