Happy, Healthy Christmas

HEALTH:

The average Christmas dinner comes to a massive 6,500 calories. However, enjoying a hearty Christmas lunch whilst still following a healthy eating plan is still perfectly achievable; all you have to do is make a few minor adjustments. With a bit of planning you can breeze through the season without it registering on the scales.

EXERCISE:f01bcd9c664c6e15d21549399cf1d2af

Christmas is the season to enjoy a little over-indulgence – but it’s also time to keep up the exercise. Research has revealed that keeping fit actually affects how much we eat in the first place. A recent Harvard University study found that physical exercise encourages a healthy diet, so regular exercise (such as a brisk walk or jog each morning) might help you to limit the damage this year.

NUTRITION:

The skin on a turkey, or any other roasted poultry, is where most of the fat is; if you remove the skin you can save around 40 calories per portion. Light meat also has slightly fewer calories than dark meat, so always choose breast instead of leg or thigh. Before you cook your meat, prick the skin to allow the fat to drain out. Cook it on an upturned ovenproof plate so it’s not sitting in the fat. Serve with lots of steamed vegetables and you have the perfect Christmas feast, without all the extra calories.

© Sarah West Nutrition

Eat, drink and be merry

HEALTH:

On Christmas Day it can be hard to stay healthy. The average Christmas dinner contains over 1,400 calories; 70% of the total calorie intake for an adult woman and over half the amount for an adult man. So what can you do to limit the damage?

EXERCISE:

Make physical activity a priority, wherever you are. On Christmas Day, why not try energetic traditional family games (such as Charades or Twister) or get 5interactive with the Nintendo Wii and Xbox connect.

You’ll have fun, involve everyone and help raise your heart rate at the same time.

NUTRITION:

The occasional slip-up is inevitable, particularly when you’re surrounded by indulgent food and drink. So if you do end up eating a little more than you intended this Christmas, go easy on yourself.

One day of overindulgence is not worth beating yourself up over; simply reaffirm your goals and start afresh the next day.

© Sarah West Nutrition

Festive feel-good

HEALTH:

Although it is a time of year to be enjoyed, an excess of rich food and alcohol over the Christmas period can begin to add up, leaving you feeling tired, overweight and unfit.

The good news is, you don’t have to forgo the parties and goodies completely to stay healthy and energised this month.

EXERCISE:

It’s OK to divide your exercise into 10 minute intervals if that’s all you have time for; not only is a short workout much better than nothing at all, but once you’ve started you might 5find that you really do have the energy – and time – to go for longer.

Just 10 minutes of moderate exercise is enough to improve your mood, your vigour and also decrease fatigue.

NUTRITION:

Drinking too much the night before can mean you’re tempted to pig out on junk food, but why not try something more nutritious to help counteract the sore head?

Eggs not only provide a boost of energy, but they’re also a good source of cysteine; the substance that breaks down the hangover-causing toxin acetaldehyde in the liver. This makes scrambled or poached eggs on wholemeal toast the ideal restorative breakfast.

© Sarah West Nutrition

Happy, healthy holidays

HEALTH:

The festive season is traditionally a calorific extravaganza. With party food all around and alcohol flowing freely it can be a real challenge to keep up with good nutrition and exercise habits during the month of December.

However, there’s no need to throw in the towel: these tips will help you to enjoy yourself over the Christmas period whilst still remaining fit and healthy throughout.

EXERCISE:

An increase in social events can make it hard to keep to your gym routine as regularly as you might the rest of the year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep fit and healthy.

1Take every opportunity to dance at parties or invite your partner/friends to go dancing over the holidays. You’ll have fun and it’ll still be great exercise; dancing uses up between 270 and 540 calories an hour depending on the speed.

NUTRITION:

If you’re invited to a friend or family member’s house for a pre-Christmas meal, ask if you can bring one of your own healthy dishes (such as oven roasted broccoli with garlic or braised red cabbage) to help out.

Filling up on delicious fresh vegetables will provide you with a rainbow of nutrients whilst ensuring that you are less likely to go overboard on everything else.

© Sarah West Nutrition