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Staying healthy during the festive season

It’s possibly the most unhealthy time of the year… The festive season is nearly here when many of us will plan to spend this time with our family and friends celebrating. During this more sociable season you may find yourself attending festive celebrations where you could eat or drink more than usually would. It is easy to see why some of us may struggle to stay healthy during the Christmas period…

Did you know the average Brit consumes 7,000 calories on Christmas day and will gain around 6lbs between Christmas and New Year1?  The recommended daily intake of calories for a man is around 2,500Kcal and for a woman it’s around 2,000Kcal as part of a healthy and balanced diet2, which means your Christmas intake will be nearly 3 times that of your recommend intake.   

Don’t be a stuffed turkey this year! Here are 4 ways to help you stay healthy this Christmas:

1. Cut the calories in your Christmas Dinner without sacrificing on the taste. Making some simple swaps when it comes to your Christmas pudding could save you around 117kcal3. For example NHS Choices recommend ditching the brandy butter or double cream to garnish your Christmas pudding and swapping it for healthier alternatives such as low fat custard or 0% fat Greek yoghurt. Use NHS Choices to find out how you can reduce the calories in your Christmas dinner

2. Tis the season to not be stressed. During this time of year it can be easy to let everything get to you especially when you have so much to plan and do. Try keeping your sense of humour and enjoy the festivities and remember its only one day of the year so try not to let it stress you out. Web MD has numerous tips on reducing stress.

3. Don’t forget to stay hydrated. BBC Good Food’s Nutritionist Kerry Torrens recommends making sure that you hydrate yourself before and after the work Christmas party … “On the day of a big night out, and the day after, I make a conscious effort to drink 6-8 glasses of water, or plenty of herbal teas or diluted juice. Even mild dehydration can lead to a headache and combined with the diuretic effects of alcohol makes maintaining your fluid intake so important.”4

4. Stay active. As the colder weather and darker nights approach you may be less enthusiastic to exercise and ready to hibernate. Don’t! Staying active has many benefits especially during those cold and dark mornings, NHS Choices explains that regular exercise can help you feel more energetic which in turn can help make it easier to get up during those winter months5. Visit Body Fuel for tips and advice on staying fit and healthy all year round.

Finally don’t forget to enjoy the festive period; it’s a great chance to get together with your family and friends to celebrate a great year!

For more tips and advice on staying healthy please visit https://www.health-on-line.co.uk/news-views/stay-healthy

Sources:

  1. The Independent - It's possibly the most unhealthy time of the year
  2. Daily Mail - The average Brit consumes a whopping 7,000 calories on Christmas day (with your recommended daily allowance already reached by 2pm!)
  3. NHS – What should my daily intake of calories be?
  4. NHS – Healthy Christmas Dinner
  5. BBC Good Food – How to stay healthy over Christmas
  6. NHS Choices – Exercising in winter
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