Festive Eating Survival 101:
My Festive Season Prevent-the-Flab Strategy!
This piece was written in 2013; so I am going to add in a few quick edits now to update this for 2016.
If there was one message that I want to convey it is that Christmas is a time of sharing and partaking, loving and living.
Christmas meals are not about food but family, tipples not about getting drunk to escape but to enjoy company, to connect and relax; and desserts not about calories but sharing in an indulgence and just for once letting go without a judgement on the self.
Approach the festive period with the right mind and a balanced awareness around food and alcohol.
Be mindful of what truly matters and above all be grateful and as generous with your time, love and the abundance that you have as possible.
Wishing you all a peaceful, rested and abundant Christmas. OH and if you haven’t already listened; take a moment to check out my video and voice blog yesterday. Much love. Me x
To sign out for 2016 this is a gem of a cover that will hit you wallop in the heart and soul; love these boys.
Instead of giving you a list of “To Do’s” and to “ NOT Do”; I am going to give you a list of what I personally do to prevent weight gain and maintain my fitness over the Christmas period right through to the New Year. So that by New Year I haven’t ended up with a whole new me!
I am fortunate enough to say that I have a regime that works for me and so I never fluctuate more than one or two pounds throughout the year. At Christmas, however, I do allow myself a little of what I fancy; it is called having a life after all! I am going to share my strategies with you that have helped me every Christmas to maintain health and not crash early in January. In fact; I honestly believe that I emerge from the festive season better than I entered it. I feel rested, nourished, and motivated to start the New Year.
Every Christmas I take some time out to reflect and set intentions and goals for the coming year; aka a dream list.
It is a wonderful feeling to make New Year’s resolutions based on fitness goals, professional development goals, travel, business, creative and writing goals and my deepest dreams. Rather than writing the usual beat yourself up list of “having to” lose weight, go to the gym, exercise more, and eat less. No wonder most people never even make a dent in their New Year’s resolutions; what a miserable list!
So here is my SECRET STRATEGY FOR KEEPING FIT AND FABULOUS throughout the festive season and emerging healthy, fit, and motivated for the New Year.
Decide that you are not going to gain weight
The main reason that most people gain weight over the festive period is because they resign themselves to the fact that they will eat more and gain weight or body fat or both; and they do! I enjoy my food but I don’t over eat and I keep active.
If you plan to go off the rails then you will; instead plan to keep relatively on track. You can still enjoy Christmas, the food and the drink; stuffing yourself to the point of discomfort is not really enjoyment. But eating a bit of what you like is enjoyable and well deserved!
2. What happens at Christmas stays at Christmas!
Christmas is the 24th to the 26th of December and then we have New Year’s festivities on 31st December. The festive season does not run from Halloween through to January!
Every year the shops fill their shelves with festive food goodies a week earlier than the previous year, and despite the persistent ‘recession’ attitude people are spending more and more on what used to be considered novelty food. We live in a world of instant gratification; we buy before we think. We are seeing mince pies and chocolates in the home and at the office earlier and earlier each year. I am not surprised that year on year the scales nudge up a notch further post-Christmas than the year previously. And gained weight is always harder to shift than you think despite the best of intentions. It is best to not pig out throughout the months of November and December unless you wish to regret it.
Treats are just that, a treat to enjoy on special occasions.
Healthy food is tasty and exercise can be fun. It is our attitudes and choices that must change first for health, fitness and healthy body weight to be achieved and maintained.
3. Keep active.
Watching the edits on this blog year on year are pretty amusing. The first year I wrote this blog my gym attendance was exceptional and I was participating in regular gym, resistance and moderate cardio training. Then in 2013 I had an incredibly busy year that saw my work take first priority and my training slipped to maintenance at 3 days a week of indoor and outdoor training. 2015 had been a year of firsts in triathlon training and a very busy one to get to half ironman fitness in 6 months. I have since maintained this by religiously forward planning my training goals month by month.
So the activity I have engaged in over the Christmas period has depended very much on what was happening the months before. This year and in 2013 I will take more rest (like 2 days!!) and participate in outdoors activity such as walking, mountain biking and, hiking; with some stretching and resistance bands work, and try to nail my headstands and pancake 🙂 in 2014 I actually stepped my training up a notch in the holiday from work.
So the key rule is, engage in activity according to what your body needs. it may require more rest and sleep, fun and outdoor activities, or a complete change from the norm. Those who arrive at Christmas after a full on month of work or parties may wish to sign up for some Christmas charity runs, hikes or bootcamp classes to get the circulation and digestion going.
