Christmas is notoriously a time to indulge, but don’t let this be the green light to overindulge! You can still enjoy all the festivities of the season and get through the Christmas period without too much impact on your health and waistline. Try our top 12 tips for a healthier Christmas.

1. A 10- minute workout

Cramming in an exercise class or going for a run is often out of the question when our calendars are filled with Christmas festivities or last-minute shopping. But if you’re short on time this December, try squeezing in a ten-minute workout at home. They’ll keep you active without compromising on all the festive fun.

2. Snack Sensibly

With so much temptation at Christmas, it’s easy to snack on naughty treats all too often. Whether it’s at work or at home, chocolate and cakes are everywhere. Treat yourself every now and then but try to have healthier snacks on hand. Try browsing through Elevation Health’s recipe collection on social media or our website. Nobody will even notice that you’re opting out.

3. Shop off the pounds

Don’t do all your Christmas shopping online – a 60-minute walk around the shops can burn around 365 calories. You’ll be able to get active all while ticking off your shopping list. What better reason to fight off the crowds?

4. Drink Up

And we don’t mean a sweet tea! Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water this festive season. Sipping water regularly throughout the day will help you feel fuller and avoid any mindless snacking. You can also sip on herbal teas to help bust food cravings.  Elevation Health members get 20% off at the Tea and Spice Exchange in West Jefferson.  They have some great detox and craving buster teas.  We love the Spiced Chai Mate for a little afternoon caffeine pick me up or turmeric chai for extra inflammatory fighting properties.

5. Get on the dance floor

If you’ve not had time to get to the gym, then make sure you get on the dance floor instead. A two-hour boogie can burn over 600 calories. You want to be on the dance floor all night long.

6. Make a swap

Some easy swaps can save you hundreds of calories this Christmas and you’ll barely even be able to notice the difference. Avoid cocktails that are packed full of sugar and switch the tonic in your G&T to a slimline alternative. You save yourself 40 calories from that swap alone. In recipes, many times you can skimp on the sugar without replacing it with anything and the recipe still tastes great!

7. Don’t skip breakfast

We have been told for as long as we can remember that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” and for a food reason: the bigger the breakfast, the fewer calories you’ll consume throughout the rest of the day. With all the temptation at Christmas, it’s easy to get carried away, and filling breakfast is one way to avoid any mindless snacking.  Make sure protein and fiber is a stable at your breakfast for max blood sugar stabilization

8. Take a hike

Don’t just collapse on the sofa after your Christmas dinner, try and get the family out for a festive walk or hike. Encouraging everyone to join in on a brisk hour-long walk can burn over 300 calories – they’ll thank you for it later.

9. Choose wisely

If you’re in line at a buffet, try and choose sensible options. Avoid the calorific dishes and load up on the veg. Also consider portion control. Don’t overfill your plate just because it’s Christmas. A simple buffet rule to follow:  If you’re going to have more than one plate make every plate after your first full of only non-starchy veggies.

10. Play a game.

Sitting down to watch a movie won’t burn any calories but playing games will. Get the whole family involved in a game of charades or dancing games on their video game consoles – it could burn over 300 calories per hour.  Get laughing.  A mere 15 minutes of laughing can burn up to 40 calories!  That’s way more fun than vegging out to a movie.

11. Don’t overdo it

Christmas is a busy time of year and we can often do too much. Try not to burn the candle at both ends and make sure you give your body enough time to recuperate and relax. A bit of downtime will go a long way.

12. Indulge a little

Depriving yourself might lead to an unplanned binge – especially if you’re feeling stress. Treat yourself, but always in moderation.

Commonly during the holidays it is said “I’m going to eat whatever I want and get back on my diet after New Years”.   It’s a lot harder to lose the weight compared to putting it on.  Try not to have an all or nothing attitude.  Indulge some but don’t give up all your healthy eating patterns you’ve picked up throughout the year.  Figure out what “rules” work for you.  Remember your body is not a trash can and it is okay to have high standards for the quality of food you consume rather than eating it just because it’s there.