My top 5 tips for the Festive Season

RightFood4U Blog My Top 5 Tips for the Festive Season - Nutrition Programmes - Bray Wicklow Dublin
Ilona Madden - RightFood4U - Nutrition Programmes - Bray Wicklow Dublin

Written by Ilona Madden

December 20, 2019

These are the 5 things you should do if you want to enjoy your favourite Christmas treats and have a few drinks during the Festive Season:

Christmas is not the time to deprive yourself. I’m all for eating those foods that you associate with the Festive Season, with Family get-togethers and with your favourite childhood memories – even if they are not “healthy”.

I actually feel that there is something healthy in sharing your dinner table with family. Eating something that was made with love. Enjoying it in great company with friends and family that you haven’t seen in a while.

However, our bodies do not know it is Christmas. The sugar and the alcohol still create the same reactions in our bodies as during the rest of the year. We still release insulin to get the sugar out of the blood. And insulin’s other function is to store fat. In fact, it makes sense looking at it from an evolutionary point of view. During those rare times, when sweet things were in fact available, our bodies needed to store fat for the harder times.

And our liver still needs to detoxify the alcohol in the same way and is under the same pressure or more during the many Christmas parties.


You can do a lot of damage limitation by implementing those 5 tips during the Festive Season, and still enjoy all your mince pies and mulled wine, or whatever foods and drink you associate with Christmas.

  1. Be mindful

Can you just finish a Selection Box and don’t even notice it?

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying your Christmas treats, but how often do you actually not even notice you’ve eaten something or haven’t actually fully and mindfully eaten it.

By being mindful, not only won’t you not over-eat, you will actually enjoy everything much more!

  1. Drink plenty of water

We often fell hunger or cravings when we are in fact dehydrated. Natural foods such as vegetables and fruit come with lots of water, whereas sweets, baked goods etc don’t. Our ancestors would have taken in much more water when eating the food that was available then than we do today. So, when you feel cravings or hunger, make yourself hot water (with lemon and/or honey), herbal tea or just drink plain fresh water. Then wait for about 10-20 minutes and see.

Also, I always recommend, when you are out drinking, to always have a glass of water after each drink, in order to pace yourself and avoid dehydration and the dreaded hangover in the morning.

A cup of hot water first thing in the morning with lemon is a great habit to get into throughout the whole year but during the winter, it can also help boost your vitamin C intake.

  1. Eat your vegetables

Of course, I always say that, but it is super important to counterbalance the extra sugar that you are eating with something healthy. Apart from the nutrients, you are getting, you are also making sure to get your fibre and to feel fuller for longer – and are less likely to over-eat the sweets.

It’s all about balance!

  1. Move

It’s not about using up calories, but moving as much as possible does help you burn off some of the sugar quicker and better. It also helps you feel much better, and you won’t feel as sluggish and just reach for the sweets.

Movement can be anything, try and get moving wherever and whenever you can, outside is best, but taking the stairs a couple of times, moving around the kitchen, dancing, anything helps! Keep active during the Festive Season and don’t be a couch potato!

  1. Rest and sleep

Fully take advantage of the days off work. And why not use these days to completely switch off your laptop and your phone. Do a digital detox, do not go near Facebook or Instagram as tempting as it might be to post your Christmas Dinner.

Take a good book or colour a colouring book, do a jigsaw, do something you love doing and never find the time for during your hectic busy work schedule.


Go to bed early and snuggle up and have a good ly-in.


Enjoy this festive season and stay healthy.

Happy Christmas!

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