Ways to Enjoy a Happier and Healthier Christmas

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It’s easy to enjoy a happier and healthy Christmas. Here’s how:

With the countdown to Christmas fast approaching, for many, this means drinking too much alcohol and eating WAY too much food.

There’s no denying, the holiday season is a tough time to eat a healthy and balanced diet.

Christmas work dinners, work drinks and get-togethers with friends, the ritual pre-holiday coffee with your mums’ group; the list goes on and this all happens before December 25.

How will you cope with so much food in so little time? In practice, my most frequently asked questions during the ‘Silly Season’ are, “How can I enjoy myself, but still look great in my bikini?” and “What can I do to prevent having all my top ten New Year’s Resolutions related to losing Christmas kilos?”

Keeping healthy at Christmas does not mean abstaining completely. You can be healthier and happier. Luckily, there are some easy and effective strategies designed to help you have a happier and healthier Christmas – leaving you feeling fit, healthy and more energetic for 2019.

The Addition Rule:

The festive season is not a practical time to eliminate ‘bad food’. Rather than trying to eliminate ‘bad’ food from your diet, try The Addition Rule and add healthier foods.

If you avoid fresh vegetables and fruit platters like the plague, why not add a few pieces of fruit and vegetables along with the other tasty treats on your Christmas plate? When you are told to eliminate something, it gives you an instant attachment to it and you only want it more. Over time, you will react positively to these good food additions and you will begin to crave the healthier foods as opposed to the unhealthy ones.

Start the Party Full Rule:

It may seem like bad manners to arrive at your in-laws with a full stomach, but it’s not a bad idea to have some healthy snacks before the parties and functions you’re attending. Often our food choices are triggered by hunger.

When your hunger signals reach a high enough level, it will be almost impossible to make good decisions, and even harder when they start passing around those tasty fried wontons with sweet chilly dipping sauce! By having a healthy snack, which can be as simple as something high in fibre like a banana or carrot prior to arriving at your Xmas work party, you’ll stave off the need to fill up on party food.

The Vacation Food Rule:

If eating well creates too much stress, it negates many of the positive benefits associated with it. I mentor many of my clients to utilise The Vacation Food Rule, which means you give yourself permission to have a meal or a whole day of less-than-ideal food choices each week, but be healthy the rest of the time.

Trying to eat healthy 100 percent of the time is not practical. Christmas time is stressful enough, let alone trying to manage your nutrition as well. So why not use the festive period as your ‘vacation food’  give yourself a meal a week or a day if you have to to indulge, and start fresh and motivated in the New Year? It doesn’t mean that it gives you leave pass to overindulge, but it allows you the flexibility and piece of mind to enjoy the festive season with your friends, family and workmates.

The Drinks Rule:

Alternating each alcoholic drink with water is always a good idea, as is consuming lower calorie, lower alcohol drinks wherever possible such as light beer or a spritzer instead of wine.

Planning an early morning workout with a friend is another great strategy which will force you to think twice about over-indulging at the bar. Putting apple juice in a wine glass with some water will stop people constantly asking you why you are not drinking, as they will assume it is wine. Eat well and be merry.

Dr. Billy Chow is a chiropractor and human performance mentor. He’s the owner of Vitality and Wellbeing Centre. He’s passion is to help people understand they were designed to be extraordinary and to provide easy and effective health strategies to help them become extraordinary.  He’s counting down the days before he begins his New Years Resolutions.

 What’s your tip for a healthy Christmas?

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Renae Leith-Manos

CONTRIBUTOR

Renae Leith-Manos is a Sydney journalist who hangs out in Bondi. She has had a colourful media career, and spends her time writing, consulting to new businesses, running, doing yoga, swimming & cycling.
She's likes healthy eating, but thinks chocolate cake is just as important as kale chips.
She spends weekends hanging out with her gorgeous twins doing something fun in Sydney's East.

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