Another week, another public health event. This time it is the turn of the increasingly popular ‘Christmas’, where the general message seems to revolve around consuming all food groups, in vast quantities, at all times.
I jest. I have noted, celebrated and explained many of the most important health events and milestones of the year, so I don’t mean to be flippant. But at this time of year, I think it’s important to accept that, for a very brief period, it is ok for nutrition to take a back seat, and to let family, friends, charity and celebrations drive proceedings.
This is not to say that we should take our collective foot off the nutritional pedal completely (enough weird and totally irrelevant driving analogies? I think so). If I see, for example, weight loss, type 2 diabetes or IBS patients in my clinic, I emphasise that it’s perfectly understandable to relax the restrictions at Christmas, but to remember that really it is just one day. Now I know that the family events might drag on for a couple more days, but there’s no need to devote the next two weeks to gorging yourself on leftovers, particularly if you have any sort of health goal in mind, or even if you just like looking keeping your body in reasonable condition.
Christmas is unique, so enjoy it! Don’t forget the basics of good nutrition (as discussed throughout the past few months), but equally, don’t let this dominate the day. Just make sure you’re back on track long before you start turning your thoughts to New Years.