Tis the season to be jolly, enjoy a mulled wine and a mince pie; yes the start of the Christmas festivities are in full swing. This time of year is by far the most difficult when it comes to trying to stay healthy. Temptations seem to be everywhere; from office drinks, to mini chocolates scattered around the house, not to mention the cold weather which makes you want to stay under the duvet rather than get out and move it. We all want to have fun and indulge every now and then, especially at Christmas time, but sometimes its hard not to get carried away. At Hip and Healthy we have come up with a few ways to help you stay on track, yet still enjoy the festivities like everyone else.


Remember good habits
The first thing to remember is all of the good habits that you usually follow on a day to day basis. Its important not to throw everything out of the window, but instead adapt, be a little lenient with your exercise and health routine. Its ok to miss a gym class or a morning run to make it to office drinks, just try not to lose the routine in the long run. Good habits can sometimes be really difficult to get back into. Staying active will make you feel so much better after the parties and Christmas food. Just remember to be a bit more lenient, just think of other ways to stay active. We love wrapping up and embracing a winter walk with friends and family.


Find delicious but healthy alternatives
There are loads of fun ways to enjoy the festive sweet treats and nibbles without feeling like you’ve undone all of your hard work. Healthier alternatives are the perfect way to indulge but without feeling guilty. Its super easy to replace chocolates with dusted or coated nuts. They are still festive, delicious and nutritious. Why not try roasting some nuts sprinkled with cinnamon and honey. They are a great Christmassy snack and nibble when hosting parties or to take to work as a snack to avoid those chocolate cravings. Don’t get us wrong a few mini chocolates are harmless, but if you’re anything like us its hard to say no to more than one or two!


Get busy in the kitchen
Getting busy in the kitchen is a great way of controlling how and what you indulge in, not to mention that it’s a lot of fun too. There’s nothing better than some home baking to really get you in the mood for Christmas time. Making homemade Christmas classics like mince pies, Christmas cakes and all those roast dinners means that they are often healthier for you. Why not try to reduce the sugar content in the recipes or experiment with making sugar free alternatives. We love Deliciously Ella’s recipe for sugar free mince pies. They are really easy to make, and taste just as good as the ones packed full of sugar… we promise!


Don’t become a recluse!
One of things we hate is missing out, especially at Christmas time. Don’t say no to parties or dinners to avoid over indulging. A great tip is to always be the person topping up your glass, that way you can keep track of how much you are drinking. There’s an old rule we follow; for every glass of wine you drink, have a glass of water to follow. Not only will this help with the impending headache in the morning, it will also keep you hydrated which is really important to help avoid those sugar and salt cravings the next day. The same rule can be applied for dinner parties too! There’s nothing wrong with taking your own dishes along to dinner parties. That way you know what your eating and you get extra brownie points with friends and family for bringing something along with you! Its a no brainer.


Let go of the guilt
This time of year really is one of the best, it’s sociable and everyone tends to be riding the festive wave! Over the festive period it’s all about balance, and not going over the top when indulging in things that you normally wouldn’t eat or drink. The worst thing is to feel guilty and to punish yourself, so when that Christmas pud hits the table, dive in and enjoy every bite! Food is to be celebrated, especially this time of year! And just because its cold and wet at times it doesn’t mean that going out for winter walks or runs is a no go. If anything its often more fun especially if you can rope a friend or family member into it with you. Everything in moderation means you still get to have fun along with everyone else and avoid feeling like you are a million miles away from your healthy lifestyle come January.

words by Lisa Evans