The festive period is packed with unhealthy temptations: alcohol, rich puddings, sweets, chocolates, crisps, roasted nuts, buffet food etc. and it’s hard to resist. We are presented with plates overflowing with food (in the name of celebrating) and it’s hard not to overeat.
The following tips should help you find the strength to overcome some of these temptations, and may result in less of a bulge to deal with in the New Year!
- Firstly, be conscious of maintaining your blood sugar levels. When we are tired, hungry or stressed we are much more likely to succumb to over indulgence.
- Every meal and snack that you consume should be made up of protein and some complex carbohydrate – this will ensure that your blood sugar levels remain stable, as protein and complex carbohydrates (wholemeal bread and pasta, brown rice) break down more slowly than refined carbohydrates (biscuits, cakes, white bread, white pasta, white rice)
- Cut down on the teas, coffees and colas that you drink throughout the day. Caffeine has the same effect on your body as a sugary snack, causing blood sugar levels to rocket and then plummet, making you more likely to indulge
- Eat regularly and try not to leave more than 3 hours between eating
- Also have a good breakfast – try porridge with nuts, seeds and fresh fruit, or eggs on toast. This should see you through the mid morning temptations of chocolates and biscuits.
Experiments have shown that if you are visually reminded of what you have already consumed, you are likely to eat less than if the evidence is cleared away. So keep the chocolate wrappers, empty glasses of wine and empty beer cans in view, and they may stop you reaching for more.
If you are feeling particularly bloated and full you maybe in need of digestive enzymes. Fresh pineapple is a great alternative as it’s packed full of bromelain, an enzyme that helps the body break down protein. Keep a pineapple on standby for that post dinner bloat!
Never drink on an empty stomach, as the alcohol will enter your blood stream faster, making you feel drunk more quickly, and alcohol can be an irritant to your gut, exacerbating the after effects.Always drink a glass of water with every alcoholic drink. Alcohol will dehydrate the body, and the more water you drink the less room there is for alcohol, and you will feel better for it the next day.
Did you know that a glass of wine is equivalent in calories to a packet of crisps? This sobering thought might give you some resolve as someone offers to fill your glass up for the nth time! Also beware of seasonal coffee treats – a Costa Medio Full Fat Gingerbread and Cream Latte has 359 calories, and a Pret a Manger Mint Hot Chocolate weighs in at 457 calories per serving!
The morning after the night before, many of the hangover symptoms experienced are due to low blood sugar levels. Your primary goal must be to raise your blood sugar levels as quickly as possible, whilst re-hydrating at the same time. Freshly squeezed orange juice is a great start, followed by a smoothie with bananas and fresh fruit.
Wishing you a merry and healthy Christmas!
Lisa and Emily
To find out more about the nutrition services that Vital Health Nutrition can offer you please visit www.vitalhealthnutrition.co.uk or call Emily on 07967 639347 or Lisa 07966 478974 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org