Christmas without a little bit of indulgence is more or less unthinkable, but over-indulgence has a very real price to pay. What with Christmas parties, work functions, well-stocked fridges accommodating celebrations with friends and the inevitable family gathering, it can be far too easy to (over) indulge in festive frivolities and end up with a substantial weight gain not to mention a pounding headache and queasy stomach or two!
On average, we’ll put on between 1- 2 kilograms of weight over Christmas and come January, most of us will not only have fallen off the wagon but we’ll be struggling to find the motivation to chase it down the hill.
But by following these these tried and tested yuletide tips you can have both a happy and healthy Christmas indeed:
- Stick to the 80/20 rule – that’s 80% of the time being good, eating and drinking healthily and sensibly and 20% of the time indulging in something a little bit naughty.
- Don’t skip your breakfast: start every day with a high-fibre cereal (bran, oats or wholegrain) or high-protein (eggs) breakfast.
- If you’re heading out for Happy Hour be sure to go for steak or pizza first – fat helps the body absorb alcohol.
- Know your poison: red wine contains tannin’s, compounds that are known to trigger headaches in some people; beers, dessert wines, fortified wines (e.g. sherry, port), sweet wines and brandy all have a high-sugar content (so not good for the waistline). Stick to gin or vodka with soda and a twist of lime and champagne or dry white wine for those celebratory toasts.
- The day-after-the-night-before, limit your coffee intake: drinking too much coffee will dehydrate you and could make your hangover worse. To counteract dehydration, try sipping on water with a pinch of salt to replace lost sodium and chloride or a sports drinks to replace lost electrolytes.
- Just ten minutes of physical exertion has been shown to reduce depression, improve your mood, reduce anxiety and anger levels and ironically relieve bodily aches and pains! If you do over-indulge then get outside for a brisk walk – or a bike ride – either round the block or nearest park; take the dog, take a friend, take the entire family. You’ll soon have your mojo back, just in time for the New Year.