Tis the season to be jolly, and for many of us, that means drinks with friends and colleagues, meals out or indulging at home. The good news is there’s no reason why we can’t eat, drink, and be merry, but the key is balance and not overdoing it! Here are our tips for enjoying a happy and healthy Christmas.

  1. Don’t Deprive Yourself

It’s better to eat small amounts of all the food you enjoy rather than deny yourself. Otherwise, you can end up feeling left out and deprived, which is not good for your physical or mental health. If you have specific intolerances and need to avoid certain foods, there are plenty of free-from versions or recipes online using alternative ingredients. A one-off celebration meal probably won’t make any difference to your health in the grand scheme of things, so enjoy it. But if you’re having a few, don’t overload your plate and stick to normal portion sizes. In this situation, try to scale back what you eat for the rest of the day and opt for lighter but nourishing meals like soup, salad or smoothies.

  1. Choose Healthier Options

If you’re eating out, try to choose healthier options. It is a great idea to look at restaurant menus online before arriving so you can plan your meal rather than making choices when you are hungry. Steer clear of deep-fried, overly processed or pastry-based dishes. Instead, opt for meat or fish and pile the veggies high, as they will add vitamins, minerals and fibre to your plate.

  1. Take Care with Alcohol

If you enjoy a glass of Shiraz or whatever your tipple is, then why not? It is Christmas! But make sure you alternate each alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic drink like sparkling water, as alcohol causes dehydration. Ensure you drink plenty of water before the party and when you get home.  If you’re drinking at home, it’s easy to lose track of how much you’re knocking back, so be aware of how strong the wine is. If you drink spirits, remember the standard measure is 25ml. Drinking too much alcohol and hangovers can lead to poor food choices.

  1. Don’t Go Nibble Crazy

“Once you pop, you can’t stop,” was the slogan for one well-known brand of crisps. Beware because this is very often the case for all nibbles. Chocolates, mince pies and cakes are everywhere at Christmas. While indulging in the odd mince pie, chocolate or handful of crisps or nuts is fine, it is important to stick to your regular eating pattern. This will help ensure you aren’t hungry and help maintain your willpower.

  1. Look After Your Liver

Our livers work hard during the festive season, digesting all the indulgent food and detoxifying alcohol. So, give it some support by including lots of liver-friendly foods like cruciferous vegetables. Pile on the broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and kale. Slaws on the side can be a great way to include extra veggies. Other foods that help your liver include artichoke and beetroot. Add flavour with liver-supporting garlic, ginger, parsley, coriander, turmeric and ginger.

  1. Get Plenty of Sleep

Burning the candle at both ends leads to all kinds of problems. It can impact food choices the next day. When we’re tired, we often make poor dietary choices, reaching for sugary snacks to give us a quick energy boost. It can also affect the immune system making us more likely to pick up any bugs doing the rounds. It is essential to aim for 7-9 hours every night.

  1. Keep Exercising

It is a busy time of year with shopping and socialising, and it’s tempting to drop exercise so you can fit everything else in. If you can’t manage your regular exercise classes, gym visits or park runs, make sure you are getting out in the fresh air for a brisk walk. It is important to keep exercising, as raising your heart rate can help with any overindulgence.


  1. Socialise with a Walk

Do you remember during lockdown we all rediscovered the joy of walking in fresh air with friends and family? So why not try joining up with people for a walk again? Wherever you live, there will be some green space nearby. Or if you can walk or drive to a beach, even better! It can be a great way to avoid unhealthy eating and drinking but still do something special.


  1. Remember

If you find yourself overindulging this Christmas, don’t beat yourself up; there are plenty of opportunities to ensure a happy and healthy Christmas. Tomorrow is another day, and you can make better and healthier choices!


Product Recommendations

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NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine) is a highly stable and bioavailable form of the amino acid cysteine. NAC is a precursor to glutathione, an important antioxidant. NAC supplements can help support liver health and may be helpful during periods of extra burden.