Once there was a pagan mid-winter festival called Yule; it was a 3-nighter – I imagine they feasted on wild boar accompanied by mulled ale!  Now celebrations are spread out over weeks so that if you wait until the new year to get “back on track”, you risk doing lots of damage!  But you don’t need to go all “bah humbug” either; here are some strategies to help you survive the season and stay healthy as well as happy throughout.

  1. Don’t deny yourself your favourite foods – give yourself permission to eat what you want; But, choose wisely and watch your portion sizes. If you are at a buffet then place everything you want on your plate and then move away from the buffet before you start eating.
  2. Eat consciously – the average calorie intake on Christmas day is more than three times our daily requirement. If you quit unconscious grazing on chocolate coins and refrain from “knocking back” every glass of champagne put into your hand, then and you can drastically reduce this.
  3. Step-up your exercise – if you’re going to eat more calories you need to burn more. Even just a couple of thousand more steps a day will help and, if you’re short on time, work harder/walk quicker!
  4. Prioritise your social calendar – anything you can skip? If so, make your excuses and switch the umpteenth monotonous work do (yes I did just write that) for some shut-eye, so you look fabulous and ready to party harder when it matters the most!
  5. Limit/avoid alcohol – typically I’ll choose to avoid alcohol as I hate feeling rubbish and I don’t need it to have a great time. But, if it is important to you, then be cautious; alcohol is a saboteur of restraint, full of empty calories and can disrupt digestion so badly that instead of looking svelte in your LBD you will look pregnant!
  6. Get back on track immediately – so it happens, you’ve over-indulged, but you don’t need to go helter-skelter towards self-anihilation. Eat lightly for a day, swap dinner for bone broth and get to bed early.
  7. Help your liver – for many, the festive period will increase the liver’s detox burden but starving yourself and drinking only cucumber juice is really not the answer. You need a nutrient rich diet to help the liver do its job properly; green vegetables, seeds, raw nuts, wild salmon and organic red meat, such as venison, are all rich in the nutrients your liver requires to function optimally.
  8. Finally, think positive; don’t assume that you’ve gained a kilo from an extra mince-pie or two but do weigh yourself regularly!

Should you still find you need help getting “back on your wagon”, check out my January programmes and events for some health inspiration.