Planning ahead for a happy, tasty, stress-free Christmas

Planning ahead for a happy, tasty, stress-free Christmas

By Lee Moroney

Christmas is just around the corner and the party season is kicking off with office parties, Christmas nights out and friends and family all ready to celebrate this festive time of year.

But there are two “Bah Humbugs” that like to spoil the fun, over-eating and self-inflicted stress.


Christmas Calories....

Let’s start with the calorie count of a "typical Christmas dinner" and then add in the calorie content of all the other Christmas treats and the task of keeping control of your eating seems impossible. Look across the various social, TV and printed media and you will see how many chin ups, push ups you’ll have to do and how far you’ll have to run, to "burn" the calories you just ate. Do you still equate over eating with doing zany amounts of extreme exercise to "burn" the calories or have you been paying attention to what we’ve been saying in previous articles? Exercise should be done for enjoyment and for physical and mental well being.

Christmas Stress….

We do, in fact, create our own stress at Christmas, running around trying to get gifts, sending Christmas cards, meeting up with friends you don’t see too much through out the year for a cup of coffee or even a pint, planning the perfect Christmas dinner….. This puts a huge strain on our mental health and our wallets – learning to be more relaxed and not put our selves under so much pressure is key to having a more festive time during December.


Top Christmas Survival Tips….

Here are my top tips to keep you on track over the Christmas period and to help you look after your self a bit more:

1. Continue to exercise as normal – whatever that may be: walking, dance class, running.

2. Spread out your party nights over the Christmas season. It’s generally not what we eat or drink but how much. Having several nights or Christmas lunches in a row will add up and your body is not given enough time to digest, to naturally get rid of the waste and recover.

3. Think balance when planning to eat out for dinner.  Have a small breakfast – protein based is ideal, like an omellette or bacon and eggs will keep you fuelled till lunch time. Soup, a toasted sandwich or a cold salad – something to keep you going until your evening meal out – balanced eating through out will ensure you stay on track and are not too hungry for your meal.

4. Sip water throughout the night if having a few alcoholic beverages this will keep your body hydrated and may prevent any sort of a hangover.

5. Make a list of all tasks, and gifts to be bought and set a budget with some leeway and perhaps if other family, friends or work colleagues are up for it a Kris Kindle would relieve a lot of the stress of having to buy loads of gifts.

6. If hosting Christmas dinner get everyone to chip in and perhaps all those attending could bring a course such as the starters. Someone else could make the stuffing, another could bring the Brussels sprouts! It will ease the burden on the host and everyone will feel that they have contributed.

7. Budget  – a written plan or an excel sheet will keep you in check – no point having a “perfect Christmas” and then having to pay for it from January to November next year.

8. Get out and do the GOAL Mile on Christmas day not to burn calories but to give something whatever you can afford and be grateful for who and what you have in your life.

9. Your local parkrun will still be on the 23rd of December at 9.30am. If you follow these guidelines come January first there will not be a need for a complete overhaul of your lifestyle or your finances!!

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all the Echo Readers a very Happy Christmas and a very Happy New Year.