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Who needs a Christmas Survival Guide?

All of us! Despite the fact that while the traditional party season has begun, none of us are partying much – unless you call a virtual gathering a party......

It has been a challenging year in so many ways and now that the most fun time of the year has arrived, it is difficult to feel excited and thrilled because the majority of the pleasurable activities which we normally indulge in are not available to us. We can’t really go out other than to exercise or to shop, we can’t get together with friends, we can’t celebrate in the way we are used to.

And therein lies the need for a Christmas Survival Guide! Not the customary one, simply one adapted to our current situation and the likelihood that, since Christmas food and drink are pretty much all that is left to us in the way of festivities, we are far more likely to over-indulge, to pamper ourselves, to treat ourselves to an excess of everything in order to make up for the deficit of pleasure and entertainment – more turkey, more goose, more ham, more chipolatas, more stuffing and bread sauce; more mince pies, more Christmas pudding, more brandy butter, more champagne and port. And while that may all feel satisfying and gratifying and cheering at the time, it will bring consequences in the form of extra pounds on your hips, an overloaded liver, a digestive system under pressure, a heavy head and a foggy brain.

So here are a few tips to help us all enjoy the festive season and sail into the New Year with energy, enthusiasm and looking like a million dollars.

1. Enjoy yourself! That is absolutely top of the list. Don’t under any circumstances decide to go on a diet BUT, set yourself a “maintenance goal” instead as this will give you the freedom to celebrate without any feelings of deprivation or yearnings for rebelliousness

2. Plan your menus ahead of the holidays so that you are sure to stock up on healthy choices as well as festive ones. That way you will have something delicious and natural to fall back on as and when you can’t face another mince pie

3. Choose your alcoholic poison carefully. Avoid creamy or sweet drinks, and try to drink with food in order to avoid the impact of the sugars from any alcoholic beverages on your blood stream

4. Make the effort to incorporate your usual amount of exercise into your day during the

holidays – a brisk, energising walk is perfect

5. Drink plenty of pure water. This will encourage you not to overeat and it will also help you to feel so much better the next day

6. Watch your portion sizes, particularly anything containing simple carbohydrates – perhaps two rather than three deliciously crisp roast potatoes and just a modest slice of Christmas pudding

But above all, have plenty of much deserved fun, rejoice, celebrate, and get ready for a very different new year.

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