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Surprisingly easy tips on how to handle the Christmas food and drink binge

How do you handle all the Christmas food and drink treats at Christmas time?

It’s not that I don’t enjoy Christmas time –  it’s just the “overload” of the season that I find a challenge. I find that I eat too much and don’t exercise enough. For me, it’s hard to resist the treats. You want to be sociable and join in the fun, don’t you? Can you relate?




This year I’m determined to have a “healthier yet still enjoyable” Christmas with advice from Julia Tyack* – the founder of Tyack Health in Manly West.

In this lead-up to Christmas, Julia passed on some timely tips – including how we can prepare ourselves for the “Christmas binge”.

If you know anyone else who can benefit from Julia’s tips – please feel free to share this post.

Also, if you have any tips on eating sensibly at Christmas while still partaking in all the “fun food” and drink please share in the comments section.

Here’s our chat:

Tony : Why does Christmas put such a strain on our bodies and our health?

Julia: One of the reasons is the food we eat and the effect on our digestion. Christmas is a time for treat “celebration” foods. It’s also a time for socialising and sharing over food and drink.


At Christmas, we often eat more meats and sweets than we eat during other times of the year.

Christmas treats are OK in moderation – and especially if we do some easy preparation and get our bodies ready.

Many people say that it takes them all of January to recover from Christmas and it doesn’t have to be that way if you use moderation and planning preparation.

What do YOU do as a health professional to prepare yourself for Christmas?

In the lead-up to Christmas, I eat “lighter”.  While I aim to eat healthily throughout the year in the weeks leading up to Christmas the plan is re-enforced for a variety of fresh green and vege salads, dinner a lighter fresh meal such as fruit and whole grains, eggs and toast,  fish and salad or if it gets too late I skip dinner and replace with a drink of water, hot cup of herb tea or other beverage.


I find I am no hungrier in the morning just ready for a good breakfast. I’ve also joined more of our practitioners and clients who are taking fasting seriously in the light of new research and the benefits of a low calorie day or two a week or a fast day. This has an off-spin benefit of enhancing eating pleasure in a surprising way while improving mental keenness.

The best way to start a day is: first thing of a morning you should start your day with a big glass of just plain warm-to-hot water to open the pyloric valve, flush out your system, experience clearing elimination and prepare your digestion. (cold water or anything added tends to close the pyloric valve at the base of the stomach and hold the water in the stomach for slow absorption)

I tell my grandkids that in the morning you wash your face and you should also “wash” your digestive system.

Also, get into the habit of eating slowly. Savour every mouthful. These days, and especially with the busy Christmas season, we tend to eat too fast – as well as too much. Having a good drink a little time prior eating also makes the digestion keener.


By eating slowly, the brain will register that you are “full” before you’ve eaten too much.

We tend to rush our food. Good eating is partly what you eat. It’s also how you eat (the speed) (the social aspect) (calm mental attitude) (gratefulness) which influences how much we eat before we “feel full” and the benefit we get from the food we eat.

I tell my grandkids and I still tell my children (they are parents who are grown-ups now) – to eat slowly and enjoy their food.

Of course, you should do all these things ON Christmas Day. Christmas lends itself naturally to  social, grateful celebration, and savouring the best tastes of the year – a little planning and these great tastes can be supported with healthy tasty summer salads and fruit desserts. Hence Christmas Day and following day can have healthy build-ins not just in the lead-up to Christmas.

retro christmas food


Do you think that people use Christmas as an “excuse” to eat and drink too much because it’s special?

I think many people would think – drinking water on Christmas is boring.

J: I didn’t say just drink water – I suggest a glass of warm water to start the day and maybe drink water between treats and drinks. The water works as a “break”.


The good news for many people is that wine (and beer) traditionally was thought to aid digesting heavier foods we tend to have for Christmas. These alcoholic beverages in moderation many people find stimulate digestion and increase hydrochloric acid production.

Now, that IS good news! I’ll definitely take your advice on the wine – as well as the warm water to start the day.

Julia Tyack* is the founder of Tyack Health and one of around 50 practitioners practicing multidisciplinary health at the centre.

I help Julia improve her writing – including song lyric writing. Julia gives me lots of tips about health and nutrition and parenting. Plus, she is always feeding me healthy foods and drinks including juices! She has a nice, friendly way of explaining things so I often ask her all sorts questions.)

Once again:

If you know anyone else who can benefit from Julia’s tips – please feel free to share this post.

If you have any tips from your experience on how to eat sensibly at Christmas time, please add in the comments.

So Julia’s top tips are:

  1. Prepare your body before Christmas Day – by eating lighter – lighter, less heavy food and eat smaller portions



  1. Start every day by drinking a large glass of plain warm-to-hot water



  1. Eat your food slowly –savour every mouthful



  1. Wine and beer (in moderation) some feel may help digest heavier Christmas foods

And I hope you enjoy a great Christmas and (with these tips) recover faster from all the fun food and drink.









One comment on “Surprisingly easy tips on how to handle the Christmas food and drink binge

  1. doubleshot media
    December 19, 2017

    Reblogged this on busy dad to better dad and commented:

    an earlier post – yet so apt this time of year!

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This entry was posted on December 23, 2015 by in Uncategorized.
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