Christmas Survival Guide

It’s the most wonderful time of the year….. Right?! Christmas and the New Year is a time of celebration, a time to relax, let your hair down and spend time with loved ones. It can also be an overwhelming and stressful time of year. Many events to attend, lots of family and friends to visit, copious amounts of food to be eaten. It’s often during this time that you put your own needs to the side, whilst you’re keeping everyone else happy. With that in mind, I’ve put together a Festive Season Survival Guide – guaranteed to get you through the holidays with your health and happiness intact.

Party in moderation

We’ve been in lockdown for what feels like an eternity, so it’s only natural you want to let your hair down and celebrate. It’s also that time of year when the invitations to parties start rolling in. It can get exhausting!

Parties are fun! Why? Because they are full of overindulgence – abundant food and drinks and good times.  Whilst it is tempting to say Yes to every invite, now is the time to be picky with your RSVPs. You’ve already come so far on your health journey, being selective with the parties is helpful to stay on track with your goals.

Aim to eat regular meals, even if you are planning on attending a Christmas party in the afternoon. Skipping meals and then arriving hungry at a party will lead to over indulgence. Alternatively, if you know dinner is being served at the party opt for a nutrient dense snack such as Chick Fritters or Vanilla and Macadamia Chia Pudding. 

Alcohol in moderation – if drinking in moderation is something you struggle with, aim to have a glass of water between drinks or alternate your alcoholic beverages with sparkling water with a dash of fresh lime or orange. Another tip is to bring your alcoholic beverages with you, then you’re in control of what type of alcohol you drink and how many you have.

Move your body – everyday! 

During this time of delicious food and overflowing drinks, the first thing that slips is usually exercise. You’ve been a great flow of moving your body every day for months and then suddenly it feels as if there is no time or energy left.

Despite being out of your normal routine, making time every day to move your body will help keep you on track for your health goals whilst also benefiting your mood during these crazy few weeks, as we all know Christmas is exciting but it can also be mentally exhausting.

Meeting up with friends? Skip the pub or the backyard barbeque and instead opt for a bush walk that ends with a swim at the beach. Why not grab your family or friends and play a game of tennis? Alternatively, organise a picnic that includes an assortment of games that will get the whole family involved.

Plan your food

One of the most common things we hear in the New Year is how patients have “slipped” or “been bad” during this time of year. They’re hesitant to jump back on the scales assuming they’ve put on weight or come into the clinic with GIT symptoms returned. I am telling you right now, it does not have to be this way. You can still enjoy Christmas, but it doesn’t have to be at the expense of your health.

If you’re a patient of ours by now you will have some understanding of what foods help you and what foods hinder you. If you’re unsure, opting for a wholefoods, plant heavy diet is my advice. This doesn’t mean you have to miss out on delicious food this festive season, instead use your newfound knowledge to your advantage.

For weight loss – keep in mind that food is energy. We need it to keep us functioning. On Christmas day, don’t waste your energy on junk food. Skip the dips and nibbles and what for the main event, focus on filling your plate with delicious salads and veggies, rather than overfilling with breads and snacks. Alternatively, if you know it’s going to be less of a meal and more of a snacking event, opt to bring some options such as the Life Changing Crackers with Beetroot Dip. Choose one or two treats that you would like to partake in, and stick to those. Enjoy, and then get back on the healthy bandwagon for the rest of the holidays.

For the rest of the holiday period, you don’t need to be as strict as you normally would, but it doesn’t mean you throw caution to the wind and forget all you’ve learnt. Eating out regularly? Choose restaurants that you know make wholesome food or most places these days do a great salad option, allowing you to add your protein of choice. Alternatively, stick to your routine but allow yourself some extra fun days where you have pizza with the family on a Friday night, or takeaway Thai on a Sunday when you don’t feel like cooking. Remember, if you slip up, don’t give up altogether. Enjoy the meal, notice how you feel after and aim to eat a better next meal. One bad meal doesn’t make a bad diet, just as one good meal doesn’t make a good diet.

Lastly, Christmas is never perfect, often it’s far from what we plan it to be, so it is understandable if you feel let down or disappointed. If you notice you begin to feel this way, remember this time of year is about spending time with those you care about, everything else is a bonus!

From the team at Mullen Natural Health Centre, we wish you a healthful and happy festive season!


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    16 Murray Street Hamilton NSW 2303

    Disclaimer – This website is designed to inform clients about ways to possibly improve their health. The opinions of the Mullen Natural Health Centre are our opinion only. Please consult your own healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment for you.