Monday 9 December 2019

Real Health Podcast: How to eat, drink and stay healthy over Christmas

Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

It's hard to stay healthy with all the eating and drinking that goes hand in hand with festive celebrations.

there are ways to get through the Christmas season without depriving yourself or overindulging.

On this weeks Real Health podcast, Karl Henry talks through his top tips to stay healthy.

Tip One: Eat before heading out

The first is never go out on an empty stomach - whether it's the office Christmas Party, or a dinner with family. "Going out without having something to eat is a recipe for disaster," Karl says. "It's like going shopping on an empty stomach - you are ravenous and more inclined to make unhealthy choices."

"So have some protein two hours before hand to make sure you're not hungry." Having a snack or a meal before heading out also ensures that you will not be drinking on an empty stomach - which will minimise your hangover.

Tip Two: Hydrate

Alternate between glasses of water and alcohol when you are boozing. It's a simple but effective way to slow down your drinking, and it keeps you a bit more hydrated. "It slows down your drinking without people noticing," Karl says. So it's a handy way to avoid social pressure to drink more

Tip Three: Chew

Chew your food - don't wolf it down. "In Ireland we eat very fast," Karl says. "Slow down the rate with which you eat - chew your food for 30 seconds. The more work you do in your mouth the less work for your gut. Try and place your knife and fork down between each chew."

Tip Four: Avoid the soup

Soups tend to be laden with creams and butter (what makes them so tasty). When you're ordering a starter go for a salad instead. Always ask for the sauce on the side. When it comes to your main - opt for a protein nd vegetable dish. Avoid deep fried dishes.

Tip Five: Do a restaurant recce

A simple way to stay in control of your diet is to view the restaurant's menu in advance. "Look online," Karl says. "It takes the stress out . If you are working with a personal trainer - show them the menu and get their advice."

If menus are are extensive it can be easy to get flustered and order the wrong thing. "Viewing the menu in advance puts you in control, and allows you to plan in advance," Karl says. 

Tip Six: Treat yourself

"Inclusion of treat days and treat meals gives you control, ownership and structure," Karl says. "It lets you plan, and stay o track."

Tip Seven: Avoid the morning-after fry

Your first meal the day after the night before is crucial. "If it is a full Irish the chances are the rest of the day will spiral out of control," Karl says.

"If it is healthy - you have a greater chance of staying healthy. A lot of the time the hungover carbfest that does more damage."

Tip Eight: Water

The last drink of the night should be water - not a shot of Sambuca. Make sure to don 500ml of water, before getting into bed. Alcohol dehydrates your body so it's important to rehydrate. Have some electrolyte tablets on standby to make your head feel a little better in the morning.

Tip Nine: Relax

Christmas can be a stressful time - with all the relatives, shopping and mince pie mania. Don't worry unduly about healthy eating. "Don't stress about it," Karl says. "Life is for living. This is a balance approach to health."

Tip Ten: Goal setting

It's vital to set goals and targets over the holidays. "It keeps you focused and keep you on track. Goals and targets deliver results," Karl says. "It could be a park run, but the key thing is having a goal."

For more episodes and information from the Real Health podcast you can also go to: https://www.independent.ie/podcasts/the-real-health-podcast/

The Real Health podcast with Karl Henry in association with Laya Healthcare.

Listen to the show on the SoundCloud player or subscribe and rate via the following links:

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