December is such a brilliant month for so many reasons, parties, presents, booze and mince pies are just a few. While letting loose and having a few drinks is so much fun and definitely OK to do it’s also important to understand the effect alcohol has on your body and your fitness goals. It’s also a good idea to have a few strategies up your sleeve to mitigate at least some of the damage.
First thing we need to remember is that when we drink alcohol our body needs to metabolise that alcohol before it can focus attention on anything else. So your digestion, growth, repair and immune system take a back seat. Alcohol also increases your blood sugar – even the next day!
Cue – horror show hangovers, cravings that could start a world war, never ending colds and tiredness we just can’t shake.
So for all of this party season – make sure you get good, micronutrient dense food such as fresh vegetables and fruit in on a daily basis. Get in adequate protein for your needs and don’t neglect your good fats. Remember to hydrate and make stocking up on sleep a priority!
My daily recommendation to keep your skin looking fresh and your gut functioning is a cup of bone broth. It’s full of electrolytes so can be invaluable if a hangover stops you from eating. Veggies or vegans make up a good quality veggie broth with added salt and herbs.
The day of the big night:
– Try get some exercise in – even a walk or a short HIIT session will do the trick
– Reduce the starchy carb intake and base your meals around good quality protein sources, healthy fats like olive oil and avocado and some greens.
– Eat enough during the day and before you go out to keep you full all evening.
– Drink plenty of water
– Add some salt to your meals or water
During your night out:
– Pick one drink and stick to it
– Avoid high sugar mixers or too many cocktails
– Pace yourself (hard we all know)
– Drink a glass of water between drinks
– Try to avoid take aways on your journey home
– Drink plenty of water before bed
The next day:
– Get out and walk – even 10 minutes will help
– If you are comfortable fasting implement a mini fast (skip breakfast)
– Stick to a healthy fat and protein combination for at least the first meal that day
– Try to keep sugary/processed food to a minimum
– Sticking a slow cooker stew or curry on the night before and having the fridge stocked with healthy breakfast options removes the urge to ring for a pizza at 1pm
– Add some salt to your food
– Drink plenty of water
I hope you all find these tips helpful! Have a great Christmas and even better New Year!
Sarah Louise studied science and human physiology in Trinity College, she qualified as a personal trainer in 2014 and works with the Irish Strength Institute where she trains one to one and small group sessions for all walks of life and ability. She loves to come up with healthy takes on traditional recipes to share with her clients and doesn’t believe in a one size fits all approach, instead tailoring her programming to each individual client.
If you like to follow Sarah Louise for more fitness and well being tips you can find her at Sarah_louisePT on Instagram