Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

The New Rules Of Yuletide Bingeing

mincepies.png

Are you full of Christmas spirit? What about Christmas chocolate and mince pies? ShortList’s Ben Isaacs tells you how to minimise the festive damage

For many of us, the festive period is more about the food and drink than the presents. Big portions, rich desserts, fine cheeses, gallons of port. But will all the unavoidable saturated fat and excess calories ruin your Christmas? Nutrition consultant Alice Mackintosh admits that even if you wanted to treat the holidays like a normal time of year, it would be impossible. But, with her tips, you can ensure your new year fitness regime isn’t the harrowing slog it normally is. And it’s not all about what you put in your body – the now popular Christmas Day run has gone from being an activity purely for smug obsessives to being a way for the average gym-goer to enjoy his festive feasting even more, while also ensuring his shirts will still fit on New Year’s Eve. Don’t get left behind…

Do

Use freshly squeezed orange juice to make Bucks Fizz rather than juice from concentrate. The vitamin C levels are higher in fresh juice.

Go for a brisk walk before Christmas dinner. Exercise improves our sensitivity to insulin, reducing the tendency of our bodies to take sugar in the blood and store it as fat.

Use leftover turkey in salads and sandwiches. The meat contains tryptophan – the precursor to melatonin, our sleep hormone. Try to combine it with carbohydrates to aid absorption into the blood stream.

Have scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on Christmas morning. Eggs are a great source of amino acid cysteine that reduces levels of hangover toxins. Plus, protein and omega fats from salmon keep your blood sugar levels balanced, reducing the chance of getting a headache.

Consider getting a supply of Napiers Hangover Hotchpotch (Napiers.net/hangover-hotchpotch) ready. It contains herbs such as milk thistle to support the liver, and ginger to stimulate appetite. Perfect after the office Christmas party.

Opt for mince pies and desserts made from filo pastry – it is thinner and lower in calories.

Buy your turkey from a butcher supplied by local farms, and go organic. Birds that have been fed better grain and are free to roam have leaner, more nutrient-rich meat.

Sleep in late on Boxing Day. It’s supposed to be a holiday, after all. Recharging batteries helps nourish the adrenal glands, which prevent burnout.

Don’t

Overcook sprouts. It’s easy to put people off, and they are full of folic acid and other liver-supporting nutrients such as indole-3 carbonyl. Overcooking also reduces nutrient value.

Just have chocolate for breakfast – there is time for that later. Setting the day up with a nutritious breakfast helps prevent energy dips later. For something sweet, drink a morning smoothie.

Eat overcooked roast potatoes. If they are too dark and crunchy they could contain harmful free radicals.

Opt only for deep-fried canapés. If you see sushi and smoked salmon, go for them. They tend to have fewer of the trans fats that have been shown to contribute to high cholesterol.

Choose pork sausages. Instead, pick up venison ones. They are leaner and have more flavour. Cook on a wire rack so the fat drains off rather than the sausages swimming in it.

Buy dips made with cream or cream cheese. Go for vegetable-based dips, such as salsa or guacamole, or mix chopped herbs into low-fat yoghurt. They have more nutrients and less saturated fat.

Forget dinner if you’re going to a work do, or you’ll end up having a kebab on the way home and feeling worse the next day.

Lose all sense of portion control – remember, it is just a roast dinner. Give your digestion a break and stop when you’re full.

Use plain table salt for cooking. Sprinkle sea salt instead. It has more flavour so you don’t need as much and is richer in minerals such as iodine.

Stress – there’s enough of that. Take a deep breath and shake it off.

Mackintosh is a nutritional therapist at The Food Doctor, 13 Harley St, W1; thefooddoctor.com

Related

manmachine.jpg

5 Ways To Beat Christmas Gluttony

flygym.jpg

How to transform your moobs into pure muscle

shutterstock_131997110.jpg

Six Steps To The Best Lunchtime Calorie-burn

Bean.jpg

How To Boost Your Immune System This Winter

muscle.jpg

5 Small Gym Changes For Big Results

Muscle1.jpg

5 Techniques To Build Muscle Fast

Comments

More

13 best, lesser-known rooftop bars in London

#rooftopvibes

by Sam Diss
24 May 2017

15 of the most incredible sandwiches you can eat in London

Get your chops around these - if they even fit

by Tom Victor
19 May 2017

The avocado latte is the latest worst thing in the world

We deserve everything we get, as long as it's bad

by Tom Mendelsohn
19 May 2017

You can now buy Cadbury Freddo hot chocolate, so put the kettle on

Please don't start talking about the price, though

by Gary Ogden
18 May 2017

Hello, so... this is a Chickle

Can't decide if this is good or bad

by Gary Ogden
18 May 2017

There's now a pill that'll cure your hangover

As if you needed any more encouragement to drink irresponsibly

by Emily Reynolds
17 May 2017

Reviewing all 10 burgers on the Wahlburgers menu in one sitting

And which is the best on offer?

by Josh Pappenheim
17 May 2017

Starbucks are testing 'coffee ice cubes' to end your watery woes

It's been a long time coming

by Emily Reynolds
17 May 2017

Labour have pledged to try and save the pub

Could a Corbyn government stop the rot?

by Dave Fawbert
17 May 2017

Is it a sandwich? A definitive (and correct) guide

Is a hot dog a sandwich?

by Tom Victor
17 May 2017