Everyone gets super switched on about fitness in January, mainly because of the level of overindulgent behaviour that went on all the way through December. Once you step on the dreaded bathroom scales after having massive Christmas dinners and slouching on the sofa for weeks, it's inevitable to feel bad about your health.
Is it inevitable, though? The festive season is about celebrating with loved ones with good food and drink. Even though it’s the time of the year to let your hair down, you certainly don’t want to feel bloated during or after the holidays.
Overindulging easily happens, especially when there is a conveyor belt of fun treats around the house. From too many roast potatoes to an extra helping of prosecco, they can all lead to festive bloat.
To avoid waking up each morning with an uncomfortable tummy, you can take measures to prevent packing away too much too soon. Tim Goodwin, founder of Lean Greens (opens in new tab) has shared his simple strategies to keep you feeling better for longer during Christmas.
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"You should always try to eat breakfast during the Christmas period", Tim recommends, "This will maintain your eating routine and reduce the need to snack throughout the morning."
You should try to stick to your regular breakfast for the days leading up to Christmas. There might be seasonal snacks around but by following your usual routine, you will prime your body for the day the right way and feel less inclined to snack.
As Tim explains, the best way to conquer cravings and hunger is to eat a breakfast rich in protein and quality fats such as scrambled eggs and smoked salmon. Admittedly, this is not a low-cost breakfast option but having eggs is a great way to start the morning as it contains protein and good fats too.
Don't forget about vegetables during the festive period. And by that, we don't mean roast potatoes cooked in goose fat but seasonal fresh vegetables and fruits had multiple times a day. Choose vegetables rich in fibre as they will keep you full for longer and also help maintain the gut microbiome.
"Load up your lunch and dinner with plenty of varieties, this will give your body a wide range of nutrients and stop you from over-eating", Tim advises, "Carrots are a great addition as they are packed full of vitamin A and spinach holds an impressive number of antioxidants whilst providing vitamin K."
Buy quality NOT quantity
Buy one get one free Celebration, anyone? How about that massive pack of biscuits of cheap? Better buy that one, too, in anticipation of the guests that might not even come thanks to covid. The results? People chowing down on terrible snacks they are available to have in the cupboard.
"If you are hosting and must buy a bulk load of items, try to keep the stock out of reach and only bring in portions as and when you need it", Tim adds, "Also, try buying just a small pack of the best quality chocolates you can find. This way you'll only eat what you buy, and you'll savour it more."
Mindful eating is not being talked about enough. It's the act of paying attention to the food you eat instead of multitasking by watching Youtube videos on your phone as you gobble up industrial amounts of food. Mindful eating can help you eat less by helping you realise when you're full. It will also help you appreciate food more which might help cut back on snacking.
"The slower you eat, the less you'll eat", Tim suggests, "Take more time to savour each bite and put your knife and fork down between mouthfuls." The main benefits of eating slowly include better hydration and digestion, and it will also give your body time to recognise that you’re full.
Christmas drinks typically contain a lot of alcohol and especially bubbly wine. "Having a breakfast Mimosa can lead to gas build-up and bloating throughout the day", Tim says, "Try to alternate your drinks with water and soda water."
Drinking more water can help you feel full, too, which will stop you from having unnecessary alcoholic drinks. Water will also help digestion and it can also help cure hangovers before they even develop.
This feature is part of T3's Get Fit 2022 campaign. We’ll be bringing you a wealth of guides, features, deals and news to help you get healthy, fit and ready for anything the new year can throw at you. Whether you’re a newcomer to fitness or someone with a passion for it, we’ll bring you all the best workouts, diet advice and gear to set you on the right track.