Worried you’re going to undo weeks of good work over the festive season? We know that feeling! Thankfully Michelle Hone is here with four ways to stay on track over Christmas without depriving yourself
Here at The Fit Clinic, we’re realist when it comes to nutrition and how it fits into real-life. So we have some smart ways to stay on track over Christmas, none of which will see you missing out on the fun.
With lots of Christmas parties scheduled for the next few weeks, we don’t expect our clients and followers to be that awkward person who brings their food prep in Tupperware to a family get-together. Or that person who is sitting in the corner sober on 12 Pubs. However, we also don’t advocate lying in a food coma for two weeks surrounded by sweet wrappers. Like everything, there’s a happy medium. Below we have outlined our top tips to alleviate the damage of overindulging over the festive season, while also ensuring you embrace and enjoy the time for unwinding and socializing.
Not only will this encourage better digestion, but it takes time for our satiety hormones to tell our brain that we’re full. Ever start with one sweet, and end up eating ten? And then left wondering how on earth it happened? It’s as though you don’t even remember eating. This is the opposite of eating mindfully. So to prevent this happening try to: chew your food thoroughly, putting your cutlery down between each mouthful. Take as long as possible to eat each meal, or if you’re eating with people, play a game with yourself of trying to be the last to finish your meal at the dinner table.
Choose the right alcoholic beverage
For most people, alcohol is inevitably going to have its place in the run up to Christmas. In this case, we always encourage moderate consumption and making better choices when it comes to alcohol. Here are some top tips to limiting damage.
- Slow your consumption
- Keep as hydrated as possible
- Minimize sugar intake which will minimize hangover
- Minimize overall calorie intake
When choosing drinks, think of this:
- If you enjoy white wine, use sparking water to make it a spritzer
- If you enjoy red wine, have a glass of water between each drink
- If you enjoy beer or cider, opt for the lighter options
- If you enjoy spirits, opt for a clear spirit, a sparkling, soda or tonic water with fresh lemon or lime
Account for your night out earlier in the day
Plan ahead, if you know you’re heading out later that night
- Aim to do a gym workout earlier that day
- Eat meals based on protein and fibrous vegetables before you head out, and leave some room in terms of carbs and fats for a meal out and/or drinks
- Ensure you are fully hydrated that day, as this will limit how hungover you feel the following day
- Prep a tasty meal that you know will satisfy your drunk cravings at 3am. This will avoid a pitstop at a takeaway.
- Have a bottle of water that’s been pre-mixed with Dioralyte beside your bed and drink it before you sleep. This is my ultimate hangover hack.
Aim to exercise
Missing training generally has a negative knock on effect to making poor food choices. And soon missing two days of training can turn into missing 10 days of training and you’re really struggling to get back into it. Be sure to get back to some form of training during that funny interim between Christmas and New Years. I call that week Crimbo Limbo becayse no one knows what to be doing with themselves. This doesn’t mean going to the gym and absolutely killing yourself because you ate some extra mince pies. Instead, do some fun and enjoyable workouts just to keep you moving, sweating, energetic, rejuvenated and healthy. Or, if this isn’t possible, get out with family and friends for some crisp winter walks.
Michelle Hone is the head nutrition coach at The Fit Clinic; performance nutritionist with Bray Wanderers FC and Kilmacud Crokes Senior GAA Football and has worked on a one to one level with over 400 clients, including international athletes. For more information visit thefitclinicnutrition.com