The following tips should however 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.
- 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. Remember that 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
- 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 also 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. Could you keep the chocolate wrappers, empty glasses of wine and beer cans in view? Probably not, but just the idea of it may stop you reaching for more. On that note, never drink on an empty stomach as the alcohol will enter your blood street faster, making you feel drunk more quickly. Alcohol can also be an irritant to your gut, exacerbating the after effects.
- 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!
- 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.
- If, overall, you are feeling particularly bloated 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. Maybe keep a pineapple on standby for that post dinner bloat…