Top Nutrition Tips for Healthy Eating at Christmas

Top Nutrition Tips for Healthy Eating at Christmas

It’s easy to overlook simple things you can do during the Christmas festivities to help you stay on track with your healthy habits. Of course, there will be days when you over indulge, but that doesn’t mean the whole Christmas period is a right off! I know many people want ideas so that they can still enjoy themselves, to not feel like they are depriving themselves, but to avoid unnecessary over indulgence.

Always remember to stay well hydrated

Top Nutrition Tips for Healthy Eating at Christmas

A typical person requires about 2L of fluid each day and hydrating fluids are those to aim for: water, flavoured water (naturally flavoured e.g. with lemon or cucumber), fruit and herbal teas or very well diluted cordials. When it’s cold it’s tempting to drink more tea and coffee, but they act as a diuretic and a stimulant, so include some herbal teas instead.

Avoid arriving at a drinks party hungry

Top Nutrition Tips for Healthy Eating at Christmas

Not only will any alcohol you drink have a more rapid impact, but you will also be tempted to reach for too many crisps and peanuts. A small protein smoothie or a couple of oat cakes with peanut or almond butter are good options.

If you’re at a drinks party, be careful of all the pastries like sausage rolls

Top Nutrition Tips for Healthy Eating at Christmas

Pastry is white refined flour, and to the body it’s just sugar. A piece of cheese is a better option (fats do not make us fat, sugars do). Look for higher protein foods like (ideally unsalted) nuts; and those with the least amount of pastry.

Start your day (including Christmas day) with a sustaining breakfast

Top Nutrition Tips for Healthy Eating at Christmas

It must include some protein such as cheese, eggs, smoked salmon or full fat Greek yoghurt. Protein helps you to stay fuller for longer and helps to prevent over indulgence on snacks that are a guaranteed way to gain weight.

Protein, vegetables, carbs

Top Nutrition Tips for Healthy Eating at Christmas

If you’re going to Christmas dinner parties, try to remember “protein, vegetables, carbs” in that order: do I have enough protein to eat (meat, fish, pulses, lentils, eggs); do I have plenty of vegetables to eat (the more, the better); do I really need so many potatoes (pasta, rice)? It is the starchy carbohydrates that contain sugars that can lead to weight gain, so resist a large portion!

Practice mindful eating

Top Nutrition Tips for Healthy Eating at Christmas

It is still possible to practice mindful eating, even on Christmas Day itself. This means taking a pause before tucking in, taking smaller mouthfuls, really enjoying the tastes and textures as you chew and generally slowing down. Most people eat far too quickly. Not only does this really cause digestive difficulties, but overconsumption of food too. Your stomach doesn’t have a chance to recognise when you are full when eating at speed.

Try to intersperse an alcoholic drink with water

Top Nutrition Tips for Healthy Eating at Christmas

Flavoured water or a little sparkling water. Alcohol contains a lot of sugar and is a rapid way to gain weight.

If you’re hungover…

Top Nutrition Tips for Healthy Eating at Christmas

A bowl of porridge with 1-2 heaped dessert spoon of seeds and nuts will set you up for the day. Or a couple of eggs on a slice of toast. The seeds, nuts and eggs provide good fats and protein to help stabilise your blood sugar for the day ahead.

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Gut Health Nutritionist Caroline Peyton Principles
Caroline is a Professional Nutritionist, Naturopath based in Wiltshire.

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Providing expert, personalised, health advice utilising 10 years of nutritional therapy and naturopathy experience with a strong emphasis on digestion and gut health. Zoom or face to face Consultations.

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