Maintaining a healthy lifestyle without being a party pooper

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle without being a party pooper

As a nutritional therapist, I’m often asked, ‘how can I stay healthy during the party season?’ Well, it’s true with parties and a culture of overindulgence at this time of year, it can be easy to lose those good habits and end up feeling pretty grim by New Year. However, you don’t have to avoid social contact or throw your healthy ways out the window to have a good time. Here are my festive tips!

Hydrate!

Water is so important for health - it will keep your brain functioning, skin clear and energy levels up for all the demands of the Christmas season.

Hydration is especially important if you are having the odd alcoholic drink. Alcohol is a diuretic (something that increases the production of urine) and therefore depletes water from your body. One of the reasons we get hangovers is due to dehydration, so don’t skip the water.

Alcohol

At Christmas, alcohol seems to be everywhere, from bucks fizz at breakfast, mulled wine at dinner and all sorts in between. Most of us enjoy the odd drink, but proper recovery is vital for your health. Daily drinking, even if you don’t feel drunk, is the worst thing for your liver - give yourself at least 3 alcohol free days a week and your body will thank you for it.

When socialising, try to alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic ones. Good options include soda water with lime or get creative with flavours such as fresh mint and cucumber slices or a squeeze of orange and a dash of cinnamon. Doing this will not only help you pace yourself but also help prevent dehydration and a hangover!

Make healthy choices

At a party it’s easy to go overboard while getting into the Christmas spirit! Don’t turn up to a party hungry, instead have a sensible snack such as a couple of oatcakes with hummus or natural bio yoghurt with nuts and seeds before you go so you’re not tempted to binge.

Good choices at parties include hummus with crudités, olives or smoked salmon. I always fill my plate so that it is half full of vegetables and I make sure I have a portion of protein such as beans, tofu, nuts or meat/fish with every meal. This keeps energy levels more stable, helping me feel fuller for longer and avoid the hunger pangs that come with a drop in blood sugar.

Milk thistle

The purple thistle-like plant milk thistle has been traditionally used for centuries as a tonic for the liver, now most commonly used as a solution for over indulgence. Milk thistle supplements can really take the edge off that hangover. You can take one when you get home and another the next morning with a large glass of water*.

Get outside

I know it’s dark and cold and it’s also probably raining but there are many reasons to get out and go for a walk. Obviously a brisk walk is a great form of exercise but that’s not the only benefit. Daylight is vital for feelings of wellbeing and a lack of natural light is linked to seasonal affective disorder (SAD) which leaves us with low mood. It’s also a good excuse for getting out if you’re feeling the effects of cabin fever.

Finally… don’t let setbacks get you down!

OK, say you do go crazy at a party. Don’t be too hard on yourself! We all need to let our hair down occasionally - just don’t use it as an excuse to totally give up those good habits. Every day is a chance to start afresh, look after yourself and have a happy, healthy new year.

 

*If you are taking any prescribed medications from your doctor, please let us know the names as we will be happy to check for any potential interactions with the recommended supplements.

 

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