Stay strong this silly season

Most of us let our hair down and relax our dieting ways at this time of year. However, some of the things we enjoy (like alcohol, mince pies and cabanossi) can be enjoyed to excess, leading to sore heads, weight gain and other undesirables.

The festive season in Australia coincides with balmy beach weather. Cruel fate. Wouldn’t it be kinder to enjoy the season of eating, drinking and general merrymaking in big woolly jumpers and fleecy-lined tracky dacks? Better than fretting about swimming costumes and cellulite.

At the risk of being branded a party pooper, here are some ways to survive the party season with a clear head and a fetching waistline.

Cut back on the alcohol 
The liver can only cope with so much, and that is approximately one standard drink an hour (A standard drink is a middy of beer or a schooner of light beer, a small glass of wine or a nip of spirits). More than this can cause trouble. Alcohol is quite toxic, which is why the liver is so keen to break it down. More alcohol than the liver can deal with, speeds round the body causing damage to nerves and other cells. Alcohol is also a diuretic, which means we wee out more fluid than we consume, vitamins and minerals are also flushed out of the body. Drink a glass of water between every alcoholic drink, to slow down your alcohol intake as well as to replace fluid.

Keep hydrated when drinking
Dehydration is a major contributor of a hangover. If you have partied hard, as soon as you get home (no matter what time) drink two glasses of water and one glass of sports drink. The water will rehydrate you, and the sports drink will top up your electrolyte (minerals) and blood glucose levels, which take a beating with heavy drinking. The morning of and the morning after the party, take a B complex vitamin as well as a tablet of St. Mary’s thistle, for that poor little liver of yours.

Limit party food and canapes 
A trap for the unwary is party food. One word of advice – don’t. Those tempting little morsels are Trojan horses of fat and calories. Even those innocent looking sticks of carrot are to be treated with suspicion. A glass of champagne will weaken your resolve, and in no time you will be scooping up the rest of the French Onion dip with that carrot stick. The best advice is to eat a good dinner or snack before you go, or have planned a nutritious meal for when you come home to watch The Bill.

Cheers!