It’s easy to let your healthy routine slide over the festive period,simply because there is so much else to fit in, so something has to give. There’s all the shopping to do, all the parties that you need to fit in – not to mention that outfit you want to fit in.

We all know the feeling of being a little heavier, a little more bloated and a little more sluggish as we slide into January. But wouldn’t it be great to bounce into January, ready to take 2014 by the scruff of the neck instead of being preoccupied by our waistlines?

It is important to simplify – how many of the tasks you’re struggling to cram in are actually necessary? Delegate some chores – let the kids make the paper chains and decorate the tree, for example – and use the hour you’ve just created to take some exercise. Maybe try a new gym class to see if you’d like to continue that in the New Year, get out and have a walk or run in the chilly air – so much easier than in blazing summer heat!

But at Christmas, food is often our biggest downfall. So, be smart.

  • Buy small: Do you really need that enormous tin of Quality Street? Buy a box to share with visitors instead.
  • Cook for people: Only bake that enormous batch of mince pies if you know you have visitors coming. Otherwise you’ll end up eating loads more than you need to!
  • Be choice wise: When at a party with a buffet, pick three things you’d like to eat most and take a few of each. Wait 10 minutes before loading up your plate.
  • Healthier alternatives: It may be bordering on sacrilege to say it, but maybe roast those potatoes in olive oil rather than goose fat. It’s even helpful to serve Christmas pudding or Christmas cake, rather than both!
  • Use smaller plates: Don’t use cereal bowls for puddings or huge platters for dinner. Use smaller and you’ll eat less, even though you’ve still had a full bowl or plate. Don’t overload your plate and wait 10 minutes to see if you’re still hungry before going back for seconds.
  • Send food parcels: Ask guests to bring Tupperware and ensure that everyone goes home with a little something. They’ll be grateful for the leftovers on Boxing Day and you won’t be left to eat everything that’s left.

And just be thankful you’re not living in Puritan times – Oliver Cromwell passed a law that made the last Wednesday of every month a fast day. And guess when Christmas Day falls this year…!

For even more tips, have a look at our nutritionist Julie’s blog here.

If you’d like to give your diet a healthy overhaul over the holidays, please contact the clinic to book an appointment with Julie.