7 quick tips for eating healthy this Christmas and New Year

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Forget the New Year detox - follow these easy tips for staying healthy all Christmas long...

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Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a glass of fizz and that fifth mince pie, would it?

But using the festive period as a licence to eat and drink until the button pops off your jeans (yes, this has happened) is perhaps not the best present we can give to our bodies.

This year, to avoid the need for a full body detox in January, just remember the following…

How to eat healthy over Christmas


1. Keep to normal eating patterns


While it's tempting to opt for the seafood diet during December (everytime you see food, you eat it, get it?) your blood sugar won't thank you for it.

Have a breakfast, lunch and dinner every day to help you avoid overeating binges, and don't starve yourself in anticipation of an evening eating and drinking.

2. Snack well


Put down the Advent Calendar, we're talking tactical snackage.

This means always eating something before heading out for drinks to avoid the lure of the buffet table, and opting for quality snacks rather than another handful of Frazzles. Protein and natural fats keep you feeling satisfied much longer, so have some nuts, hummus or avocado.

3. Balance your plate


When Christmas Day arrives, don't go to town on the roasties. Fill a third of your plate with protein-packed turkey, half with nutritious veggies and the rest with the trimmings.

Have a small portion of Christmas pudding and say a firm no to the selection boxes (Like you're even hungry anyway.) If you're still feeling peckish, have some nuts or festive clementines.

4. Take a break


Slade may wish it was Christmas every day, but your stomach doesn't. Give your gut a few days 'off' during the festive period to rebalance your digestive system.

Have a light breakfast of fruit salad, followed by poached eggs and spinach to help your digestive system recover quickly. Soups and salads packed full of veggies contain all the vitamins you need to help your blood sugar get back to normal.

5. Leave those leftovers alone


It can be tempting to keep nibbling on the leftovers, but be strong.

A chipolata here and a spoonful of pud there will all add up. If you're having friends round for dinner, offer them leftovers to take home, or make sure you have plenty of containers and food bags ready to pack any spare bit of food straight away.

6. Be booze savvy


Drinking your way through Boxing Day isn't just bad for your liver, it can also negatively affect your stomach lining, leading to vomiting and diarrhoea.

It can also make you feel bloated. Drinkaware suggest you stay within the daily unit guidelines - 2-3 units a day for women. It also suggests having days when you don't drink alcohol at all.

7. Avoid food poisoning


Christmas is one of the few times of the year you're likely to find yourself cooking anything larger than a chicken, so be prepared and keep things hygienic.

Ignore any advice telling you to wash the bird in the sink. There's no need to do so - only high temperatures can kill germs. NHS Choices has comprehensive instructions on how to defrost, prepare and cook a turkey.

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