Help is at hand, though with this guide to getting back on track after the festive season:
- Don’t starve yourself. Skipping meals and severely limiting your food intake will result in your body going into “starvation mode” in that it will store (often in the form of fat) any food you do eat, and thus slowing down your metabolism. Rather try eating regularly to keep your metabolism functioning optimally. Therefore, an ideal approach would be to have three small meals and three snacks a day.
- Drink water. Water is essential for many bodily processes, including flushing out toxins that may accumulate during periods of overindulgence. Therefore it is imperative to drink enough water (i.e. approximately 2l per day). Not drinking enough, also often leads one to develop cravings. Therefore when you crave an unhealthy food, drink a glass of water, wait 10 minutes and see if the craving passes.
- Be more active. Try increasing the intensity and/or duration of your exercise. If you don’t do any exercise, make a concerted effort to start some sort of regular activity – even walking the dog, or taking the stairs instead of the lift counts. This will increase your fitness, as well as give you a metabolic boost to help shed those post-holiday pounds.
- Quality and quantity. Try to limit your portion sizes, while simultaneously being aware of the kind of food you are eating. Rather than refined starches (e.g. white bread, mashed potato), choose unrefined starches (e.g. seed loaf, wholegrain cereals). These have a low glycaemic index, meaning they release sugar slower into the bloodstream. Therefore, you’ll have more sustained energy, and won’t get hungry as quickly.