It’s all too easy to pile on the pounds over the Christmas period but here are 8 tips to help you to enjoy your Christmas nutrition without starting the New Year looking like Santa…
1.Easy on the carbs.
Cereals, bread, rice, pasta, cakes, pastries, biscuits as well as vegetables such as potatoes, yams, carrots, parsnips, swede are all starchy carbohydrates. Great alternatives are cabbage, kale, runner beans, spinach, brussel sprouts, leeks, broccoli and cauliflower.
2.Go for the red wine or mulled wine rather than white wine, beer or spirits.
Red wine contains less “empty” calories and is higher in the good stuff (flavonoids, polyphenols and reservatrol) than the other alternatives. The evidence surrounding this issue is mixed – the bottom line is that no alcohol is best, but let’s face it, it’s Christmas!
3.Eat protein at breakfast every day.
Protein at breakfast boosts your metabolism and provides energy for the rest of the day. Avoid large bowls of cereals and fruit or fruit juice as they’ll spike your insulin and make you hungry. Consider taking a high quality fish oil at breakfast time, to help regulate your insulin throughout the day.
4.Drink lots of water throughout the day.
At night this will ensure you’re hydrated while you sleep and will help to flush any alcohol through your system. In the morning it will boost your metabolism and rehydrate you after several hours without a drink. For an added bonus squeeze fresh lemon or lime juice into your water.
5. Make your own mince pies and Christmas pudding.
Shop-bought pies, cakes and puddings are often full of stabilisers, emulsifiers and preservatives not to mention loads of sugar and chemicals you won’t be able to pronounce. When you make your own, use less sugar then the recipe suggests (you won’t notice the difference) and use high quality animal fats such as butter or lard instead of vegetable oil or margarine.
6.Accompany your mince pie or Christmas pudding with clotted cream.
Sounds crazy but adding a little good quality clotted cream will cause the sugar to be absorbed more slowly and reduce the insulin-spiking effects of the sugar. Num num num!
7.Choose dark chocolate with a high cocoa content.
Cocoa may reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. This study found cocoa to have more antioxidant properties than green tea, black tea or red wine.
Avoiding the fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, fungicides is important as these toxins get stored in your fat tissues. Some of these chemicals mimic the hormone oestrogen in men and women, upsetting your hormone balance and increasing fat storage around the pectoral area in men – “man boobs” and around the hips and thighs in women.
So, with all that said, have an amazing time!
Rob Suchet is the founding director of HEALTH. Personal trainer and Nutritional Therapist, Rob has helped hundreds of people achieve life-changing health and bodyshape transformations. He has been featured in the Guardian, Red Magazine, FHM, and in 2014 the Express described him as “one of the UK’s best personal trainers”…read more