How to stay healthy(ish) over Christmas

13 December 2017

Louise Charlesworth, Bupa Health Assessment Centre Manager (located within Spire Cheshire Hospital), says that you don't have to forget your healthy diet and routine just because it's the Christmas holidays. It's about moderation, planning and setting boundaries.

Louise said “Staying healthy during the silly season (and any time of the year, really) is all about planning and keeping your health as the main focus.”

  1. Routine: It is important to keep to a regular routine and not skip early morning exercise because you have had a late night. Push yourself to stick to your regular exercise routine which in turn keeps you positive and motivated to want to stay fit and healthy.
  2. Watch alcohol: Alcohol is loaded with sugar and empty calories, so go easy on the drinks.Try drinking a mineral water in between each alcohol based drink to pace yourself. Avoid creamy rich cocktails and soft drink mixers and stick to white wine spritzers, or clear spirits (such as gin) with mineral water and a twist of lime.
  3. Avoid the party on an empty stomach: We have all done it, and after a couple of drinks your blood sugar drops, sending you into an eating frenzy. Canapés are often a mix of high fat and high carbohydrates, which spell disaster for the waistline. Eating a healthy meal before you go will avoid mindless snacking on miniature party pies and sausage rolls.
  4. Take a plate: If you are visiting friends for lunch or dinner, or going to your family's Christmas Day celebrations, offer to take a plate. This way you can be assured that there will be something healthy to fill your plate with. Taking a large, delicious mixed salad or a big bowl of tropical fresh fruit salad means there is always a healthy option.

Got your office Christmas party coming up? Here are Louise’s top tips to stay healthy.

  • Eat a big lunch during the day, so you don't have an empty stomach when you hit the party;
  • Keep a bottle of water on your desk, and drink from it all day so that you don't hit the party already dehydrated. Aim to drink at least 1.5 litres during the day;
  • Steer clear of the punch bowl. Punches are notorious for containing a concoction of booze that surprisingly tastes great but is impossible to gauge how much you have actually drunk;
  • To avoid over-indulging, eat a plate of food and then put it down - rather than standing near the buffet and picking all night long;
  • If it's finger food, keep your canapé sticks to remind you how many you've eaten;
  • Only eat what you actually like, not just what you are offered. Eating is not compulsory;
  • Pace yourself. A few festive cocktails to get merry is fine, but if you start to feel drunk and disorderly, stop!
  • If you are nervous meeting new people, be conscious of not eating and drinking too quickly for something to do with your hands;
  • Have a healthy, low GI snack (fruit, yogurt, smoothie) during the afternoon to reduce hunger;
  • Avoid foods that are deep fried.

As a final note Louise added “Don’t deprive yourself. After all, it is Christmas – have fun! Moderation is key. Fill up on vegetables over dinner and if you really want that mince pie, have it and enjoy it. If you deprive yourself you will end up caving after a couple of glasses of wine and devouring the leftover trifle straight out of the bowl.”

Have a lovely Christmas from all of us at Spire Cheshire Hospital!

You can book your health assessment online today and choose an appointment time that suits you. Check out the Bupa health assessment website for more information on available health assessment products and to book an appointment online.

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