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12 tips for a Cracking Christmas

Christmas can be a joyful time of feasts and festivities. A bright light to look forward to as winter draws in. The main side effect may be the extra padding...

Christmas can be a joyful time of feasts and festivities. A bright light to look forward to as winter draws in. The main side effect may be the extra padding that’s laid down on the body as the temptations of mince pies and Christmas pud take hold. Adding a few pounds over Christmas may not be all bad as that extra layer of insulation on the body may help keep us warm over the cold winter months. However, not everyone needs an extra layer of fat, and indeed,  it may have detrimental effects on health. The average Christmas dinner can add up to 3,000 calories – that’s more than most of us should be eating in a day. Add on breakfast, snacks, alcohol and chocolates and you might tip into 5000 calories in one day.

Overindulging not only leads to weight gain,  but can lead to heartburn and other digestive problems. Here are 12 tips to help reduce the potential negative effects of over-indulging, while still enjoying the festive season.

  1. Eat mindfully – be conscious about what you are eating and enjoy every mouthful.
  2. Avoid grazing – try to leave a few hours between meals to allow digestion to take place before piling in more food.
  3. Choose wisely - enjoy heavy creams, sauces and fried foods if you really love them but aim for moderation.
  4. Choose vegetables – load up on salads, vegetables and good quality proteins.
  5. Think portion size – eating small amounts of indulgent foods is fine. Just don’t overdo it.
  6. Move away from the buffet table – standing near the food will lead to constant grazing. Step away from the table!
  7. Just Say No - don’t feel obliged to say yes to every bit of food and drink that is offered to you. Consider whether you really want it, how much you will enjoy it and how you’ll feel afterwards.
  8. Chew well - eat slowly and enjoy what you are eating.
  9. Take a break between courses - it takes about 20 minutes for the brain to register that the stomach is full so wait and see if you are still hungry before loading up on second helpings.
  10. Hydrate – drink water and herbal teas between meals to ensure good hydration.
  11. Stock up on healthy snacks and treats – have plenty of fruit, vegetables, salads and nuts in stock so healthy alternatives are available when the mince pies go round.
  12. Order your supplements in advance – be sure to stock up on all the supplements you might need over Christmas and New Year.

    Top supplement choices include:

    Tom Oliver’s Multivitamins and Minerals – these provide a base level of vitamins and minerals in highly absorbable forms to support overall health and to reduce the chance of deficiencies. Taking a good quality multi vitamin/mineral may be particularly important for those on restricted diets (eg: vegan, vegetarian, weight loss diets or food intolerances), those over 50, and those with digestive problems.

    B Complex - the B vitamins play important roles in brain health, mood and energy production. Also involved in the digestion of protein, fats and carbohydrates.

    Vitamin C – it’s worth supporting your immune system especially if you are going to be in warm spaces with lots of people where bugs can thrive.

    Vitamin D3 & K2 –  vitamin D deficiency is associated with many health problems including depression. During the winter supplementation is recommended as the strength of the UV rays from the sun is not sufficient for the manufacture of vitamin D in the skin. Take vitamin D3 along with K2 for maximum benefits.

    Curcumin – most people could benefit from curcumin’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-diabetic and cholesterol lowering properties.

    Magnesium Taurate – vital for energy production and the nervous system. Also aids relaxation and sleep.

    Omega 3 – Tom Oliver’s omega 3 supplement has the added benefits of choline and phospholipids which together support cardiovascular health, brain health, skin health, inflammatory conditions, insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control, liver health and fat metabolism. 

    Probiotics – the gut microbiota play an important role in digestive health as well as influencing brain function, behaviour and mood. Tom Oliver’s probiotics are designed to survive the acidic conditions of the stomach. It also contains the prebiotic Inulin Beneo Orafti. This non-digestible fibre feeds and encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

    Zinc – supports the immune system, as well as being needed for healthy skin, hair and eyes, the nervous system, blood sugar control and energy.

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