It’s that time of the year when we make the promise to ourselves that we won’t overeat, binge drink or stress about preparation, but in reality, it’s tricky to not overindulge in every way possible during the festive season.
Overindulgence in food and drinks is almost inevitable. And not just food, the festive season can also leave you stressed, and for some people can lead to the holiday blues.
Our GPs at Coach Medical have put together a list of essential tips to help you stay healthy this holiday season.
Strengthen your immune system
Really you should be taking vitamins all year round, but if you are not then remember, the Christmas purge may also bring with it colds, coughs, and just a general feeling of malaise.
Combat this by topping up on Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Zinc, and Iron.
Keep track of your alcohol intake
A tipple or two doesn’t hurt but nowadays there are also plenty of low or even, non-alcoholic options on offer. You can sit and enjoy a glass of fizz, a pint of beer, or even a G&T, safe in the knowledge that the dreaded hangover will not ruin your normal everyday habits like morning runs and gym visits.
If you are drinking alcohol, clear alcohol has fewer preservatives in it and therefore causes less of a headache the next day. There are ingredients in many drinks called congeners that contribute significantly to hangovers and red wine and fortified wines have a lot of them.
The NHS recommends drinking no more than 14 units of alcohol per week, that’s six pints of beer or six medium glasses of wine. Make sure you drink plenty of water, a great rule is 1 glass for every alcoholic drink you have, this may mean more frequent trips to the bathroom but your liver will thank you later, not to mention your head.
The day after drinking alcohol, we advise rehydrating with electrolyte-rich sports drinks and water to help you replace the salts and sugars lost by the diuretic effect of alcohol. Staying hydrated is important regardless of the alcohol, it can help with headaches, body temperature, and mood changes.
Eat according to your stomach not your eyes
Overindulging in food and drinks goes hand in hand with holiday festivities, but it is also a bad holiday habit. It’s ok to be selective when it comes to your festive dinners. Overindulging in big dinners and snacks can lead to many health issues including slowing down your digestion, feeling bloated, heavy, and tired.
Additionally, overeating in a short period of time can spike your carbohydrate intake and blood glucose level which can increase your risk for chronic health issues like obesity. Only eat what is required and make sure you have plenty of greens, lean protein, and limit foods high in sugar and saturated fats.
Stress less, enjoy more
The holiday season needs a lot of preparation and planning which might leave you stressed. Also, for some of us, Christmas can be a lonely time. Stress and depression can ruin both your holidays and your health.
With demands like shopping for your family, and feeding the 5000, it is understandable that you might feel extra stressed this Christmas. Set realistic plans for your holiday season, stick to a budget, reach out for help from friends and family and stay physically active. Long walks, gym visits and classes, whatever it takes make sure you keep up your activity levels, the worst thing to do is less, this will have a negative impact on both your physical and mental health. Whilst you’re off work, invite friends and family to join you, exercise is always more fun with company.
If you feel that you might need some additional advice to get through the holidays from one of our practitioners or a Coach, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +44 (0) 207 315 4260 .
Written by Dr. Eric Asher, GP at COACH Medical.