How to have a healthy Christmas (within reason!)

Christmas yoga. Lovely girl doing yoga exercise at home.

It's a time to relax and reward yourself (especially after this year!), so is it even possible to have a healthy Christmas?

2020 has been anything but ‘normal' so many of our routines have changed and for many of us it's been really hard to stick to healthy habits.

And your hormones can take a battering over the Christmas period. In return, they are likely to leave you a few gifts – some extra pounds around your waist, a foul mood and zero energy come January!

You can watch the video below or listen to the podcast; 

The Stress Impact

On top of an extremely stressful year, this Christmas could be the icing on the cake in terms of added stress if you're not able to spend it with your loved ones.

You are likely to be running on cortisol and adrenaline, your stress hormones, to keep you going through this time. If you’ve got too much cortisol, it’s going to make you cranky, wired and tired. If you haven’t got enough cortisol, it’s going to be really hard to get through it all (exhausted, over-emotional and anxious).

Either way, stress not only packs on the pounds, especially around your middle but it's going to make you even more tired and cranky!

The carb impact

Confession; I am the last person that can resist mince pies, mulled wine and fizz at Christmas!

But all that sugar and carbs can put you on the blood sugar roller coaster, giving you huge insulin highs and lows, making you exhausted and craving more sugary carbs.

Alcohol is hard to resist this time of year, messing even more with your blood sugar leaving you dehydrated, adding to the body’s stress levels. It also messes with your sleep, making you more tired (and hungry) the next day.

So Christmas can be a disaster for your hormones! And if you’re already challenged in that area (eg going through peri-menopause), the extra damage can almost seem irreversible come January.

BUT if you are bit savvy, there are some ways you can avoid the big carb pile up, have a more healthy Christmas and not have a mountain to climb in January.

How to have a more healthy Christmas

  1. Get your nutrients in – Make sure you have at least one healthy meal with lots of veggies, some good protein and some healthy fats to fill you up and give you plenty of nutrients. Should keep you on track and able to handle the odd indulgence. Or you can make a healthy smoothie.
  2. Don’t stock up on Christmas food – buy what you need, and keep the treats to a minimum (for kids or guests!). The more temptation in the cupboards the more you’ll indulge.
  3. Limit the alcohol – try swapping some (or all) of your usual tipples to non-alcoholic options. There are so many good options these days.
  4. Drink plenty of water, especially when drinking alcohol. Try and drink one glass of water between each drink. It will reduce the dehydration and help your liver detoxify.
  5. Choose quality over quantity – don’t binge on Iceland’s 10 for a pound party ‘food’ – if you’re going to indulge, choose fewer good quality snacks and enjoy them.
  6. Stick with the programme – don’t let up on your exercise or classes just because it’s Christmas. Keeping up your muscle mass will help you burn more fat.
  7. RELAX – it can be a very stressful time, and when we’re stressed we crave foods high in sugar and carbs, so make sure you schedule in some relaxation – yoga, pilates, meditation, relax tapes, music, walking in nature, reading, Epsom Salt baths – whatever keeps you chilled.
  8. Don’t write off the Christmas period and leave it to January to sort out! Classic mistake because when January comes around, the task will be so much bigger than it could have been.

Easier said than done I know, it is Christmas after all – but if you try a few of these tips out, you will have a more healthy Christmas, be looking after your hormones and you might be surprised you can still do up your jeans post the binge season!

Finally have a VERY HAPPY Christmas, and if you need some help getting those hormones back into balance come January, contact us for a free chat to see how best we can help.

Comments 1

  1. Hi Nicki,
    Thank you for all this information. I came to you’re menopause workshop at NGH and found it really interesting and helpful. I have some health issues and weight problems that are causing me worries and would really like to make an appointment to come and see you if possible. I am struggling with everything at the moment and have decided to retire in February. This is a time when I plan to address my life and concentrate on making myself healthy and I really hope you will be able to help me. Many thanks and best wishes for the festive season. Helen

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