Search around for novel classes, excursions and outdoor events to bring fun and playfulness to your training over the Christmas break. Exercise is meant to be fun and not about burning the turkey and ten mince pies off. Punishment is not in your Christmas lexicon; balance and enjoyment is.
They say that a change of routine is as good as a rest; and that if you train regularly a week or twos rest from full training every few months is important to recover fully and maintain fitness. And it truly is. You should start the New Year rested, recovered, and as fit as ever after a break from your usual hectic regime. In fact, a well-timed break from hard training can actually help you shed body fat by allowing your adrenal system to recover and reset.
If however you have been tied to the office chair lately with work then perhaps use the Festive holidays as an opportunity to increase your activity and fitness levels; consider a Christmas run, walk or bike; get out on St Stephen’s day (Boxing day); organise some fun activities like mountain or hill hikes or a challenging bike route, or get involved in Christmas boot-camp training sessions. In my college years we used to do a yearly bike pub crawl all around Limerick county every St Stephens Day; it was such fun and we used to organise snacks and treats for the pub stops; with the odd glass of mulled wine (gosh how to not burn myself here in a nutrition blog!!). We used to cover a good 65km and boy did it shake the Christmas cobwebs off. Although some most certainly added to them; footnote don’t drink and operate a bicycle. I am sure that it is illegal!
I believe that the key secret to maintaining your activity levels over the holidays is to keep it social and to take a break from the norm and do something different and fun! There are many fun events going on around the country such as Christmas day runs, hill hikes, bike spins, special gym training events, etc. Check them out, get a buddy on board, and get outdoors. And then relax over some nice food and drinks later in the evening somewhere warm and cosy.
Don’t forget that activities like ice-skating and fun in the snow if you are fortunate to have snow are exercise also.
4. Eliminate stress.
Aim to limit your stress levels this Christmas. Stress affects your energy, hormone balance, sleep quality, immune system function, and of course your enjoyment of the whole festive period. The stress hormone cortisol is not a friend when it comes to keeping lean and muscular so it is important to manage your stress levels. Stress for many is also a trigger for emotional eating.
We all have to navigate stressful situations and what makes situations stressful is our (emotional) interpretation of them and reaction to them. If something is challenging you and you start to feel yourself getting sucked into drama, choose instead to see the fun in overcoming the situation rather than rising to battle it. It is so much simpler to flow with things rather than to resist them. In truth you can handle everything that is thrown your way; easily, and so taking a little breather, a time out and some perspective reduces the problem.
Look at your patterns when stress levels rise; often they are a behaviour learned from our youth. With increased awareness those feelings of stress rising though our bodies and up our throats can be dissipated with some mental tricks.
Stressors that you may not be aware of that add to the physical stress load on our bodies include the following: hunger and meal skipping; getting too cold or temperature extremes; feeling lonely or helpless; toxic relationships at home or in the workplace (as Christmas approaches negative and toxic persons can become even more demanding on the ‘givers’, and ‘listeners’ and ‘pleasers’ in life); worry, financial worry and what if’s; childhood memories, unforgiven resentments and anger; and travel such as through busy city centres or hectic airports.
I personally find the following techniques beneficial. I don’t tend to feel stressed in myself, more so I feel others stress and it kicks me in the guts so the following techniques are ones that I have learnt with time to make Christmas more manageable:
- Don’t take things personally.
- Don’t take others problems personally.
- Smile and be grateful; re-shift your perspective
- Maintain appropriate boundaries; see here for a helpful article http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Begin-to-Set-Personal-Boundaries_1 and this book is fabulous should you wish to learn more about ‘energy’: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Frequency-The-Power-Personal-Vibration/dp/1582702152
- Avoid taking more on board than you can handle; especially if others are dumping on you as you are ‘the reliable one’.
- When shopping take time outs in the fresh air to rebalance; the energy of shopping malls, public transport, commuter belt traffic, and city centres can be chaotic. Bring your favourite book with you or a journal and take fifteen minutes to lose yourself in a quiet corner of a coffee shop. If you are driving try listening to audio books or gentle music; a fabulous audio book is “the Alchemist” if you are seeking a recommendation.
- Take deep breaths, 3 in and hold and 4 out and repeat while focusing on your body sinking back down into relaxation. This can be done anywhere; just don’t fall asleep driving!
- Take total time outs; for me I find that getting out into nature alone for a walk with the dog is what completely re-grounds me. I make this a priority. If I have to take a breather from everyone else’s energy I will do so even if they are pushing me to do more of x, y, and z. enough is enough!
