Health

8 tips to stay healthy during the Christmas season

BY JO-HANNA TAYLOR

Sunday, November 26, 2017

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EXTRAORDINARY Christmas displays, complete with lights and tinsel, as well as All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey on repeat on most radio stations — there is no doubt about it, Christmas is coming.

But with it comes many Christmas parties, ham, fruit cake, sorrel, liquor, additional pounds, and salty regret.

This time of joy and reuniting of family and friends usually comes hand in hand with overeating. So, instead of throwing caution to the wind for the month of December and starting from scratch in January, here are eight ways you can cut down the calories and stay healthy during the Christmas season while preparing for the new year!

1. Don't miss breakfast

Eat your breakfast, for goodness sakes. A balanced breakfast cuts down wanting to overeat throughout the day, especially if it's a day of Christmas parties.

2. Drink water

It might not have 'flavour', but I promise you, it's your saviour.

It's easy to be dehydrated and mistake that for hunger. Drink your water throughout the day and have a large glass before your meals. This cuts down on overeating and helps to boost your metabolic rate.

Also, have a glass of water between your alcoholic drinks as this helps to reduce your chances of a hangover and can cut weight gain.

3. Halves

Are you in the buffet line? Make sure half of your plate is salad and veggies such as lettuce, tomatoes, carrot, cucumber, and broccoli. Make sure your other half is well proportioned with your Christmas faves. Stay away from rice and take it easy with the red meat.

4. Don't overdo it

Just dial it back. Have that tiny slice of cake; instead of an enormous wine glass, go smaller. Cut down on putting cheese on every single thing. Put your snacks in a container or have a handful so you can keep count instead of finger picking — less is more.

5. Dilute it

If you must have drinks or juices that weren't freshly prepared, dilute them with water.

6. Bread

Swap white bread for its more fibre-rich brother — brown or whole wheat bread. Also, if you usually have two slices of bread, do away with one and eat your food like the pizza you never asked for but are happy you got.

7. Get the extra miles in

Apart from your usual exercise regimen, use the opportunity to walk more while shopping.

8. Join a wellness community

Wellness goals are easier to attain when you have the support of people and friends who want you to be better and are also on that journey with you. Other than your friend, partner or family members ensuring that you aren't overdoing it, there's 12 Months 24 Dares Wellness 2018.

12 Months 24 Dares Wellness 2018 is an initiative to help people create and stick to wellness habits and establish a healthy lifestyle.

The 'dare-ees' are asked to commit themselves to one fitness and one wellness challenge per month. Each dare is accompanied by additional resources, access to various products and services to help them complete the dare, and access to a wellness specialist and other team members.

The movement also gives you the option to be paired with a 'fitness buddy' — another dare-ee — to help motivate you, work out with you, meal prep with you, and keep you on track.

For more information on 12 Months 24 Dares Wellness 2018, you can visit their Instagram account @12months24dares or email them at 12months24dares@gmail.com.

Following these tips should have you still enjoying the festivities and not too nervous about the new year!

Jo-Hanna Taylor is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, National Exercise Trainers Association group exercise instructor, and yoga instructor.

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