With the year coming to an end and the Christmas party season
upon us, our health and fitness goals may start to fall by the wayside. Our healthy
diets and lifestyle can easily be thrown out the window as we start to overindulge
in richer food, drink more alcohol and have less time to spare to dedicate to exercise.

According to Nutrition Australia, on average Australians can gain between 0.8-1.5kg over the Christmas period. While 1-2kgs might not sound like much, studies show that weight gained during the holiday period is rarely lost in the new year.

Here are 7 tips to staying happy and healthy during the Christmas season.

Tip 1: Include more antioxidant foods in your diet.

These are the foods that are often brightly coloured red, orange and yellow. Antioxidants have the ability to neutralise free radicals that otherwise do damage to our cells and accelerate aging. Free radicals are unstable atoms or molecules within the body that have been created by oxidation through such things as pollution, preservatives and additives, radiation, smoking, and unprotected sun exposure.

Tip 2: Drink more coconut water

Dehydration is a common skin condition and can quickly become a problem in the summer heat or when you are drinking alcohol. Increasing water intake is important throughout this season, however some people still become dehydrated. This loss of water has been shown to adversely affect skin making it feel papery and thin whilst also decreasing mood and energy levels. In times like these people often turn to sports drinks to rehydrate. Whilst sports drinks are great for performance their high sugar levels slow their absorption rate and ability to hydrate quickly. Coconut water, on the other hand, has less sugar content and will be absorbed faster. It also has fewer calories, less sodium and more potassium than most sports drinks, making it a better alternative for ‘everyday’ re hydration.  We recommend checking the label before purchasing as some brands add sugar and Preservative 223 which is not great.

Tip 3: Supplement with Vitamin D

Most people associate vitamin D with healthy bones. What some might not know about this vitamin is that it also plays a vital role in regulation of sex hormones and mood. The main way to get vitamin D is to expose bare skin to sunlight however the use of sunscreen, working indoors, air pollution, location, and some dress codes may limit our exposure to the sun.

Supplementing with a vitamin D product is one way to ensure that our vitamin D
levels remain optimal and can help to protect us against depression or waning
libido.  However, we only recommend this if you have had your vitamin D levels checked by your GP and they are found to be depleted.

Tip 4: Eat more dark chocolate

The flavonoids in dark chocolate may protect against skin damage and UV rays. The consumption of flavonoid-rich chocolate also increases skin circulation giving the skin that special glow whilst also leading to improved skin hydration. Make sure you get > 70% dark as this will have less sugar and a higher flavonoid content or better yet buy raw cacao powder and add it to your smoothies and desserts. Dark chocolate is also known to be a mood and memory booster and a good source of magnesium.

Tip 5: Drink juices that contain natural diuretics

Juices that contain natural diuretic foods such as celery, cucumber, lemon, ginger, beetroot, and pineapple help the body to increase its urine output. This in turn helps to eliminate toxins, reduce fluid retention and can ultimately result in feeling less bloated and looking slimmer. Fresh juices are also a great way to get your daily recommended serving of veggies.

Tip 6: Reach for a Vitamin B complex

Next time you are feeling drained of energy consider supplementing with a vitamin B complex product. B vitamins are water-soluble and get flushed quickly from the body. Increased alcohol consumption at Christmas time can deplete our bodies of important vitamins such as B1, B2 and B6. A good complex B vitamin product should provide all eight B vitamins that are essential for peak health and energy production.

Tip 7: Make sure you exercise!

Remember even tho it is a busy time of the year you can still make time to exercise.  Even just 30 minutes of exercise a day can make a difference and simple things like a walk along the beach or going for a swim in the ocean can keep your body moving

Keep healthy this Christmas!!