As the festive season approaches, our attention turns to celebrating with family and friends. Although Christmas is just one day, the prior weeks are filled with office parties and festive celebrations where we sometimes over indulge and lose focus on our health.   Over indulging during the festive season can take a toll on our bodies. You may experience drowsiness, lethargy, feel sick or discomfort, or experience bloating, heartburn or constipation after a meal.   Rather than leaving your health kick to the new year, enjoy your Christmas by indulging a little less and follow these tips to maintain your health:

Control Portions: Prepare and serve a little less food this year.  You will save money and reduce waste. Be mindful of your portions.

Tip:  Take note of what you eat including when, why and how much you eat as this may help you control your portions.

Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables: Fruit and vegetables provide essential nutrients to help prevent many chronic health conditions. Purchase fruit and vegetables that are in season for the best flavour. It is recommended that you consume two servings of fruit and five servings of vegetables per day.

Tip: Try eating vegetables or a salad with every meal.  Add fruit to a cheese patter or serve fruit salad for dessert.

Avoid unhealthy snacks: Snack foods such as nuts, cakes, lollies, chocolate and chips contain high amounts of fat, sugar or salt content. It is easy to blow out your daily calorie intake by eating too many snacks throughout the day.

Tip: Try snacking on fruits such as cherries and grapes or swap the chips for vegetable sticks.

Alcohol intake: Consume alcohol in moderation, since excessive amounts of alcohol increase the risks of chronic health conditions.It is recommended to drink no more than 4 standard drinks on a single day, and no more than 10 standard drinks per week.

Tip: Alternate one standard drink with one glass of water, you will feel much better!

Stay hydrated: Drinking water has many benefits such as helping maintain the balance of fluids and controlling calories. As a guide, aim for eight glasses of water a day.  If you are exercising or if it’s a hot day you may need more. Avoid sugary drinks.

Tip:  Carry a water bottle with you and refill it throughout the day to ensure you drink enough water.

Listen to your body: Take a break when you’re feeling full and give your body time to digest food.  Chewing slowly and enjoying your food gives your brain time to acknowledge the hormones released by your gut that make you feel full. This helps to reduce overeating.

Tip:  Go for a walk to help with digestion after a meal.

Move: Keep moving over the festive season to burn energy. Play backyard cricket, ride a bike or go for a swim.

Tip:  Aim for a minimum of 10,000 steps per day and look for ways to increase incremental exercise such as taking the stairs instead of the lift or getting off your bus a stop earlier.

Get advice: If you are concerned about your health, speak to your friendly Ramsay Pharmacist.  Click here to find your nearest location.