Christmas Day is a time to catch up with family and friends, relax by the pool and of course…to eat. Food is often the day’s highlight and it typically rolls right through from lunch to dinner. Whether your Christmas table consists of a more traditional blend of hot meats (pork crackling and apple sauce are a must) and veg or fresh seafood and salad, along with an array of Christmas desserts and snacks, seasonal fruit, Pavlova, trifle and chocolate covered nuts, you’re definitely going to need a strategy to get through the day unscathed.
Tip one – keep hydrated
We know it can be easy to fall into the trap of enjoying a sugary beverage (or five) on Christmas Day. But remember to sub in the water every once in a while. Not only is it generally great for your health but when you are going to be eating lots, it’s extremely beneficial. Drinking a large glass of water 20 to 30 minutes before starting a meal will pre-hydrate your stomach. Your stomach has an acid buffer to protect your gut, which is made up of approximately 80 per cent water, meaning the more water you drink, the better the buffer and the lower the chance of inflammation.
Tip two – eat lightly
Try to eat as lightly as possible before the main event. Definitely don’t start with bread, as no matter how tempting that doughy goodness is, it’s hard to digest. And you don’t want to be prematurely full on Christmas do you?
Eating a balanced breakfast first thing in the morning will get you off to a good start, as by the time the feasting starts later in the afternoon, your body will have had sufficient time to digest. Be careful though! Sitting down to a table full of delicious foodie goodness on an empty stomach is a big mistake. We all know how quickly we fill up after overindulging in a short period of time.
Tip three – take your time
We have all been told at least once in our lives to take our time when eating. It would be remiss to not reiterate this advice now. Not only does eating slowly help with digestion, but it helps your stomach to expand gradually, allowing you to comfortably enjoy your Christmas meal without overeating. Nobody really wants to end their day in a food coma do they?
So, relax. Remember to stop and chat with the person sitting next to you between mouthfuls. You might be surprised how much more you appreciate the meal when you take the time to enjoy it.
Tip four – move it
If you know you’re going to be eating a lot, getting up and moving around will help you get through the day. Why not set up a game of backyard cricket for the family, go for a swim or take a walk after lunch? This will not only make you feel better about all the food you’re eating, but it will help with your digestion too.
Tip five – resist temptation
We know it’s hard but the very best thing to do is resist the temptation of eating too much. Let’s be honest, it’s probably going to be a struggle. But try this trick: put a little of everything on a plate and cover it with Glad wrap. Set yourself the challenge of only going to this plate throughout the day, rather than grazing from the bowls of chips, lollies and other snacks on the table.
If you can keep these tips in mind over Christmas, we’re sure you will feel all the better for it. But just remember it’s only one day, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you overindulge a little.