Eat Drink and be Merry

Seasons Eating’s Everyone!

Christmas means dark nights; mouth-watering fresh minced pies and bottles of Baileys being fetched from the back of the booze cupboard. And when it’s cold outside, we often reach for a cosy hot chocolate and lots of carb-loaded, sugary foods to give us a boost.

It’s been hard to keep fit with all the pandemic restrictions but physical health is key to mental health so it would be sensible not to have to face January with more easy extra pounds put on over the festive period.

The average person puts on 5-7 pounds over the Christmas Season so here are 6 and a bit easy to follow tips on how to help stay healthy over the next few weeks.

‘If in doubt, breathe out.’ It’s surprising what a great stress buster breathing can be. Rather than the tin of sweets, make your first stress 'go to' coping mechanism a little exercise - breathe in through your nose for a count of four, hold your breath for a count of four, then breath out for a count of eight.

Food. Balance the roast with gut microbes like vegetables or wholegrains and opt for fruit as your pudding. Fill up on vegetables. Don’t eat the turkey skin. Grill your pigs in blankets. Don’t skip meals (this leads to bingeing) and watch your portions. Eat breakfast, eat slowly, and enjoy every mouthful.

If you normally exercise but find yourself falling off the bandwagon, don’t use the ‘leave it to the New Year’ excuse but instead try making up favourite tracks, playlists lasting 20 minutes (or better still more) and use them as incentive to get out of the house. Even a brisk walk works wonders but it’s easy to leave it to next year because ‘it’s Christmas’ so make sure you make the time to do it daily. Plan your workouts around times when you know you’ll be boozing and eating - it will help you go out guilt free and is great for the hangover!

Eat something before you go out and mix up the booze with lots of water. More and more of us are making this a regular habit now so if you aren’t yet, why not give it a try? You’ll feel much better in the morning and those calorific alcohol pounds will stay off.

Buy presents that promote exercise. Whether it’s a football, scooter, a bike, or a pair of skates they need to be road tested! And for the inside, the Wii-Fit is popular and hitting some virtual tennis balls after dinner will minimise blood sugar spikes and dips reducing the likelihood of snacking later on.

Don’t wear elasticated or loose waistband clothing. If it fits in the morning it should still fit in the evening. Look out for that early warning sign of having to undo a top button to cram in more mince pies.

It’s the cumulative effect of all the festive food and booze that does the damage so keep tabs on your waistline, moderate and adapt a little but above all, enjoy!