The onslaught of Christmas over-indulgence has likely taken its toll on your body, says the Licensed Trade Charity (LTC). The charity, which is dedicated to offering support to pub, bar and brewery people is now keen to help individuals get back to their ‘pre-December’ them.
With the average person in the UK putting on a possible 5lbs in weight across December and an average 41% increase in their consumption of alcohol across December, it is little wonder LTC are concerned about the generic health of those who work in the licensed trade. That’s why they’re keen to offer some alternative solutions to common New Year’s resolutions, such as Dry January or fitness goals, that can help reduce the negative effect of alcohol consumption and over-indulgence in terms of food consumption. The LTC’s final piece of advice on counteracting the negative effects of the festive period is to make up for some of the lost hours of sleep, which is on average about 30 hours of sleep!
Here are their top tips
- Help your body clear out the alcohol by drinking plenty of water between alcoholic drinks, or alternate them with soft drinks. It is estimated that your body needs four-parts water to every one-part alcohol to remove it from your system.
- Drink slowly. This gives your body – and more importantly your liver – time to metabolise and flush the toxins from your body.
- Have at least two, and ideally more, alcohol-free days each week.
- Downsize your drinks – if you’re a beer-drinker, make the units go further by drinking halves instead of pints. If you’re a wine-drinker then opt for a smaller glass.
- Never drink on an empty stomach as this floods your body with alcohol and forces your liver to work too hard. Make sure that you eat carbohydrates and fats before drinking alcohol to line the stomach, prevent nausea, hangovers and to help avoid getting drunk. Food will also absorb some of the alcohol, thereby slowing its delivery into your blood stream.
- Sign up to Club Soda, the mindful drinking organisation. You can join online for free to receive eBooklets on setting goals and tracking your progress, and gain support to change your lifestyle.
Balanced and healthy eating:
- Be active – burn off the extra calories you have taken on by gardening, dancing, or going for a walk. If you are popping to the local shop, think about walking there and back rather than automatically reaching for the car key.
- Track your exercise – free apps such as Runkeeper or MapMyRun can be used for walks, bike rides and more, and help you see how far you have gone and how fast – giving you a goal to beat for next time and added motivation.
- Serve your food in reverse. Most people start with the ‘naughty’ foods leaving little room for vegetables. But by dishing vegetables up first and ensuring they fill half of the plate, you can more easily control the amount of the less healthy items that accompany them.
- Count your chews! Chew every mouthful 20-30 times as this breaks the food down more allowing it to be more easily digested. It also slows you down so you realise you are full sooner, and not when it is all too late.
- Eat oily fish such as salmon and mackerel each week which can help prevent heart disease.
Creating a sleeping pattern:
- Try to get back into a regular routine before bed, and instead of ‘cramming’ sleep with one really early night, try to go to bed a little earlier each night to gradually restore your sleep reserves.
- Make your bedroom a technology-free zone. Don’t watch tv in bed, or look at your phone or laptop – the brightly lit screens of phones and computers can decrease the amount of melatonin released at night to help you sleep.
- Aim to get 7-8 hours sleep every night