[If you missed "Part I: Eat" yesterday, then catch up HERE.]
Silly season didn’t get its name out of nowhere. Christmas is notorious for parties and celebrations with alcohol.
Cue the battle of the boozy bulge!
People forget that alcohol has calories. Big vast empty ones - in the sense that it doesn’t provide the body with any nutrients.
The body sees alcohol as a toxin. So while it will never store alcohol directly as fat, the body will metabolize alcohol before food, in an attempt to get rid of it from the body.
So any excess fatty foods that you eat when drinking alcohol will not get burnt off until the body first rids itself of the alcohol. Ultimately it’s the excess fatty food that you eat when drinking alcohol that makes you fat, not the alcohol itself.
Alcohol also reduces our inhibitions and increases our poor decision making skills, i.e. 5 mince pies instead of 1 or two, curry cheese chips at 2am and a full Irish breakfast the next day.
However, life happens, Christmas happens, and we must be realistic about alcohol.
Before I delve into the specifics, I must highlight the simple fact that we all have the CHOICE when it comes to our food choices, alcohol, and indulgence.
Who am I to tell you to limit your alcohol to one or two vodkas and diet 7ups?
Absolutely nobody. That's who!
Take responsibility for your own decisions and actions and deal with the consequences of those decisions and actions like an adult.
If you prefer a heap of pints over a sparsely gin and tonic, then CHOOSE the pints. As long as you are aware of the consequences of that decision and are happy to live with it!
On the other hand, it is perfectly OK to CHOOSE the moderation approach also. Especially when faced with a string of nights out over the holidays.
However, remember that the choice is yours to make.
If you are going feel hard done by, and bitch and moan about not being "allowed" to have a few pints, while wrecking your mate's head by doing so, then you are doing it wrong.
Now with that said, here are my Top Ten Tipsy Tips about drinking alcohol over Christmas if keeping your waistline intact is a goal:
Better food choices are key for not gaining an excess of body fat over the holidays. Choose lots of nutritious food such as lean protein, vegetables and some fruits to help keep you full on days when you are drinking.
Keep fats low on days that you are drinking and eat less oils, butter, nuts, and fatty meat. So perhaps just go for one or two mince pies instead of the whole box. Your choice of course.
Alcohol is a diuretic so it makes you pee more than usual. Dehydration is one reason for feeling weak the day after drinking so have a glass of water between each alcoholic drink. Spice it up with a wedge of lime, fresh mint, or cucumber. Hangover prevention is better than a cure!
Along with the lost water in your pee, you also lose a lot of the water soluble vitamins when you drink. So stock up on your micronutrients that day by taking a multi-vitamin to help reduce the damage induced by alcohol.
Choose low calorie options such as vodka, gin, whiskey, bourbon, scotch on the rocks, or dry red or white wines. Or any other spirits over 35%.
Limit sugary mixes, fruit juices and syrups as they contain a lot of empty calories from sugar that could end up in the fat stores if drank in excess.
Cut spirits with soda water, slim-line tonic, or diet versions of your favourite pop.
Beer typically packs a punch when it comes to calories and can wreak havoc on your diet if drank in excess. However, if beer is your thing, the paler ales typically carry fewer calories than dark larger.
The next morning, drink a litre of water as soon as you wake up, take a multivitamin, and a Dioralyte to replenish lost electrolytes. Water is your only man for a hangover.
Get outside and go for a long walk!
A final note from me; you need to take responsibility for your actions. Accept the consequences of your decisions.
Be sensible and make the decision wisely to drink alcohol this Christmas!
PS Why not approach the New Year differently this year and avoid the dreaded (and not to mention dangerous) January detox and give Ignition Nutrition a go? Instead of being filled with dread, anxiety, and stress over any holiday weight gain, learn how to keep your sanity intact while simply getting back to normal and feeling fabulous again. Click HERE for information and to secure your place in the January group.