Most family events and holiday parties are centred around eating fattening foods and drinking alcohol. But the festive season doesn’t have to derail your health. Here are few last minute tips on how to survive the holiday season without packing on the pounds or fighting off the flu.
Be smart about your drinking
Alcohol is a big part of most holiday celebrations and can add lots of empty calories. For example, a single hot buttered rum has 418 calories! Drinking alcohol can also make you hungrier. You're likely to eat more after you’ve had a couple of drinks. Limit your alcohol intake and go for low calorie options. A single shot of vodka, gin or rum mixed with tonic water or diet soda is only around 100 calories. Champagne or prosecco are also great choices at around 80 to 120 calories per glass - you’re also more likely to sip fizzy drinks slowly. To help control your buzz, as well as your calories, have a glass of water after each drink.
Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’
It’s OK to say ‘no’ to overeating, unhealthy dishes and drinking alcohol. Your friends and family won’t be offended if they really care about you and know you’re watching what you eat or drink.
Boost your immunity with a daily walk
Not only will walking help you help keep off unwanted holiday weight, it’ll also strengthen your immune system. Research shows that even 20 minutes a day is enough to get immune-boosting benefits.
Don't skip meals
It’s tempting to skip breakfast or lunch before a big Christmas dinner, but skipping meals only leads to overindulging later. It can also make us tired and irritable, neither great for being in the festive spirit. Stick to eating normal-sized meals at regular intervals throughout the day.
Wash your hands
With holiday travel comes holiday germs. Wash your hands frequently when travelling, or keep a bottle of hand sanitiser with you. Also, avoid touching your face. Even with regular hand washing, it’s easy to pick up cold and flu viruses if you touch your nose and mouth after contact with a contaminated surface.
Slow down and eat mindfully
It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to feel full after eating, so it’s easy to overdo it if you eat too quickly. Slow down and really savor your food. Stop before you go for seconds and consider if you really need that extra serving of mashed potatoes, or if you’re just eating more without thinking.
Find fun ways to exercise
Plan physical activities with family and friends, such as ice skating, sledding or cross country skiing. You'll not only burn off all those extra holiday calories, you'll have fun with your loved ones while doing it.