- Emotional Freedom Technique also known as EFT can be very helpful to relieve stress for people. See here for an example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tj_qSyfP2lQ and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6uYUHpmpHU. There are many clips of EFT on YouTube; keep your search specific and see what comes up for you in the search tool.
- Let things go, ignore people and their drama. It is best not to rise to others drama as this is what they are subconsciously seeking. If you react to the drama it will increase like gas to a flame. Also leave go of your own drama because we all have some and it is very draining to continue these patterns and how we use them to control people and situations; trust in the flow.
Having a relaxed approach to life and chaos is something that I am learning with time; chaos and people’s strong emotions does very much unsettle me in my body and so as mentioned the time outs are a super effective way for me to find myself in the energy soup of everyone else. You cannot get rid of all stress, so trust, release and let it go; it is often as simple as that!
5. Don’t skip meals; eat multiple smaller meals across the day.
Skipping meals is a recipe for an over-eating disaster. I maintain my usual regime of breakfast, lunch, dinner, mid afternoon snack, and a small evening snack over the festive period. This works because I apply portion control. Eating every three hours (approximately) prevents extreme hunger, curbs cravings, and limits the chance over-eating.
Not everyone prefers this way of eating; some naturally practice intermittent fasting which is when long periods of time are left between meals. So if this approach works for you then stick with it. Whatever you do the key is to not let yourself get so hungry that you then make poor food choices.
If you have an evening event where there will be food provided, then I suggest the following strategy to limit over-indulgence. Eat something as small such as an apple plus several walnut halves, some chopped vegetables and pâté (Christmas treat), fresh broth soup, or a slice of turkey breast or ham in the hour or two before you head out will prevent starvation resulting in an over-eating disaster and will allow you to eat an enjoyable meal (guilt-free). Also make sure that you don’t arrive dehydrated as this will increase hunger.
6. Start the day with protein.
I eat a high-protein breakfast most mornings and I continue with this pattern over the festive season. For example, I will enjoy a protein smoothie; poached eggs and some chopped veggies with hummus; a vegetable packed omelette; smoked salmon with chopped vegetables; or chopped fruit salad / stewed fruit topped with protein powder and chopped nuts and seeds mixed through thick coconut milk or on occasion Greek yoghurt. (Being honest I probably eat turkey and left over vegetables or have a turkey omelette for my breakfast the day after Christmas day!) This all sounds a little different but it is what I enjoy most days for my breakfast and is the type of breakfast that all top sports nutritionists and nutritional therapists recommend for the achievement of ideal body composition. Eating protein first thing increases your metabolic rate, energises you, and is a great way to start your day.
Other suggestions include meat and vegetable broths, egg or gluten-free Paleo protein pancakes (e.g. coconut flour or sweet potato) with sliced fruit and a dash of cinnamon; grilled sausage or black pudding (gluten-free) with chopped vegetables; home-made oatmeal or quinoa porridge with an egg or a scoop of protein powder stirred through topped with chopped nuts and blueberries or it can be something as simple as a yoghurt + chopped nuts and seeds on fruit salad. (Portion size depends on your body weight). I agree that these are ‘healthy’ breakfasts; but you cannot expect to go off the rails for every meal and not pay the consequences. Eating a healthy breakfast (that tastes good) is a small compromise for more lee-way later in your day. If you feel like being more extravagant try making Christmas protein muffins, gluten-free protein waffles, or enjoy a high protein fry with some wilted spinach; keep it low in grains and refined carbohydrates when possible. The www is an amazing treasure trove of recipe resources.
7. Eat protein first.
My plate always looks like this:
– Mostly vegetables
– Moderate (palm sized) portion of protein (animal/ fish protein as well as occasional vegetarian protein)
– Small serving of carbohydrates (e.g. 2-4 tblsp rice/ potato/ root vegetables), if any (I usually only have starchy carbohydrates following training but I will be a little more lenient with my carbohydrates at lunch and dinner meals over the festive period).
– Healthy fats from nuts, seeds, avocado, extra virgin oils, butter, hummus, etc. at most but not necessarily all meals. As a personal rule… if I eat less carbs I will eat more healthy fats and vice versa.
8. Watch sugar intake.
This is the one we all struggle with over Christmas; but it is worth remembering that it is the sugar rich foods that do most of the damage. They also satisfy us the least and so we are more likely to over-eat the starchy or sugary carbs once we get started. I do make an effort to choose protein and healthy fats over excess sugars and carbs, but I will also treat myself to dessert of some description now and again!
