This time of the year and holidays come with opportunities to overindulge on food, alcohol, partying and to stop exercise routines.

Although " pretox" and " detox" are non-scientific concepts, some practical suggestions to minimize the toll celebrating and lack of routine can take on your health while enjoying the season are:

  • Eat breakfast, try to include protein rich foodstuffs such as wholegrain cereals, eggs, nuts and low fat dairy which help control appetite
  • Don't skip meals, either before going out or following a binge as the hunger and fatigue that follows makes it extremely difficult to control either gorging on the calorie-laden party snacks or on high sugar foods at home
  • Plan ahead and have some healthy snacks available for yourself, seeds and nuts, low-fat yoghurts, seasonal fruits, air-popped popcorn, vegetable sticks ready in the fridge, homemade dips and rice or quinoa salad.
  • Don't deprive yourself, but as many studies have shown that the first taste of a food is the most satisfying and enjoyable, have a piece of chocolate nightly rather than the whole block at one sitting
  • Try to be " mindful" whilst eating and taste the food
  • Stop before the second helping and assess whether it is from hunger, habit or feeling of deserving to indulge at Christmas, it may be useful to have a glass of water and reassess before taking the seconds
  • Try and reduce the calorie dense sauces, gravies and dressings be mindful of avoiding unhealthy bulk-buys, studies have shown we eat and drink more when using larger containers
  • Don't give-up altogether after indulging, make the next meal lighter and squeeze in some extra exercise
  • Distract yourself from the fridge and leftovers by walking, reading, doing something you enjoy, make a cup of tea
  • Stay hydrated and try to keep to water, avoiding the calorie rich fruit juices and mixes,
  • Alternate alcoholic drinks at functions with sparking waters and non-alcoholic drinks
  • Control stresses during the festive season , don't over-schedule you holidays, enjoy some down-time, walk, enjoy the outdoors
  • Keep moving, play, walk, swim
  • Be mindful of the sun: slip. slop ,shade, slide on the sunglasses
  • Consider a vacation from social media, waiting until after the holiday to share your experiences may allow you to relive them and also be more present and mindful of the time.
  •  Enjoy the Festive Season and Holidays



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