Christmas Health Tips
by Steve Halsall
A Celebrity Personal Trainer
Every Christmas I’m always amazed at the feeding frenzy which goes on over the ten day period between Christmas and New Year. I have just been asked what do I want to eat on Christmas Day. Call me a health freak, but I can’t get my head around stuffing rubbish food down my throat to celebrate one day. Don’t get me wrong here, I‘m all for a mince pie and a glass of red, but not continuously for ten hours a day! The old phrase, ‘a moment on the lips, an age on the hips’, springs to mind.
Self-discipline in social situations has to be the hardest thing when trying to watch what you eat. The guilt of saying ‘no’ is all too much, especially when Grandma opens up yet another tin of Quality Street or when the second helping of Christmas pudding is offered to the chant of, ‘Go on, let your self go’.
If you are looking to keep some control over the next couple of weeks, here are a few pointers.
- Make a rule with your self, no alcohol till 7.30pm on every day except Christmas, when it would be wrong not to toast the Queen at 3.00pm
- Even though it's cold, go out for a walk after Christmas lunch and again on Boxing Day after breakfast.
- If you have a hangover, drink plenty of water. Try and avoid demolishing the chocolate covered Brazils and try and eat small meals often.
- Have a good breakfast everyday. Keep to your daily rhythm with your food timings. A good breakfast will ensure that you don't cave in to grandma and the chocolates pre-lunch when you are starving.
- Be the one around the dinner table who gets the water organised, casually drop the Evian on the table with glasses for everyone. You can pace yourself with the alcohol easier and ensure you remain hydrated.
- Remember the average portion size should be the size of your hands cupped, not your arms wide open around a bucket. Go ahead and eat the roast potatoes, but not two hundred of them.
- Be the one who starts playing charades, mildly active and thus avoiding the drinking games.
- As always, chew your food. I fondly remember my grandma, sat at the end of the table on Christmas Day putting her knife and fork down every mouthful and chewing for England. Skinny as a rake she was, even with her tin of chocolates.
- Christmas dinner is actually a healthy meal. White poultry, at least four or five vegetables is perfect; it's the trimmings that pile on the timber so go easy on those bacon wrapped sausages!
- Try and avoid standing in the kitchen too long, by all means offer to wash up but don't hover over the mounds of food left over, you know you will only pick at it.
Lastly and most importantly, enjoy every minute, be nice to yourself and have a great Christmas.
Steve Halsall has worked as a professional trainer for 15 years during which time he has helped 100's of people to make permanent changes. He is a Men's Health magazine celebrity trainer and The Daily Mirror's fitness expert. www.stevehalsall.com