The festive season is upon us. It’s a time when friends and families come together and often have more social gatherings than usual and often these get togethers involve consuming excessive amounts of treats!


Eating out is also usually on the agenda for most during the festive season, with people being likely to overindulge. We also tend to drink more alcohol and sugary drinks this time of the year and these can have a negative impact on our health and well-being. This is therefore a time of the year when there are many challenges with regards to maintaining a healthy lifestyle as exercising also becomes less of a priority. This is not to say that we should not take some time to relax and indulge in our favourite foods, this should all just be done in moderation. Remember that you have the power to maintain a healthy balance this holiday season, you are in charge!“Do not use this period as an opportunity to make bad food choices and ignore your exercise routines. In fact, this is a great time of the year to get active by doing fun activities such as taking walks, playing with your children in the garden or even exploring your holiday destination on foot,” says Gert Coetzee, Pharmacist and Diet pioneer who founded The Diet Everyone Talks About. Below he lists some hints and tips that will help you enjoy your Christmas holidays while making sure that you maintain your health.

Eat healthier holiday meals:

There is a lot of unhealthy food being offered during the festive season but as tempting as it is, stay away from fatty, sugary, carb-filled foods that actually make you feel unwell and who wants that over Christmas? Too much saturated fat in your diet can raise your cholesterol levels which can increase your risks of heart disease. Go for healthier options such as whole-grains, vegetables, fruits, lean meat and seafood, there are a lot of healthy and delicious recipes that you can try out.

Stay hydrated:

Whatever you do this festive season, make sure that you drink water every day. Why not add some strawberries, lemon, pineapples, watermelon or cucumber to your water to add some flavour? Drinking water can help you feel full and prevent you from overindulging in sugary, fizzy drinks. Being hydrated will also help prevent hangovers and sugar crashes if you happen to overindulge.

Don’t skip breakfast:

Make sure that you start your day with a wholesome breakfast. Breakfast helps fill you up until lunch time and can help prevent you from snacking on sugary treats. It also maintains your metabolism and glucose levels, promoting weight maintenance.

Make time for Exercising:

Maintaining physical activity over the holiday season can contributes to a healthier and a happier lifestyle. Physical activity releases endorphins that trigger a happy feeling which is why people who exercise are less stressed and generally live longer, happier and healthier lives. This is the time when friends and family come together so why not get them involved. Come up with fun activities that you can all enjoy while bonding and getting in some exercise.

Avoid sweet ‘after meal’ snacks:

Sweets, chocolates and cakes that come after a wholesome meal are unnecessary and are extra carbs that will affect your weight and your health in a negative way. If you are going to have an after-dinner snack, keep your portion size small or go for healthier options such as nuts, berries, biltong, chocolate dipped fruit skewers and whole-wheat biscuits or crackers with a healthy dip such as guacamole.