Most people are in full party mode. With the anticipation of Christmas feasting and celebratory drinks with friends and family, it is extremely easy to over-indulge. I have no intention of preaching abstinence but I do recommend you pause before you launch yourself head first in to the excesses of Christmas and New Year and ask yourself…
… ” do I really want to start 2011 feeling fat, bloated, sluggish, fatigued and in need of a detox? ”
A shift in attitude could save you from feeling the need to diet, join a gym and abstain from all that is fun and yummy come the new year. Rather than seeing Christmas as a time to throw out all your healthy-living principles and practices, why not decide to go into the festive season with a healthier approach?
It is possible to have fun, be super-sociable, eat out lots and all the while keep your healthy head on. Here are a few key factors that may help:
• Don’t go to parties hungry – if you turn up ravenous you’ll be tempted to over-eat and drink.
• Never drink alcohol on an empty stomach – it will play havoc with your blood sugar levels setting up cravings for more sugar and make you much more prone to putting on weight. Have a small snack containing fat and protein shortly before you start drinking, such as a handful of nuts. some hummus on a cracker or a chunk of cheese. This way the alcohol will take much longer to get in to your blood stream and it will prevent your blood sugar going out of control.
• Beware of the Buffet Table – If you are eating buffet-style, put a few of your favourites on a plate & then walk away from the food otherwise you’ll be tempted to graze & keep re-filling.
• On Christmas day aim to go for a brisk walk or run early on – getting your metabolism revved up early in the day will ensure you burn off the food you eat throughout the day more effectively than plodding along with a full tummy after a big Christmas lunch. A strenuous workout for 60 minutes can keep your metabolic rate elevated for up to 15 hours.
• Always have some water to hand – this will help limit how much alcohol you drink and to stop you getting dehydrated which is one of the main reasons for feeling rough the next day.
Have some Milk Thistle and water next to your bed – milk thistle is a herb that contains an active ingredient which supports liver function. Taking a capsule (or 2 – read the label) when you go to bed after a night of indulgence will support your liver’s processing of the alcohol and other toxins you’ve imbibed.
• Always focus on your food & chew well – This is hard to do when there are people to talk to, or even avoid! However, do try and think about what you’re eating, focus on the flavour and texture and chew thoroughly. This will not only improve your digestive processes it may help prevent you over eating.
• Decide on a couple of your favourite treats – rather than feeling the need to have some of everything and a lot of most things, commit to having a couple of fabulous treats, take time to savour them and then resolve to have no more until the next day.
Have healthy fun this year – you’ll thank me on January 1st 2011!