Watch out for hidden sugars and often making a decision to compromise is better than making no decision at all. For example avoid the sugar laden mocha-frappa-caramel-coffee and instead just enjoy the sweet treat with a black coffee or tea, or avoid the large glass of orange juice and enjoy the toast/ scone/ muffin, or pass on the fizzy drink and enjoy the odd biscuit or popcorn… it is Christmas after all. With a little awareness some smarter decisions can be made while also treating yourself.
9. If It Fits Your Macro (IIFYM) BS.
This is a system which says that it is only calories that count and not the foods themselves… YES and NO. Once you hit your protein, carbohydrate and fat ‘macro’ recommendations then this system says that this is ALL that matters; for example as long as that processed burger achieves the recommended calories, protein, fat, and carbohydrate guidelines then all is good despite the fact that it provides little in the way of nourishment and an abundance in the way of toxic food ingredients.
I disagree on the IIFYM philosophy, and feel that quality of food and freedom from unwanted food additives is significantly more important than just the breakdown of the food groups. Agreed that over-indulging in calories will lead to gains in pounds however I would far rather that you stick to real food that processed junk.
If you are to indulge in treats then bake them yourself using real butter, wholegrain (preferably gluten-free or non-grain flours like chestnut or gram or maize) flours, nifty sugar substitutions, real dark chocolate, and so on. The calories will add as weight if you do consistently go over your daily recommended intake; but this is a better trade-off than processed junk laden with trans fatty acids, processed omega 6 fats, additives, preservatives, and other added chemical toxins.
Bake it and enjoy it and consider challenging yourself by making healthy substitutions within your traditional recipes; you would be amazed what works!!
I have my eyes on these babies for Christmas day: Protein Pow Double Chocolate Protein Brownies (Vegan)
10. Drink Green tea.
I aim to drink three to four mugs a day. Green tea raises your metabolic rate, curbs your appetite, and limits fat gain (somewhat its not a miracle!). Adding a squeeze of lemon juice increase the antioxidant content of green tea; fresh minced ginger adds anti-inflammatory and digestion supporting benefits, black pepper adds an interesting twist and raises antioxidant absorption and cayenne pepper stimulates the metabolism and immune system.
11. Avoid cappuccinos, lattes, mochachinos, gourmet coffees (basically hot calorie-rich milkshakes).
I will admit that in the past I was a fan of the odd designer coffee; however I broke this habit many years ago. In the past however I used to limit the empty calorie bomb damage by drinking only half and having a hot water on the side.
I realise that as the odd rare treat everyone is partial to a nice Christmassy coffee treat. Howler many don’t realise just how high in sugar and calories some of these coffees can be.
The biggest mistake that I see in frantic shoppers watching their waist-lines is that they skip lunch and order a coffee and scone or muffin instead in the mistaken belief that this is the lighter option. Often this option can be a carbohydrate, sugar and calorie disaster which will not appease your appetite for as long as a proper meal of soup and sliced meat for example. If you are truly too busy to eat then bring some home-made protein bars, or nuts and dried fruit along with you to snack on.
When blood sugar rises quickly and insulin elevated, fat is stored and fat burning is suppressed; furthermore carb rich snacks will not sustain you for long and you will feel hungry again shortly after. A better choice is to order a carvery of meat and vegetables, soup, or a salad and protein. Or carry some home-made or healthy protein bar snacks with you. If you do decide to indulge then perhaps do a trade-off of black coffee and the sweet treat OR the designer coffee on its own, and not both. I carry health bars with me when I am out and about; for a review of health and gluten-free bars see here: https://achealthsolutions.wordpress.com/e-books/the-definitive-guide-to-gluten-e-book/
12. Watch processed food intake and notably processed fat or artificial additive intake.
I am not afraid of fats. Healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, avocado, extra virgin oils, cold water fish, real butter, and coconut play an important and frequent part of my diet. As do a certain amount of animal fats such as bone marrow, chicken skin, and meat fats. But I am vigilant about watching my intake of the unnecessary and unhealthy fats. These are the fats that sneak into processed foods, pastries, ready-made desserts, and fatty sauces, etc.
I am not obsessive over the odd bit of cheese, butter, cream or red meat at Christmas time, but I do take these into account in the context of my ‘calorie food day’. I will enjoy a limited intake of the full fat and organic dairy foods. These animal and dairy fats do contain double the calories that carbohydrates and protein contain, however they are natural and NOT as bad for you as the persisting “saturated fat bashing medical and diet industry” would have you believe. I do, however, do my utmost best to avoid processed, refined and trans fatty acids; the type of fats that are linked with cancer, heart disease, poor skin, and depression that sneak into junk processed foods….Christmas included.
