Eva Hill Hamilton
23 Dec 2021
Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, or is it the most challenging? If we are not careful, this time of indulgence can end up in an all-out binge, followed by negative feelings and emotional eating.
So here are a few tips on how to eat well the next few weeks.
First of all, you need the right attitude. It is Christmas after all, and you want to feel relaxed and enjoy the wonderful treats. It is not about iron-clad willpower and saying no to everything – what kind of celebration would that be?! Instead, we can practice ‘healthy habits’ outlined here.
Make sure to plan ahead. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail! Make a list of all the parties and family get-togethers, social gatherings – plan out what time they will be and do not arrive hungry, especially when there is alcohol involved. The more under the influence you are, the easier it is to overindulge. Stick to your regular meal times as much as possible.
Start every day – as always, with a good hearty breakfast. If you don’t eat it in the morning, it will haunt you in the afternoon or evening – in the form of cravings. Make sure to get a good portion of protein for breakfast; eggs being the best source.
Think vegetables first! Christmas meals can be especially filling and heavy with carbohydrate overload.
Fill half your plate with vegetables which are easy to digest and nourishing, quarter should be your fish, quarter left for starches – that is stuffing and potatoes, breads, etc. This way you can enjoy it all without getting stuffed.
Enjoy alcohol sensibly. Finish your glass completely before allowing refills. Have a glass of water between alcoholic beverages and make sure to get plenty of food in your belly before drinking. Take a Milk-Thistle complex tablet before, after and the morning after a party to support your liver. Have a day between festivities to allow for recovery – no alcohol, and eating easy to digest soups, light fish and vegetables dinners, some fermented foods such as kefir, sauerkraut or kombucha drink.
Keep hydrated! Thirst can be mistaken for hunger and dehydration causes fatigue. Start and finish the day with a pint of water, so even if the day is too busy, there is a good base there to prevent dehydration. Leave a jug of filtered water on the counter with some fresh mint and lemon slices – and drink every time you pass it. Have bottled water in the car if traveling to visit family.
Keep active! Plan walks after family meals and board games, activities that involve plenty of movement. A bit of dancing around the Christmas tree is a fun way to support digestion and keep up your energy levels!
Finally, whatever you plan, don’t allow your calendar to be completely full for the next couple of weeks. Allow plenty of time for relaxation and enjoy quality time with your loved ones. I wish you and yours a blessed and healthy Christmas!