Posted on December 12, 2018 by Josh Puttock

Christmas is notoriously a time to indulge, but that doesn’t mean you should let this be the green light to binge! You can enjoy all the festivities of the season and get through the Christmas period without negatively impacting your nutritional health.

December is a month jam-packed full of temptations that can lead to your nutritional health suffering. Of course this is the time of year to relax and enjoy yourself with a glass of bubbly and a mince pie, however at the same time it is important to look after yourself and make sure your health is not being ignored. Here are some nutritional health tips to keep you well over the festive period.

Nutritional health tips for Christmas

Enjoy your food

The amount of food we eat over the Christmas period can seem endless! From the turkey, the mince pies, to the Christmas pudding – it just keeps on coming. As amazing as all of this food is, it is important to take our time whilst eating to fully reap the benefits and enjoy our Christmas meals.

As much as we all want to tuck into a piled-high mountain of food, taking your time to enjoy your food not only gives you greater satisfaction with your meal but is also much better for your health. Slowly eating your food helps with digestion, so take your time, enjoy your meal and chew well.

Ultimately food is one of the highlights of Christmas – well it is for me! So, take your time to enjoy it: it’s even better when it benefits your health and also makes it taste that extra bit better.

Schedule in your exercise

Christmas tends to be a time where exercise takes a back seat whilst we all overindulge in food and drink. However, as much as you are enjoying yourself, making time to schedule in some exercise is also important. It bolsters your immune system and boosts endorphins, making you feel a whole lot better.

Even if you’re going to take a bit of a break from your regular workouts, make time and go for a daily walk. It’ll keep you active and sets the intention for regular activity. By doing that extra bit of exercise, as well as benefiting your health, it means you can have that extra mince pie.

Drink lots of water

Hydration is key all around the year but never more so than at Christmas, when the opportunity for an extra glass of alcohol is never far away. We generally don’t drink enough water anyway, and with additional alcohol and food being consumed, this is a time of year where drinking more water is a must, otherwise our health and wellbeing will suffer.

Dehydration negatively affects mood, attention, memory and motor co-ordination. Our bodies should ideally consist of between 55-60% water, so we should aim to drink 2 litres of water each day to keep fully hydrated and feel well and healthy during this busy time.

Another tip is to drink a glass of water in between your alcoholic drinks as this keeps you hydrated and will prevent you from having a sore head in the morning.

Take it easy on the alcohol

With all the social occasions taking place over the Christmas period – from the Christmas parties, family dinners and work drinks – alcohol units can easily add up. As much as we all like to have a few drinks at this time of year, we have to be careful to not overindulge.

Mulled wine on Christmas Eve, Bucks Fizz with breakfast, wine with dinner, Baileys, brandy – the list goes on. Try and keep tabs on how much you are drinking, as too much alcohol will have negative effects on your health and your wallet.

Ultimately there’s nothing wrong with having a few drinks at this joyful time of year, however swapping the odd alcoholic drink for a soft drink will have nutritional benefits.

Eat some fruit

Christmas is a time of plenty, and with nuts, tins of chocolates, mince pies and treats wherever you look, you have to be honest and admit you’re going to enjoy some treats over the festive period!

But rather than eating anything and everything in front of you, take a minute to think about whether you really want it or whether you’re just eating it because it’s there. With the various treats on offer at Christmas, we tend to eat less foods full of vitamins and minerals. It’s important that you counteract this.

As well as stocking the cupboards with tins of chocolate and alcohol, make sure you fill the fruit bowl and still get your recommended daily portions of fruit and veg. At the very least, try and eat more than just the satsuma in your stocking!

By Charlie Casey