Beat the bulge this festive season and still party like a pro! Nutritionist and best selling author, Fiona Kirk shares a few vital waistline management tips to ensure you still look fab as you enter 2012!
If you know you are going out and a few drinks (and possibly no food) are likely, have a bowl/mug of filling, protein-rich soup before the drinking starts. Don’t stress about a little too much sugar, salt or fat, just wolf it down. Also, keep a bag of fresh nuts in your handbag and have a handful every couple of hours to slow down the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream.
Booze on the right brews, match every drink with a glass of water and not only will your waistline stay in tact but you will feel a whole lot better than you deserve the next morning!
go for red wine, the richer the better to reap the protective benefits of the plant chemicals (Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Merlot are tops) and if you pay a little extra you will drink more slowly and therefore less
have good, clean spirits (vodka, gin, whisky, brandy) on the rocks or with lots of soda and lemon/lime wedges
if cocktails are your poison of choice, go for Breezes, Martinis, Sours, Manhattans and Screwdrivers (whole lot less sugar)
Work/social events regularly involve canapes - dangerous little delights! Go for the ones with the most colour (fruits, vegetables, shellfish, lean meats) and avoid the starchy stuff, particularly the deep fried samosas, prawn rolls etc. Also, drink lots of sparkling water with ice and lemon (the fizz fills you up!) Work the room and talk a lot and - the more you talk, the less you eat - or offer to hand round the canapes so others eat them and you don’t!
If you have been out the night before and are feeling a bit jaded add some protein and fat to your breakfast by slinging a dollop or two of natural yoghurt, a banana and some ground almonds into a fruit smoothie or have a couple of rashers of lean bacon, a scrambled egg, a grilled tomato and/or a large flat mushroom and a spoonful of baked beans.
The white stuff (sweets, cakes, pastries, crisps, biscuits, bread, potatoes, pasta, rice) plays havoc with blood sugar prompting the body to seek out ‘more of same’ all too quickly. A great trick is to tie a piece of string around your waist first thing in the morning and keep it there all day. These foods cause bloating and a bit of discomfort makes it a lot easier to say no.
Christmas lunch/dinner really isn’t the devil many would have us believe; it’s only one day for heaven’s sake, enjoy it! Just don’t let it turn into two days (or more). Get back to your plan as quickly as possible, do a bit more exercise, stay hydrated with water, teas, juices and light soups and take advantage of any days off to get more sleep - studies show that those who regularly get more than 6 hours sleep gain less weight than those who are sleep-deprived.