Feeling sluggish after a rich and copious Christmas meal? Here are a few ways to get yourself back on track before round two this New Year's.
1. Don't binge on leftovers
Whether out of laziness or greediness, it's all too easy to indulge on leftovers like rich, stuffed meats or sweet desserts in the week after Christmas. Bad idea - your stomach needs a rest. Stick to a small serving, freeze some for a later date, or better still, give leftovers away to neighbors, friends or colleagues.
2. Drink lots of water throughout the day
Drinking water is the top tactic for getting over holiday excesses involving alcohol and fatty, salty foods, which dehydrate the body. Aim for up to two liters per day, including herbal infusions.
With hot drinks, look for herbal infusions or teas with lemon, ginger or peppermint to promote digestion. Rosemary, thyme and artichoke bring relief to the liver, and marshmallow can help with bloating.
3. Spice things up
Spices like cumin, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and oregano are your friends at this time of year, since they are antibacterial and aid digestion by warming up the body. Chia seeds, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, are excellent for relieving digestive woes.
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4. Sip on soup
Soup should be on the menu between Christmas and New Year, so long as it is homemade with seasonal vegetables, or a shop-bought soup without too much added salt - the maximum dose should be 1g per portion. After indulging at your Christmas meal, small quantities of protein should suffice.
5. Load up on green veg
Green vegetables give you vitamins, minerals and antioxidants - the ideal combination to compensate for eating so many carbs and fats in such a short space of time. Plus, when eaten with a small amount of starchy food, green veggies have the power to halve the glycemic index of the dish, drastically reducing fat storage.
6. Get moving
Short walks can be a good plan if you're feeling lazy or fear the cold - aim for 20 to 30 minutes of brisk walking at 6km/h. Add a few simple exercises at home (30x squats, lunges, stomach crunches, one minute of plank), and you can easily make up for festive indulgence.
7. Get plenty of sleep
The hustle and bustle of the holiday season, with invitations from friends and family, can make it a stressful time, draining energy as the year draws to a close. Recharge your batteries by making an effort to get at least eight hours of sleep per night. And don't feel guilty about napping on days off – you're on holiday, after all.
This article was first published on AFP Relaxnews.