7 Tips to Avoid Weight Gain this Christmas
So, we are well and truly into the silly season. It’s the time of year when we indulge in less healthy food choices and tend to drink more than any other time of year.
So what can we do to minimise the adverse effect of these toxins on our body. Not drinking alcohol and eating unhealthy food would be the ideal for your body, but may not be so great for your social life. Let’s face it, even with the best intentions we are likely to engage in some festive treats.
Our bodies are constantly detoxing, it is not a one off thing you do on a health retreat. The key to staying healthy is to constantly be supporting the detoxification process.
1. Stay Hydrated
Hydration is important in regulating your kidneys and liver for detoxification. Alcohol dehydrates the body. Drink one glass of water after each alcoholic drink, and drink lots of water the day after, between 2-3 liters. Coconut water is fabulous for hangovers; it’s high in electrolytes that replenish the body’s water levels after dehydration. Add a pinch of sea salt and lemon juice to your water too to alkalize. Green juices would also be fabulous, as they’re high in minerals and electrolytes.
2. Supplement and Support.
Alcohol depletes vitamins in the body. B-vitamins are responsible for many metabolic processes of the body — the liver detox pathways rely on B’s to detox effectively. I take 1-2 B-complex vitamins daily after drinking.
The liver needs extra support at this time. Vegetables that contain enzymes that support liver detoxification include brassica vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts). Dandelion root tea is great for the liver, or I take it in a supplement form. Lemon water and apple cider vinegar are great for liver detox (1 Tbsp. in water, with ½ tsp. of turmeric). Eat grated carrots with lemon juice and sea salt.
Go for the clear and clean alcohol options — gin, vodka would be the best choice WITHOUT the sugary mixers. Enjoy them with fresh lemon or lime juice and sparkling water. The sugary drinks make hangovers much worse.
3. Eat well before and after.
Always make sure your stomach is lined with food, which allows alcohol to be absorbed at a slower pace. This is a good time to enjoy slow releasing carbohydrates such as brown rice, sweet potato and quinoa. Caffeine can place extra load on the liver which can make you feel worse.
Most people think a hangover is a good excuse to grease it up with burgers and fries. This will make you feel worse. Enjoy your protein and good fats: eggs, avocado and spinach and quinoa are fabulous breakfast choices.
4. Sweat it out.
Exercise stimulates the lymphatic system to excrete toxins and gets the blood flowing. Exercises also release endorphins, the feel good hormones! Yoga is also amazing for hangovers. Try and get in a 20-minute walk around the block sometime after the main meal, or a quick workout in the morning. If you have kids, get them outside and play with them, this is much better for your body than sitting down and having a nap after a big meal. If you live near the beach or have a pool jump in and have a swim (not recommended after drinking though!)
5. Take along your favourite salad and a block of Organic Dark Chocolate to compliment the meal.
This way at least you know you have a healthy option. You could always make your own homemade healthy chocolate to take along. Click here
6. Aim for Moderation and Mindfulness
Knowing that you are doing all of these great steps, go ahead and enjoy all those yummy foods and drinks, just don’t go overboard. Whatever you might have too much of on Christmas day, just cut back on that food for the next few days and you’ll be back on track with no harm done. Be mindful or aware of how your body feels and what it needs. Try and avoid un-conscious eating. This is when you pick at things without really being aware that you are doing it
7. Avoid Stress & Have Fun
Extra expenses and activities mean the festive season can be stressful and stress can cause over-eating. Don’t over-commit to too many events and give yourself time to relax in between. If you begin to feel stress rising, head out the door for a brisk walk or run. Doing nothing promotes picking at food for the sake of it. Being active means you are also burning extra calories, bonus! Talk, dance and stay busy, help to clean up.
With this plan in place, let go of the outcome and focus on what is truly important. Be present with your family and enjoy your time with them – this will fuel your health dramatically. Do all of these things and you will avoid weight gain this Christmas, you may even lose a kilo:)
Have a great Christmas everyone
Liz – Life in Balance
and the One Life Fitness Team