By Paula Wang, Pharmacist

Christmas is a time of fun and excitement but also a time of overindulgence. According to research, weight added on during the holidays may not be easily lost afterwards; in fact, it often becomes permanent. While relaxing and enjoying yourself are important, here are some tips to help you stay healthy amid the festivities.

  1. Alcohol consumption (due to more socializing and more availability)
    • Alternate alcohol drinks with soft drinks or water.
    • Eat before drinking and limit salty snacks.
    • Save alcohol drinks for later in the day.
    • Do not feel obligated to attend every invitation or be the last to leave.
    • Choose offers of free drinks wisely.
    • Choose to be the designated driver and have only non-alcoholic drinks.
    • Stay hydrated.
    • Add more mix to make your drink last longer.
    • Try non-alcoholic beers and wine.
    • Choose drinks with lower levels of alcohol.
    • Drink slowly, at your own pace and avoid doing rounds.
    • For those with diabetes, alcohol consumption may mask signs of hypoglycemia (e.g. light-headedness, disorientation) or cause hypoglycemia in those taking sulfonylureas (e.g. gliclazide) or insulin. Please keep an eye on your blood sugar and take a glucose tablet or juice if it drops too low!
  2. Stay active. Choose activities that get you up and moving rather than sitting. Going for walks and playing outside are healthy alternatives to watching holiday movies.
  3. Enjoy all the special holiday treats but don’t overindulge. Wait 20 minutes before having second helpings.
  4. Remember to include healthy foods. Substitute fruit for higher calorie snacks and start the day with a healthy breakfast.
  5. Guard your mental health. Do something for someone else throughout the festive season. Acts of kindness benefit not only the recipient but the giver too.
  6. Be careful! Accidents tend to happen more frequently during the holidays.
  7. Limit candle use
    • Supervise children closely and give age-appropriate presents.
    • Turn off Christmas lights at bedtime.
    • Refrigerate leftovers promptly and reheat thoroughly.

Enjoy a physically and mentally healthy Christmas!