In a few days, the festive season will begin. It’s a time to get together with family and friends and enjoy yourself. That is, until the body can’t keep up.
For our bodies, it is not a pleasure, with the succession of numerous meals, each one heavier than the next. With repeated excesses, the body is put to the test. Especially since these excesses are generally added to an already excessive diet.
What strategy should you adopt to avoid putting too much strain on your body during this festive period?
The caricature of overeating
Salmon, foie gras, champagne and logs are the classics of Christmas and New Year’s meals. In addition, there are sometimes repeated family meals with other foods that are just as hard to digest. There is also a reduction in rest and physical activity. Everything comes together to put the body in a state of extreme stress.
It is not a festive meal that does a lot of harm to our bodies. It is the repetition of them that leads to an overdose. Overeating on the one hand and lack of recuperation on the other inevitably leads to fatigue of important organs (heart, liver, kidneys, pancreas), an increased risk of falling ill, the classic weight gain and, sometimes, a state of severe disgust. It is possible to look forward to the festive season without abusing your body in this way.
Can you prepare your body for the excesses of holiday meals?
The objective is not so much to prepare the body for excesses. It is to enable it to better cope with this period of food opulence.
It is wise not to eat too rich a meal before the holidays. We are not aiming for extreme food restriction or weight loss. The feeling of deprivation leads to food compensation. Excessive deprivation and then compulsive eating of holiday meals is not the solution.
Here are a few tips on how to lighten up your diet before holiday meals:
- Unsurprisingly, it is best to have a good base of fresh fruit and vegetables. Their richness in vitamins and minerals is essential for the body to function properly.
- Another common sense tip, avoid or limit desserts for a few days.
- Protein consumption is excessive throughout the year and is generally higher during holiday meals. Lightening up on protein-rich foods, mainly meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, is not a luxury.
- Avoid alcohol. If you tend to consume it regularly, a little break won’t hurt before drunken holiday meals.
- Avoid or limit chocolate. It will be omnipresent during the holidays. Just like alcohol, not consuming chocolate in the days leading up to the holidays will do your liver a world of good.
Should we be careful between holiday meals?
Just like the relief from eating before the holidays, it’s a good idea to take a step back and lighten your plate. Once again, it is not a question of going on a diet to lose 3 kilos. The aim is to let your body breathe.
This relief between festive meals is really beneficial. It allows you to recover more quickly from the excess weight and, consequently, to arrive much less tired at the end of the festive period. Here are some tips to add to the previous series:
- Do gentle physical activities, such as walking, rather than strenuous activities. Intense sports during the festive period require an extreme effort from the body. You won’t lose more weight by sweating a lot at the cost of intense effort. But you may be doing yourself more harm than good.
- Stay well hydrated. Holiday meals are richer and higher in alcohol than regular meals. Water is still the best drink to keep hydrated. Fresh fruit and vegetables are also great for boosting hydration because they are rich in water.
- Don’t force yourself to eat because it’s time. In addition to being more substantial, holiday meals tend to drag on. It is normal not to be hungry for the next meal. You shouldn’t force yourself to eat as a habit when your body isn’t in demand. This is even more important if you feel that your digestion is difficult or that your liver is struggling to keep up. Not eating or eating a very light meal in the evening or the day after a festive meal is essential to avoid damaging repetitive eating.
And for those who are more motivated, it is possible to envisage a whole day’s diet based on fresh fruit and vegetables or juice.
Happy holidays to all!