Being healthy and eating well can be hard at the best of times but this is especially the case over Christmas and the holiday period. We all want to do our best to stay healthy and in shape but aren’t necessarily sure of the best plan to follow. We have put together guidelines to allow you some flexibility so you can stay on track but enjoy yourself at the same time.
1. Plan ahead. set out to eat well this Christmas. Pre order your shopping each week and make sure it contains lots of lean protein and vegetables. Try avoiding sugars, processed foods and grains where possible. This should encourage you to eat well and remain on a healthy diet. Therefore when you do go out the damage won’t be as bad and if you do end up over indulging you will have a plan and food in place to help you get back on track the following day.
2. Portion size is key. Calorie counting can be useful but for most of us, especially over Christmas, we won’t be tracking our diets as closely as that. There is a much easier method by using your hand. The guidelines below are for women. For men simply double the amounts of each. Note these are rough guidelines and you should adjust to your size and lifestyle.
- Try to have 3-4 meals a day dependant on hunger:
- 1 palm of protein at every meal
- 1 fist of vegetables at every meal
- 1 cup of carbohydrates at every meal
- 1 thumb of fat at every meal
3. Hydrate. Staying hydrated is one of the most important and easiest changes you can make to your diet. Your body depends on water to survive; every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to function properly. Being thirsty can also lead to overeating. Ensure you drink enough water and you will feel fuller and you won’t have as many hunger cravings. Alcohol acts as a diuretic and will dehydrate you. It is important to replace vital nutrients and vitamins that are lost when we over indulge. Coconut water is a great way to replace lost electrolytes.
4. Don’t drink your calories. We have placed great emphasis on staying hydrated but only if it is done with the right drinks. When you go to parties this Christmas be smart and choose your drinks wisely. Cocktails are often filled with lots of sugar and lots of calories – a Margarita can contain 550 calories and a pint of Guinness has about 200 calories. Drink water before you go out and between your alcoholic drinks. This should hopefully result in less alcohol overall. Another helpful tip you can use is to add frozen fruit to your champagne flutes. It tastes great and also fills up the glass with less alcohol.
5. Stay active. We recently wrote a whole article on how to stay motivated during the Winter period. If you aren’t one for training on your own then why not opt for a longer walk with relatives and friends instead. Not only is it a great chance to catch up but it is fun and you get to enjoy the benefits of being outside in the fresh air. Have a look here for amazing country walks near London.