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27 days away

Frederica Elbourne
Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas is 27 days away. And alas, the approach of the annual season of over-indulgence in rich, delicious and unhealthy food.

But panic not. You can still enjoy all the goodies of the season, interleaved with some sensible eating, and not put on ten stone and spend the next three months regretting everything.

www.healthyeatingmadeasy offers some tips to bear in mind in the weeks ahead.

nFeast for a couple of days, then return to normal. Buy less, and don't let the holiday season turn into an excuse for a month of bingeing.

nWatch what you drink. Five or more units of alcohol at a session counts as binge drinking. It's ok to have an extra glass or three if it's just once a year—and you're not likely to do anything more regrettable than wake up with a headache. But for the rest of the year, spread drinking out over the week, and have one alcohol-free day in every seven, minimum.

nDon't keep celery just as an accompaniment for rich cheeses. Cut up a box of mini-sticks of celery, and nibble on them when you need a snack. Celery keeps blood pressure low, and helps lower cholesterol too.

nKeep reading the labels, but don't be fooled.

nOut of sight is out of mouth. Hide away indulgent puddings, cream and other temptations in the salad drawer, so they don't beckon every time you open the fridge door.

nBrazil nuts are rich in selenium, which improves mood and reduces anxiety. Eat just 3 a day.

nFill up healthily before a meal with a Virgin Mary—tomato juice, lemon, ice, Worcester sauce. You'll be less ravenous when you reach the table.

nIf you're used to working out, have a vigorous session the day before a feast, and you'll burn extra calories more efficiently. This is not the time to embark on a new exercise regime, though, if your body isn't accustomed to so much exertion. Save it until the New Year, and start gently.


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