It’s that time of year again, the festive season filled with celebrations, gifts, food, and alcohol! It has been shown that in Ireland, our alcohol consumption increases by up to 114 per cent in the lead-up to Christmas, which may be partially to blame for that sore head and the extra weight gain during the season. Party food and a glass or two of wine may be difficult to turn down over the next few weeks, so here are a few tips to keep the damage to your waistline to a limit.
Pre-party: Before heading out to a party, ensure you have a meal. Having something such as a stew, soup, or casserole will keep you full and satisfied, and reduce the temptations and the amount eaten of those party foods that are often high in sugar and fat.
The party night: It can be easy to lose track of the number of drinks we have had, which can in turn lead to poor food choices throughout the night and the next day. Beers and lagers are often higher in calories and sugar than spirits or wine, which isn’t very good news for our waistlines. Try opting for a spirit with slimline mixers, or wine spritzers. Even better, try to drink a glass of water between each drink to help keep you hydrated and reduce your overall alcohol consumption.
The next day: It can be tempting to opt for high fat, high sugar foods the day following a night of celebrations; however, there are many healthy alternatives which can be just as satisfying. Instead of a greasy fry, try having some brown toast with scrambled eggs, grilled bacon, and sautéed tomatoes and mushrooms. Or swap that big bowl of sugary cereal for a bowl of porridge with yoghurt and fruit. Omelettes and baked beans on toast are simple yet delicious alternatives to that greasy fry, which can sometimes add up to your total recommended daily calorie intake!
With these simple yet effective changes this Christmas time, there will be no need to fear the January body blues! For more information on safer alcohol consumption, please visit drinkaware.ie
By Rachel Sheane, student dietitian. For more information on diet and nutrition, please contact Maria at the Community Nutrition and Dietetic Service, HSE Dublin-Mid Leinster on (044 ) 9395518 or [email protected].