If there is one thing that we associate the festive season with it is spending time with family and friends, but it is also about indulging ourselves in delicious food and drink more than we normally would.
It can be a battle to say ‘no’ sometimes, especially when someone has gone to a great deal of time and trouble to create a wonderful dinner, and trying to maintain a healthy diet quickly goes out of the window. However, it is a good idea to bear in mind that overindulgence can lead to stomach problems including bloating, pain, wind and constipation.
There are things you can do to keep fit and healthy over the holiday season that will help to mitigate the negative effects of overindulgence. Follow the tips below and you’ll be able to enjoy some yummy seasonal treats and still come out the other side feeling great.
The first tip is to practice mindful eating. That means eating mindfully – not mindlessly! This is a great way to stay in control of your eating habits. Limit your portion sizes and you’ll limit opportunities to overeat. Notice how your body feels when you are hungry, and reversely notice how you feel when you are full. Eat your food slowly to appreciate the flavour, chew well before swallowing and don’t talk while eating to avoid swallowing excess air.
Maintain your fitness by walking as much as possible. Keep to your regular exercise routine which will help to burn calories. Staying active also helps to stimulate the bowel, speeds up food transit time and can assist in avoiding becoming constipated.
If you do suffer with constipation, try Holland & Barrett Psyllium Husks Fibre Capsules from Holland & Barrett. They are full of fibre and can help to relieve symptoms of constipation by softening stools and congestion of the bowels. Most of us don’t eat enough fibre, so up your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as wholegrain foods. Another good tip to stop bloating and prevent constipation is to always eat breakfast. This helps the colon start to contract, which can help regulate your bowel habit, avoiding constipation. Try porridge with a sprinkling of nuts and fresh fruit. Limit your caffeine too: have some herbal tea, a glass of juice or soy milk instead.
How we feel on the outside has a lot to do with what goes on inside our gut. If our ‘good’ bacteria gets outweighed by the ‘not-so-good’ bacteria, it can cause problems like gas, bloating, indigestion, constipation and diarrhoea. If your digestive system is out of balance, Holland & Barrett Acidophilus, 20 billion, Capsules they contain high-quality friendly bacteria that can help to balance the levels of good and bad bacteria.
Be aware of your alcohol intake and consider having a non-alcoholic drink instead of another mulled wine or glass of fizz. Remember that not only is alcohol itself highly calorific, but the more you drink, the less inhibited you’ll feel about having second helpings of Christmas pudding. Drink more water than you normally would so that you don’t become dehydrated, and the added bonus of topping up with non-alcoholic liquid is that it will help you to feel full and encourage you to eat less.
If you do find that you have overdone it and wake up the next morning feeling dreadful, you can try taking Milk Thistle to support normal liver function from any food or drink excesses. This herb helps to limit the number of toxins that your liver can process at any given time as it supports normal liver function. Milk Thistle isn’t very soluble in water, so whilst you can get teas that contain the herb, its best to take a Milk Thistle capsule. Holland & Barrett Over Indulgence Milk Thistle Capsules can relieve symptoms of over indulgence, indigestion or an upset stomach.
There is a great temptation to start stocking up on Christmas food the minute it hits the shops, usually in November. Attempt to keep that box of mince pies or the large tin of chocolates intact until you can share them with others, thus taking away the urge to finish them off by yourself!
Overindulging often occurs when we mindlessly eat whatever is put in front of us. If you do feel the urge to munch it is a good idea to keep a stock of healthy food at home, including already cut-up pieces of fruit and vegetables to snack on. It is not realistic to deny yourself all the treats and this can often result in food binges at a later date. The key is to pick your one or two of your favourites to satisfy your cravings.
Lastly, if you do overindulge, don’t beat yourself up about it. Simply get back to your healthy eating and fitness regime as soon as possible and hopefully you will balance out all the bad things you may have eaten and drunk in no time. The New Year is often when many of us make resolutions to turn over a new leaf. There is an adage that ‘old habits die hard’, but it is still possible to banish those bad habits and make positive changes that will last a lifetime.
Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, taking any medications or are under medical supervision, please consult a doctor or healthcare professional and always read the label before use.