Christmas is the most wondrous time of year to celebrate with family and friends, giggle, relax, put your feet up and enjoy some well-deserved downtime. However, with all the extra celebrations and parties, it is far too easy to overindulge in food and drink which your body may not be used to.

Whilst everything should be enjoyed in moderation (it is Christmas after all), once you start adding in all the ‘extras’ such as chocolates, mince pies, cakes, sweets, soft drinks and alcohol, etc, it can send your body into overdrive and leave you with the highs and lows of a sugar hangover.

As well as the extra sugar that comes with Christmas celebrations, it also means extra additives and preservatives entering your body, which may cause feelings of fatigue, headaches, mood swings, feeling depleted, gut and bowel symptoms, guilt and bloating like the jolly man in red himself.

Some handy hints when maintaining a healthy diet over Christmas include sticking to your regular snacks. Keep them on hand with you if you are attending a party or function. This will help you to feel satisfied and resist the temptation of overindulging on the not-so-healthy food that may be present.

Always eat a nourishing breakfast as this will help to put you in the right mindset for the day, leaning towards healthy options. It also helps to stabilise your blood sugar levels and appetite throughout the day so you are more likely to crave healthy snacks.

Try to keep a water bottle handy to avoid dehydration or confusing thirst for hunger. It is also important to top up your water intake if you are consuming alcohol.

Lastly, try not to feel too guilty as it is all about balance after all. If you do succumb to a sugary temptation, it is not too late to get back on track. Don’t beat yourself up, it happens, but do be mindful of the effects that can happen within your body and take it as an opportunity to listen to your body and learn.