13. Fill up on home-made soup.
Soup is nourishing, soothing and just the ticket on a cold winter’s day. Soup has also been shown to keep you full for longer and regulate appetite. We always make our own stock from the turkey bones and use this to make delicious home-made vegetable soups. I add a protein serving such as smoked salmon, sliced turkey, home-made pate, or ham to create a balanced and filling meal.
14. Eat fruit and veggies; more veggies and less fruit.
I don’t like my energy and health to suffer, so I make sure that most meals and snacks contain vegetables or fruit. Foods rich in fats and high in sugar can be damaging to the body (increase inflammation and generate free radicals, for a start). We can undo these effects by stocking up on antioxidants from fresh fruits, vegetable juices and veggies (which I love anyhow!).
Enjoy the colour spectrum of vegetables and when consuming fruit focus on berries, cherries, colourful melon and pomegranate as these are lower in sugar fruit choices.
15. Balance smart choices with indulgence and enjoy every bit of it!
On Christmas day I enjoy a healthy breakfast with my family and then we get outside into the fresh air for a hike or run the yearly Charity Run. We have our Christmas dinner starter at lunch time, and then all get busy helping with dinner preparations. We eat our main course late in the afternoon, and then break to open presents. Christmas pudding and dessert is enjoyed a few hours later early in the evening (and by no means is dessert a fat-free affair; so I watch my portion size and savour every bite). Then we relax.
The odd chocolate or two, a second serving of turkey or another serving of dessert keeping us happy and content as we relax into the evening (with some wine). Making the Christmas meal stretch out across the day keeps the meal enjoyable, reduces the pressure to have the whole meal prepared at once, and saves on that horrible stuffed feeling. This strategy means that I enjoy my food but I don’t over-eat to the point of belly ache.
16. Enjoy food.
It is perfectly ok to indulge in the finer treats while bearing two things in mind; the calories will rack up, and health doesn’t tolerate unnatural processed foods so keep things moderate in portion and natural or home-cooked. For example the following are better choices: home-cooked soups, smoked salmon, prawns, turkey, potatoes, veggies, roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes or root vegetables, ham, home-made cranberry sauce or relish, home-made pates, dips, dark high % polyphenol chocolates, home-made nut and seed bars, Paleo dessert treats, red wine, etc.
I enjoy all of it; in moderation. Agreed gravy, stuffing, bread sauce, and my weakness cream and butter are best limited the rest of the year, but I enjoy them as a condiment to my meal. We don’t cook low-fat no-fat recipes on Christmas day; Christmas is all about tradition and real food.
17. Don’t calorie count.
Be mindful of what you are eating, and enjoy it. Enough said!
18. Keep 2 days of Christmas week low in carbohydrates if you are concerned about weight gain.
Intermittent low carb eating has been shown to be successful for weight loss and/ or preventing weight gain and even more successful than daily calorie control. Choose two days in the festive period that are quiet and commitment free and reduce your carb intake while maintaining a high intake of protein, veggies and a moderate intake of healthy fats. This will keep you on track.
19. Avoid gluten.
As I am intolerant to gluten I don’t eat any gluten containing foods over Christmas; period. For those of you who are gluten intolerant remember that 1g of gluten is sufficient to set off an immune reaction for approximately 90 days. Avoid the stuff, it simply isn’t worth it. Have a look at ordering up some Christmas treats from online store (e.g. goodnessdirect.co.uk, realfoods.co.uk, healthysupplies.co.uk or iherb.com) or from your local health store, or better still bake your own healthier treats.
See my gluten e-book The Definitive Guide to Gluten for numerous helpful websites and resources). Christmas shouldn’t be about deprivation and keeping it gluten-free can be testing for many; so prepare ahead and have some healthier gluten-free treat options to hand.
20. Eat a little of what you like.
There is nothing wrong with enjoying the finer treats; as long as you don’t completely blow your calorie budget. When it comes to the fattier treat foods, control your portion size. You can have your cake and eat it; just don’t eat the whole thing!
- Too much of anything will get stored as fat – even healthy food.
- Small amounts of anything – even junk food – will probably not get stored as fat as long as you don’t over-indulge too frequently. Personally I don’t take the junk food option.
