Overdoing the Christmas dinner?

It is going to happen, there are work dinners, catching up with friends and family there is always extra food and drink around. So what can we do to minimise the damage of the unwanted KG gift.

Sweet tooth

Hidden sugar is the big battle nowadays, sugar content has increased in most products, tins of beans, breakfast cereal, ketchup – the food manufacturers know that we get hooked on sweet things and although many products claim to be healthy, watch out for sugar content.

For every piece of meat eat five veg

Focus on eating more cooked veg, add some extra virgin olive oil, the combination of eating more veg is you will fill up quicker and get more nutrients plus some oil being more calorie dense will give you energy for longer.

making veg soup with added ginger also helps digestion

E-Numbers are killing your gut flora

Stay off the sweets and chocolates they also have sugar we know but the E numbers like E220 a common preservative damages our intestinal microbes and that can lead to inflammation.

Even some natural foods that we think are a better option than the sausage rolls, for example, hummus made from chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil, lots of manufacturers add a lot of sodium (man-made salt) and E220.

We risk bloatedness and not from the chickpeas but from the ‘preservatives’. Check the labels! don’t feel bad about it feel ‘interested’

Eat CleanΒ 
‘Eating Clean’ was in the news this week and a food critic attacked this notion that other food then must be ‘dirty’ this polar view has some truth for me eating E220 or sodium added to normal foods is similar to eating contaminated foods.

The long-term effects can cause chronic digestion problems as well as headaches and skin complaints. Before seeing your doctor, look at the food labels.

Go Gluten free this Christmas
Most loaves of bread have lots of added E numbers, sodium/salt and even milk powders. If you are lactose intolerant then be very careful as most if not all wheat products, biscuits and cakes will have milk or dairy.

Going gluten-free over Christmas could also help reduce the work our digestive system has to do, as there is an excess of wheat-based products at this time of year with all the pastry from mince pies so take a break.

Don’t Break your Fast

Break’fast’ is a nice way to remember that we can go without eating for quite a long time, Β giving our digestive system a rest can help the digestive enzymes finish their work before loading them up again.

Take a 4-12 hour eating break

Try from your dinner, of homemade veg soup and push your breakfast back till 10 or 11am the next day and see how you feel. try for between 12-16 hours without eating. Do drink. Water is good, green tea, white tea, try and keep one coffee or tea in the morning only.

70% full is another way to deal with lots of meals at Christmas time

If we eat up to this point of almost full and wait twenty minutes you will then start to feel 100% full as the food you have eaten swells in the stomach.

Digestion Aid

Apple Cider Vinegar, add a spoon full to a glass of warm water before and after a large meal.

Mint tea and chamomile help with digestion too. We all have different digestion speeds, which again we need to eat accordingly, if you have a slow system (food spends a long time in small intestine) then eat less animal proteins and more veg.

A quick recap.

Hidden Sugar, tinned, bottled and boxed foods
E220, is a dirty word
Sodium too, Put those Pringels down Now!
Guten Break – give your intestines a well-earned rest.
Leave your breakfast till later.
eat until almost full and Stop!

Thinking about what we eat makes a huge difference, and if you overdo it give your system time to recover.

Weight Gain

Any weight you gain from overeating will create extra work not only for your digestive system but your heart too as it has to supply blood to more of you!

Hope that helps, Merry Christmas

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Written by

caspar chamberlain

Personal Trainer and Nutrition Advisor