Bridge to Health Blog
Bridge to Health Blog

How to get through Christmas without piling on the pounds

Written by Emily Fawell   Posted in:Nutrition   December 3, 2015

How to get through Christmas without piling on the pounds
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 eight 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!

1. 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.
  • Never leave more than 3 hours between eating
  • Every meal and snack that you consume must 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

2. Have a good breakfast

Try porridge with nuts, seeds and fresh fruit, or eggs on toast. On Christmas morning, treat yourself to scrambled eggs and smoked salmon. This should see you through the mid morning temptations of chocolates and biscuits

3. Remind yourself of what you have eaten already

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.

4. Never drink on an empty stomach

Drinking on an empty stomach means that 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.

5. Always drink a glass of water with every alcoholic drink.

Alcohol will dehydrate the body, whereas water will rehydrate, and the more water you drink the less room there is for alcohol. You will feel better for it the next day.

6. Be mindful of the sugar content of alcohol.

If you are watching your weight, alcohol is not your friend.  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!

7. Restore blood sugar levels and hydration as soon as possible

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.

8. Try a natural approach to digestive discomfort

If you are feeling particularly bloated and full you maybe in need of digestive enzymes. Fresh pineapple is a great natural source of digestive enzymes. 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!

Wishing you a merry and healthy Christmas!
If you are determined to make 2017 the year that you focus on your health and weight, then come along to Emily's FREE zest4life seminar on Wednesday 11th January at Bridge to Health in Ealing, to find out about this healthy approach to vitality and weight loss.

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