My treats are dark high-% cocoa chocolate (chocolate that has cocoa polyphenol content >75% is excellent for you), and small portions of home-made sweet desserts (Paleo style); I make sure to exert portion control. I also enjoy healthy treats like nuts, spicy nuts, home-popped popcorn, fresh fruit salad (in its own juice with freshly grated lemon zest), stewed fruit, Greek yoghurt topped with cinnamon and pumpkin seeds, Parma ham wrapped around dates and nuts, smoked salmon wrapped around hummus, and cold cuts of turkey. If your calories don’t go over your set allowance then you will not gain weight or fat (mindful eating will generally keep you close to your set point). If I do slip up then I don’t worry about it; I simply make sure that I am a little more active the following day.
NEVER starve and stuff yourself; or stuff and starve yourself… it doesn’t work, it isn’t healthy, and it leads to disordered eating patterns.
21. Enjoy chocolate, but don’t go mad.
Dark chocolate is a positively healthy treat that is packed with antioxidants and minerals; I love a few squares in the evenings as a treat over the festive season. Another trick to give you a chocolate hit is to add a few squares of chocolate into your protein shake, or to add Skinny Cow drinking chocolate to yoghurt, protein shakes, or milk (low in calories but contains no added artificial sweeteners). Or simply enjoy a hot chocolate made with good quality cocoa, sweetened with a dash of honey and cinnamon. Here is a super little article listing the best brands to look for in stores or on the internet: http://healthyeater.com/dark-chocolate-best-and-worst
22. Don’t over-indulge on alcohol.
Alcohol is a source of empty calories and sugar. I enjoy the odd glass of wine, champagne or shot of spirit; but I don’t load up on booze and being gluten intolerant most beers and stouts are off the list. I purposely don’t add sweet mixers to my drinks, I avoid alco-pops, and I don’t drink soft drinks or diet drinks. This saves me a lot of calories, not to mention the hangover. I enjoy sparkling water with a dash of lemon juice, lime juice, full sugar Ribena or elderflower or home-made cordials and add plenty of ice.
- ½ part pomegranate juice
- ½ part pear juice
- 1 part Champagne
- Pomegranate seeds, for garnish, optional
In a Champagne glass, combine pomegranate and pear juices and top off with Champagne. Decorate with pomegranate seeds, if desired, and serve immediately
23. Take milk thistle drops if I am out on the tiles for a few drinks.
I take milk thistle complex (milk thistle, dandelion root, and artichoke extract) before I go out and again before I hit the sack to reduce my risk of a hangover – works a treat!
24. Carry on with my supplement basics:
- Thorne Research Medi-Clear Plus detoxification support functional protein
- Garden of life Raw protein and ROS hemp protein and Garden of Life Goat protein for baking protein bombs
- Nordic Naturals Wild Alaskan salmon oil (on the days I am not eating salmon as my omega 3 balance is currently optimal)
If you are concerned about weight gain and wish to take supplements the following MAY help to prevent weight or fat gain over festive season. Personally I feel movement and activity and healthy eating as best you can trumps taking supplements so I don’t tend to promote their use:
Fish oil (with high EPA and DHA content)
Green tea extract
Carb blocker such as Higher Nature Free Carb Starch neutraliser (prevents the digestion and absorption of a percentage of carbohydrates from carbohydrate foods I am not a fan especially of these supplements)
Protein powders (Protein supplements such as whey, casein, brown rice protein, goat milk protein, hemp protein, or functional detox protein products and so on promote fat burning, increase satiety and control appetite and are recommended as a meal substitution for breakfast if you are especially concerned about weight gain or are already over-weight.
High strength plant-based antioxidant that contains Resveratrol (at least 20mg Resveratrol; Resveratrol and plant-based antioxidants have been demonstrated to control appetite, raise metabolic rate and reduce fat and weight gain).
Although I am also a trained pharmacist, I don’t believe in the use of fat blockers such as Alli or their natural alternatives. If you take these supplements and eat a high fat meal you will suffer the consequences with digestive symptoms and possibly diarrhoea. Some persons suffer considerable and embarrassing symptoms. Furthermore, blocking the absorption of fats from your diet blocks the absorption of important fat soluble vitamins and antioxidant nutrients. This is not in line with my recommendations for a healthy diet. Be sensible with your fat intake over the festive season and this will prevent excessive weight gain; with the emphasis on the avoidance of the processed fats (and moderate intake of the saturated fats). Remember, there is a difference between health promoting fats and health degenerating disease-causing fats…
So there you go folks; plenty of tips to keep you on your toes!!
Enjoy the festivities