Recommended Rules on Food to Follow this Festive Season

Festive season eating

We all tend to overindulge during the holiday season and throw our strict diets to the curb the minute we go into holiday mode. Here are some simple tips to keep weight in check and still enjoy the pleasures of good food, drink, and company this season.

Always eat protein with carbs.

Combining protein with carbohydrates works because protein, is made of amino acids, makes the digestive environment more acidic, and slows down the breakdown of carbohydrates. So, the food spends more time in your stomach, making you feel fuller for longer.

Add lemon juice and vinegar.

The old wives’ tale about cider vinegar and weight loss is true! By increasing the acidity level of your food by adding lemon juice (citric acid) you can lower the glycaemic load (GL) of your meal. Similarly, adding vinegar (acetic acid) to your meal will also result in fewer high blood sugar spikes.

Load up on soluble fiber and chew, chew, chew.

Fill yourself up on soluble fiber, found in oatmeal, oat cereal, lentils, apples, oranges, pears, oat bran, strawberries, nuts, flaxseeds, beans, dried peas, blueberries, cucumbers, celery, and carrots. Foods containing soluble fiber fill you up for longer and lower the GL of a meal. Make sure to eat slowly and chew your food well as this means you take longer to eat your meal and will, therefore, eat less.

Wait 20 minutes before eating dessert.

This allows your ‘appestat’ (your internal appetite gauge) to kick in, which may stop you from overdoing it. Even better, go for a stroll in the garden (or a spin on the dance floor!) after your main meal, then have your dessert afterward. This helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and if you eat immediately after exercise, your body burns it off faster.

Guerrilla tactics for eating out.

Make sure that you don’t arrive at your dinner function starved and lacking inhibitions. This will likely lead you to pig out on the most dangerous of festive snacks. Have a healthy (fiber-rich) snack before you go out to help curb your cravings.

Drink ‘dry’ and limit juice.

More and more evidence is linking regular consumption of both sweetened soft drinks and even ‘natural’ fruit juices with increased weight gain and diabetes risk. This is because fructose, while low-GL, rapidly converts into fat if taken in excess.

For alcohol, choose the driest drinks – for example, a dry red or white wine or champagne. If you don’t like wine or champagne, then clearer spirits like vodka, gin, and whiskey are also lower in calories, if you drink it with a tonic, water or soda water as a mixer.

Alcohol is an ‘anti-nutrient’. Although some forms of alcohol (such as a stout or red wine) do deliver a few nutrients, alcohol itself is a potent destroyer of these same nutrients. We, therefore, suggest that if you want to drink, to do so moderately, sticking to less than one drink a day.

Take detoxifying supplements

To assist your gut and to combat the host of “incorrect” foods and drinks consumed during the holidays, We recommend supplementing to assist with properly digesting all foods: probiotics to ensure the correct essential beneficial bacteria are present during times of gluttony, and glutamine as a defense from toxins. We also suggest an all-around antioxidant or liver support formula. And if you know you will be indulging a little more than usual this festive season, be sure to increase your intake of B vitamins, Vitamin C, magnesium and zinc.

Geoffrey Nevine — IT Services and IT Consulting

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