Healthy Eating

Charlotte Hawkins: How To Have A Healthy Christmas

If your December is mainly consisting of dinners out, present shopping and seeing loved ones, you might be wondering when you’ll fit in your workouts. Luckily, our wellness guru has some handy advice for the festive season

‘Tis the season to be jolly… and I’m all for making the most of it, as Christmas is my favourite time of the year! The parties, the food and drink, the presents; it’s certainly the time for indulgence. So, the last thing you want to be doing is feeling like you’re having to deny yourself and stick to a diet, or force yourself to go to the gym when everyone else is out celebrating.

So my advice is… cheat! Yes, it’s possible to do both. The average person puts on five to seven pounds over the winter, and if you don’t want that to be you, then you can strike a balance between making the most of the season, and not regretting it once the tinsel’s come down, the cocktails have been drunk and the wrapping paper has been put out for recycling.

The key is to plan ahead: your diary will undoubtedly be busier with parties, social events, shopping, and entertaining. Make sure you schedule in some exercise, otherwise that’s the thing that might get squeezed out. And, think ahead when it comes to eating – make sure you boost your nutrition, eat healthily when you can, and stay hydrated.

Here are my top hacks for making the most of December without going overboard:

1. Be organised about health and fitness.

Look at your week in advance and schedule in a workout so it doesn’t get overlooked. If you can’t fit in the gym or your usual class, then swap it for something else – walk some of the way to work, sprint up and down the stairs at lunchtime or use an app to do some HIIT sessions at home. Keep moving to stave off the sluggishness. Even hitting the dance floor at the Christmas party counts!

2. Stick to healthier food options – eat

before you go out to a party then skip all the nibbles. It’s a slippery slope once I start on crisps and snacks, as I find it far too easy to keep munching and lose track of how much I’m eating. If you’re entertaining, put on a selection of crudités or offer fruit for dessert with a chocolate drizzle. Boost your nutrition whenever you can, increase your intake of greens, fruit and veg.

3. When it comes to what you’re drinking, try swapping to lighter options.

Drink spirits and mixers rather than wine or beer. Keep hydrated and drink more water than usual to make sure you counterbalance any excess alcohol.

4. Keep track of how you’re doing – I’m not

normally one for weighing and measuring as I prefer to go on how I feel. But, if you are watching the cals, try using an app to input your calories, then you’ll know how much exercise you need to do to counterbalance it. 5 Having said all of that, don’t worry if you have a day when you break all the rules, just reset and start again the next day… it is Christmas after all! Have a great one.

Health & Wellbeing