The holiday season is here! 

Christmas is a time of celebration. Whether it be getting together with family and friends, celebrating a finished project at work or school, participating in a religious holiday or simply taking some time out - most of us look forward to December all year long.

December isn’t called the “Silly Season” for no reason. We typically like to eat more, drink more, party harder and change up our workout routine.

We’ve come across 5 fun facts about our Christmas habits that may surprise you.

1. We Eat More Chocolate

Chocolate is an easy gift. Whether it’s a last minute Secret Santa present or a stocking stuffer, chocolate seems to be the go-to gift when buying for someone. In Australia, chocolate sales increase a whopping 8 percent at Christmas time. That might not sound like much, but that’s an increase of USD$3.2 million!

The healthy alternative: Raw treats! Either make your friends and family some raw goodies using cacao or purchase some healthier options. Raw chocolate is often a lot more bitter, meaning you eat less of it. Making homemade treats for someone is also a super special gift.

2. The Numbers On The Scale Increase

Did you know that the average person gains between 0.8-1.5kg (1.7-3.3lb) over the Christmas and New Year period? According to the British Dietetic Association, the average person consumes approximately 6,000 calories on Christmas Day.  This is almost 3 times as much as we would consume on any other given day. Leading up to Christmas however, we consume an additional 500 calories when attending parties and other celebrations. 

While we are not here to promote restriction or deprive you of the foods you love, it is important to remember to take care of our bodies.  In order to feel our best, we must eat foods that nourish and energize us.

The healthy alternative: If you’re told to bring a plate of food to a party, be the one to bring the healthy option. That way you know for sure that there will be something for you to enjoy, and you can still be involved in the action.

3. We Like To Raise Our Glass

Having a drink (or 2 or 3) over the holidays isn’t uncommon. Did you know that alcohol consumption increases by a staggering 40 percent in Britain at Christmas time? Caving in to peer pressure, freely letting loose, or simply enjoying a drink is completely a personal choice. If your goal is to reduce your alcohol consumption this Christmas, the good news is that you do have other options.

The healthy alternative: Want to still get involved in the party but not keen on guzzling too many drinks? Alternate your alcoholic beverages with water or make one of these healthier mocktails.

4. We Throw A Lot Of Food Out

Do you find the days (and sometimes weeks!) following Christmas day have a lot of leftover food? Sadly, the equivalent of 4.2 million dinners were thrown in the bin just in the U.K alone last year. Image what this looks like on a global scale! Scary, right?! 

A more sustainable alternative: Plan, plan, plan!! Sit down and think about how much food you realistically need to feed your guests. Buying only what’s needed or reducing portion sizes will both save money and reduce food wastage.

5. Surprisingly, We Exercise More

31% more to be exact! Given the fact that we are indulging more, our motivation to exercise also increases. Whether it’s to keep your waistline in check, increase or maintain strength and flexibility, or simply clear your mind, exercise is vital to our overall health.

Exercise tip: Exercise is beneficial for your mental health, too. The holiday season can be stressful, so be sure to include exercise a couple of times per week to increase serotonin production (i.e. the feel-good, happy hormones!)

Do You Have Any Tips For Staying Healthy Over The Holiday Season? Share Your Tips In The Comments Section Below!

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