10 Simple Christmas health swaps

You can be happy and healthy over the holidays.

Your careful plans to stay healthy all year can evaporate in a flash at Christmas time.
While the odd indulgence doesn’t hurt, you’ll be kicking yourself come January if you let your health regime slide completely.
Here’s how to avoid that:
Eat before going out to Christmas functions
You’re less likely to get stuck into sugary or salty snacks at Christmas parties if you’ve had a nutritious meal beforehand. Make sure you have a good helping of protein – that will help you to feel full and less likely to overdo the chips and dip. Scrambled eggs on wholegrain toast is a quick and easy option.
Don’t neglect exercise
December can get so busy with Christmas events – not to mention shopping and trying to get lots of work done before the holiday break – that regular exercise can suffer. Try to make it a priority – you’ll feel so much better if you keep it up.
Don’t over-cater on Christmas day
Yes, it is a once-a-year occasion and you’re cooking for more people than usual, but don’t get too carried away. Do you really need several different desserts? The problem is if the food is there, you’re more likely to overeat. If you do want to go overboard on any particular dish, make it the salads.
Opt for healthy alternatives
When it comes to snacks, have a handful of nuts rather than a lots of chips. Choose fruit salad rather than a sugary dessert and sparkling water with lemon rather than a soft drink. One or two sensible swaps can make a big difference to how many calories you consume overall.
Be size-wise
If you’re trying not to eat or drink too much over the festive season, here are a couple of tricks you can try. Use smaller dinner plates, rather than large ones, which will help you to keep portions under control. And have your drinks (other than wine of course) in a tall, thin glass, rather than a short, wide tumbler. A US study found that people pour less alcohol into a tall glass than a short one, even if they both hold the same volume of fluid.
Enjoy Christmas treats
If you’re going to blow your healthy eating plan at this time of year, do it with special Christmas foods, such as mince pies or gingerbread, rather than cakes, lollies and chocolate available all the time. That way, you’ll see them as a treat just for Christmas and once the season is over, you won’t get into the habit of eating them year round.
Drink lots of water
For every alcoholic drink you knock back, have a glass of water. It will hydrate you and help you to avoid nasty hangovers. Plus, you will drink a lot less booze and all that water is good for your kidneys.
Choose your drinks wisely
The darker your alcohol is in colour, the greater the concentration of chemicals that can cause hangovers. You can also lessen the effects of alcohol by sticking to one type of drink. Mixing beer, wine and spirits is likely to make you feel worse in the morning.
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep
At this hectic time of year, it is easy to burn the candle at both ends, but you’re not doing yourself any favours if you don’t get enough shut-eye. Even getting an hour’s less sleep than normal every night for a couple of weeks can take a toll. Aim to get at least seven hours sleep a night.
Have some ‘me time’
Even if it is just an hour to read a magazine or soak in the bath, it’s important to set aside some time for yourself to unwind a little.

read more from