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Top 10 ways to eat and drink healthily at Christmas

How to indulge at Christmas and not suffer the consequences

During the festive season, do your immune system a favour by eating well and enjoying the celebrations in good health. Here are 10 ways to eat and drink healthily at Christmas.

Eat and drink healthily over the Christmas period

Have a wide variety of fruit and vegetables (the more colourful the better) and add lean meat and low fat dairy products for a diet rich in vitamins and minerals.

Try to do something physically active before a big blow-out, even if it’s just a brisk walk. Not only will you burn calories and raise your metabolism (making you less likely to pile on the festive pounds) but you’ll feel more alert and motivated.

Line your stomach with a light meal before hitting your post-work Christmas party – food slows release of alcohol into the bloodstream and will stop you getting too drunk too quickly, saving your dignity if nothing else! Aim for something starchy with a lean protein, such as a chicken salad sandwich or crackers with carrot sticks and cottage cheese.

Try to alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic ones such as fruit juice and water. You can also dilute your alcoholic drinks with these, effectively cutting your alcohol intake in half. Drink more, suffer less!

Choose soda and lime or slim-line tonic as mixers to keep that waistline in check. Remember that alcohol contains calories too, so it makes sense to steer clear of sugary mixers if you’re watching your figure.  

Drink a glass or two of water before hitting the sack to ease the effects of dehydration the next morning. Leave a glass by the bed to sip on through the night too.

If you do find yourself with a hangover, avoid hair of the dog which will only place further stress on your liver. Opt for plenty of water, herbal tea and fruit juice instead to top up your body’s fluid and sugar levels.

Similarly, ditch the liver-busting fry-up in favour of something equally comforting, but definitely more nourishing – try a big bowl of winter vegetable soup with chunks of wholemeal seeded bread; full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and healthy oils to nurse you back to health.

When tucking into your Christmas Day feast, make sure you savor your food – eating slowly and chewing properly increases your feeling of fullness and satisfaction by sending signals to your brain, making you less likely to overeat. It can also help prevent indigestion.

Watch portion size – ask yourself if you really need a second helping of roast potatoes when there’s still Christmas pudding and a cheese board to get through! If you do load up your plate, go for extra servings of Christmas veg such as carrots, sprouts and cabbage; all are packed full of nutrients and antioxidants like vitamin A.

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