So Christmas is the time of great excesses and we often notice it in January when our clothes start feeling that little bit tighter and we feel we need drastic measures to lose weight. Rather than starting the new-year fresh faced and raring to go, we can feel lethargic and tired.

We all know Christmas isn’t the time to start a health kick and that it is much better suited to January, but we can put some things in place so the waistline doesn’t creep up.

So here are my top tips for Christmas so we can still enjoy ourselves and keep good health too…

  1. Stay hydrated – one of the most important things to do, and especially when there is wine and champagne flowing freely. Sometimes dehydration can present itself as hunger when we are actually thirsty, so staying hydrated can shrink that appetite. If you are drinking early make sure to have one glass of water with every drink, to reduce the hangover. It isn’t hard and you will reap the rewards the next morning.
  1. Eat 3 meals – When we know we have a big meal ahead like on Christmas day, we can often be tempted to miss breakfast and then end up with ‘snacking hands’ all morning. It is definitely best to have a healthy breakfast and then a fast until lunch is served, instead of stocking up on nibbles and chocolates in the interim.
  1. Make sure you Christmas dinner is the colour of the rainbow – Include lots of different coloured vegetables to get a wide range of phytonutrients in the diet. The most unrepresented colour is purple so don’t forget that braised cabbage!
  1. Have protein with every meal – Protein is required to both balance blood sugar and to assist with satiety during that meal. If you eat meat stock up on that turkey or for vegetarians make sure you have a good quality protein substitute, such as a homemade nut roast.
  1. Boil those bones – And make some lovely bone broth that is packed full of vitamins and nutrients to boost your immune system.
  1. Stock up on vitamin C rich foods – to boost that immune system and prevent the holiday cold sneaking in. Fresh fruit and berries can be a great dessert and are packed full of this as well as plenty of antioxidants.
  1. Cook with healthy fats – bin the vegetable and sunflower oils this Christmas and cook with coconut oil, ghee or even butter.
  1. Apple cider vinegar – this acts as a digestive tonic and you can have a tablespoon straight or mix with some water to increase that stomach acid and improve the absorption of nutrients from the meal.
  1. Sleep – Research shows that lack of sleep adds pounds to out waistline so make sure you get plenty of sleep and given its holiday season if you fancy an afternoon nap then do it! Rest and recovery is just as important as exercise for weight loss.
  1. Get out in nature – Enjoy the elements and have the fresh air blow those cobwebs off. Make memories, you aren’t going to reminisce about that episode of Eastenders in years to come….

Overall Christmas is the time for festive cheer and to enjoy yourselves with the people around you, whether that is friends, family or doing what makes you happy. Moderation is the key one chocolate isn’t going to add inches to the waistline but the whole box might!