How to stay healthy in the festive season

16 December 2019
Christmas blog

How to stay healthy in the festive season

The festive season is upon us once again, and the year is almost at an end. Christmas parties, family gatherings and festive get-togethers means indulging in food and drinks, and a detour from our usual fitness regime.

Research studies have found that about half the weight people gain in a year is put on over the Christmas and new year period. We believe you can still indulge and enjoy yourself in the festive season without sacrificing your health goals and undoing all your hard work over the past year.

Our favourite ways to stay healthy and feeling your best during the holiday period are:

  1. Consume protein. Eating a source of protein with each meal will ensure you remain full until your next meal, keep your blood sugar stable, and provide you with a slow-releasing form of energy. Prioritise high quality, organic and free-range animal protein where possible, or enjoy plant-based proteins such as lentils, chickpeas and beans.
  2. Try intermittent fasting. There’s an abundance of research emerging about the benefits of intermittent fasting, or eating in a time-restricted window (e.g. eating meals between 10 am to 6 pm). If you’ve overindulged at a Christmas party or family gathering, try a day or two of intermittent fasting to give your body a chance to
  3. Slow down. Take a mindful moment before you eat a meal or drink a glass of alcohol. Stop and note how hungry you feel and where in the body you notice the hunger. While eating, take time to enjoy the taste, texture and smell of your food. Monitor how full you feel before eating more food or consuming more alcohol.  Mindful eating has been shown to increase the enjoyment of the food we eat, improve digestion and reduce overconsumption of food.
  4. Choose healthy substitutes. Make a few smart swaps to increase the health of your Christmas lunch.  For example, swap sour cream for full-fat greek yoghurt with lemon; use extra spices instead of sugar in glazed ham; swap cream or cheese-based dips for bean-based dips or homemade hummus; consume kombucha instead of sparkling wine, and use avocado as the base for brownies or red velvet cupcakes.
  5. Prioritise green veggies on your plate. Green veggies help with detoxification so are great to have regularly during the festive period.
  6. Make a Plan. Before attending a Christmas or new year party, decide how much you’re going to eat ahead of time (for example, one plate of food and one dessert). Going in with a plan will make you more aware of what and how much you consume. Stick to your plan as best you can, but be kind to yourself if you end up overindulging more than you hoped.
  7. Bring a healthy plate of food. Contributing something wholesome to the spread will give you and other guests a healthy choice.
  8. Stay hydrated. Aim to drink 2 litres of water per day. Try adding fresh mint, lemon or lime to your water, or opt for sparkling water or an iced herbal tea for an extra treat.

The festive season is a good opportunity to slow down, spend time with loved ones and most importantly enjoy yourself! Above all, offer yourself kindness and enjoy yourself.

If you’d like the guidance of a Melbourne Naturopath to help achieve your health goals in 2020, or for a relaxing massage after the busy festive season, call us on 98940014 to book an appointment with one of our experienced practitioners.