'Tis the season for indulging, fa la la la la, la la la la. December is the one month of the year where it's almost expected that you will be glugging back cocktails and alcoholic hot chocolates, and eating nothing but Christmas dinners and selection boxes. I don't know about you but my jeans are feeling ever so slightly tighter than usual...! This should all be accepted as all part of the fun and festivity of the season, however. I'm never going to be the person to tell you that you can't enjoy one too many moments of indulgence, nor that you shouldn't be stuffing your face full of truffles and pigs in blankets. I am however, someone who will always advocate enjoying a balanced, healthy lifestyle and this means indulging and eating and drinking a little too much. However with every unhealthy choice, it's always worth balancing things out a little.
DRINK CHAMPAGNE & KEEP HYDRATED
It's easy to drink yourself silly over the festive period, whether at the work Christmas party, or dancing the night away with your friends. I don't really drink too often throughout the year, but I have no problem letting my hair down a little over the festive period. A trick I've picked up over the years is for every alcoholic drink, ask for a glass of water too. Water will counteract the dehydration effect alcohol has, which should also mean you'll be virtually hangover free the next day! So feel free to slurp on as many glasses of champagne throughout the party season, but sip plenty of water too...!
TOP UP ON THOSE VEGETABLES
When you think about it, Christmas dinner really isn't that 'bad' at all. You've got a good source of lean protein from the turkey, plus you've got plenty of vegetables cooked in every way possible. Now that sounds like a pretty alright meal, am I right? Of course, when you find you have a mountain of roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings and it's all smothered in cranberry sauce, the carb sweats will begin and your tummy may not like you. But hey, I'm not going to stop you from going all out, it's Christmas after all! What I'm trying to suggest is make sure you take advantage of the abundance of vegetables in front of you to at least try and get in some fibre, vitamins and minerals. Not a fan of Brussels sprouts? Halved, sautéd with pancetta and chestnuts - you'll soon be a fan...
THE HEALTHY COCKTAIL
Wine, beer, sugary cocktails, mixers... often the cheapest options at the bar, but more often than not, the most culpable for major headaches and hangovers. If you fancy a drink or a healthier cocktail, stick to clear liquids and spirits like soda water/fizzy water/vodka/tequila etc. The cleanest drink to have is fresh soda/fizzy water with vodka and a slice or two of lemon or lime. Not only will this keep you hydrated but you'll feel like you can have your cake and eat it, guilt free!
SHARING IS CARING
It can be so easy to just sneak off and demolish your umpteenth Terry's Chocolate Orange all to yourself, however if you're someone who, like me, knows the never ending chocolate you receive at Christmas is your downfall, why not share it with your friends and family? Easier said than done, but it's the season for sharing after all, and why not do it with your loved ones? You could even bake any left over chocolate treats into rocky road, chocolate fondue or as decoration on top of a cake. At the end of the day, the more chocolate you give, the less work you'll need to do at the gym post-Christmas!
DO NOT DEPRIVE
Ultimately, the main thing to remember is to simply enjoy yourself! If you want to eat half a tub of Celebrations (I don't recommend it), do it! If you want three helpings of Christmas pudding, go wild! There's no point saying no to things if you really want to enjoy it, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with overindulging at this time of year. This tip probably contradicts all of the above, but you just need to remember that in a week or so, you'll be re-tuning your eating habits back to their usual ways and everything will be back to normal. It's one time of the year, just enjoy it and make the most of it! We are all there in January vowing to never eat a single potato ever again, or never to drink again, and no one can do up their jeans either. Eat, drink and be merry.
It's 10 days until Christmas - eek! Are you ready? Have you had any Christmas meals yet this year? What's your favourite indulgence at Christmas? Do you have any tips for staying healthy and happy over the festive season?