General Advice for Healthier Holidays

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Picture this: Christmas day, the family is sat at the dinner table. You are surrounded by the sound of happy people chatting away and the smell of delicious food. The table is filled with all types of goods and drinks. You don’t even know where to start from as everything looks extremely appetizing. You can’t say no to all of this, right? Your cousin is offering you a glass of wine to celebrate this joyous occasion and then your uncle makes a celebratory toast and you have to join the party for another drink. At the end of the day, you find yourself feeling bloated and slightly drunk.

The holidays are famously known as a period of excess, but does it always have to be the case? Of course not.

It’s all about moderation

Let’s get started with a popular misconception that says that eating well means only eating carrots and celery. This would be quite hard to achieve especially during the holidays. Eating well does not mean you have to skip on your favourite foods, but rather it means eating them in moderation.

Do try to sneak in some greens. If you choose vegetables first, when you will go for the really decadent and heavy foods, you won’t be able to eat as much as you would have before.

If you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol, it is even more important to be mindful of what you eat during the holidays. If you find yourself in this predicament it’s better to skip the cheese and reach for lean meats and vegetables.

Lastly, if you want to eat in moderation for the holidays, but the temptation is too high, try tricking your brain. A good one involves using smaller plates to trick your brain into thinking that you are about to eat a large amount of food. Do you also tend to inhale your food? Well, you may consider changing that. Chew your bites carefully as not only you are going to experience each bite better, you will also trick your stomach into thinking it’s fuller faster.

27.2% of A&E visits during the winter holidays are caused by alcohol abuse

Most people enjoy a few drinks during the holiday season, but we all know how easy those few drinks can add up. Be mindful of your alcoholic intake during the holidays. Not only alcohol in large quantities can produce real damage to your body, but also many holiday drinks have a high intake of sugar. Also, if you already have stomach issues, it is recommended to avoid fizzy drinks.

Large amounts of alcohol can irritate the stomach lining, leading to nausea. The recommended maximum daily intake for men is 3-4 units, while women should not consume more than 2-3 units per day.

If you do partake in alcohol consumption, make sure to drink water in-between in order to hydrate yourself.

Holidays can induce stress

At the end of the day, don’t forget to make sure that you have a good night sleep. Believe it or not, there is such a thing as holiday stress. With all the cooking and cleaning and catering to family members, one can experience the holidays as one chore piled upon another. Keep in mind that the holidays are for relaxing.

 

Lastly, don’t forget what the holidays are all about. Keep the focus on close ones and remember the real reason for the gathering, which is enjoying the warmth and love of your family. Indulging does not have to be part of the equation.

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